What is Colombian Style salsa?
Colombian-style salsa is a type of salsa that is danced almost exclusively in the South American country of Colombia. Colombian salsa is known for its rapid and intricate footwork as well as the athletic lifts and tricks that are incorporated into their dancing.
The basic Colombian step is similar to Cumbia (another dance which originated in Colombia) but the pace is much more rapid, with extra kicks and steps added in. Unlike other salsa styles, in Colombian salsa the upper body remains mostly rigid, with most of the movement occurring in the hips and legs. Colombian turn patterns follow a circular pattern, similar to Cuban style salsa, and the timing of the steps is generally on 1.
Colombian salsa originated in the city of Cali, Colombia (which is why the style is also referred to as “Cali-style salsa” or “Salsa Caleña”), which calls itself the “World Capital of Salsa”. There are more salsa schools and salsa teams in Cali than any other city in the world, and salsa is on the level of a national sport, with many competitions held in Colombia throughout the year.
Where is Colombian Salsa Danced?
Colombian-style salsa is danced almost exclusively in the country of Colombia. Cali, Colombia is the capital of Colombian salsa dancing, with hundreds of salsa schools and academies in the city. Many of the major cities in Colombia such as Medellin, Bogota, and Cartegena also have Colombian-salsa schools as well.
In the US there are a few well-known Colombian-salsa schools in New York/New Jersey, but outside of that there aren’t many places where Colombian-salsa is taught or danced. A few well-known salsa instructors teach in Japan, and a few have branched out into Israel as well, so as more Colombian-salsa teachers travel abroad, the style could gain in popularity in more countries.
Check out our video dancing salsa caleña with salsa champion, Andres Leiton: