Cuban Style Salsa (Salsa Cubana)


What is Cuban Style salsa?

Cuban style salsa, also known as Salsa Cubana or Casino, is a style of salsa that originated in Cuba featuring intricate turn patterns and body isolations. Cuban style salsa is danced on the “on 1” timing similar to LA Style Salsa, but Cuban salsa is danced in a circular fashion rather than in a slot (similar to East Coast Swing).

Cuban salsa, like its name suggests, has its origins in Cuba and is usually danced to Cuban salsa music or timba. The style is often considered more “street” than other forms of salsa, and incorporates movements from Afro-Cuban dances such as Rumba and Guaguanco. Cuban salsa dancers also tend to exaggerate the movement of their hips and torso compared to other forms of salsa.

Cuban salsa is usually danced as a couple, but there is also a form of Cuban salsa called Salsa Rueda in which couples dance together in a circle, and perform moves in unison, incorporating many of the sames moves and patterns as standalone Cuban salsa.

Cuban Salsa Dance History

Cuban salsa originated in Cuban dance halls, known as “casinos”. The dance incorporates elements of other Cuban dances such as Son Cubano, Danzón, Cha Cha, and Afro Cuban Rumba. The dance is higly energetic and incorporates many partner switches and hand movements.

Cuban salsa is similar enough to LA-style salsa, so that someone who knows one style can usually follow the other, although the styles are different enough that this can be challenging. Cuban style salsa has come into vogue in recent years among LA and NY style dancers, with many incorporating the body movement and styling from Cuban salsa into their dancing.