The Salsa dance form was started during the 1970’s and even though it’s originated in New York City, it actually was based on dances from Latin America such as the Mambo, Son, and cha cha cha. These dance forms were very popular during the 1940’s in Latin America, Caribbean, and in Latino areas of New York City.
Like with many other dance forms, the salsa has different variations which include the Cali style, Cuban Style, and the Los Angeles style, among others.
Cali style also referred to as Colombian salsa has fast steps along with a type of skipping motion. The dance is influenced by Boogaloo and Pachanga which were performed to Caribbean rhythms that were prior to the salsa a hit.
The Cuban style often referred to as Salsa Cubana or Casino was one of the most popular salsa styles around the globe including North America, Latin America, Israel, and Europe. Even though it has roots in other dance forms such as the Guaracha, Danzon, Cha Cha Cha, and the Cuban Son, it is of course, different since on the first and fifth beat, no step is taken and then a very strong step is taken on the fourth and eighth beat of every clave pattern.
The Los Angeles style has roots in dance forms such as Latin Ballroom, Argentine Tango, Swing, and the Latin Hustle. The dance uses moves such as stunts, lifts, aerial works, theatricality, acrobatics, and sensuousness. The main movements of the dance are forward and backward basic step along with the cross body lead. The man steps forward on the first beat, then steps to the right on the second and third as he turns 90 degree counter clockwise which leaves an open slot. The woman then steps forward on beats fifth and sixth then turns on beats seven and eight while the man does another 90 degree turn while going a tad bit forward and then returning to the slot.