New York, LA, Cuban Styles of Salsa Explained by Frankie Martinez


Recently I found this video where Frankie Maritnez explains the different styles of salsa dances very concisely, as well as putting their development in a historical context.

There is so much important information for salsa dancers to absorb.

If I understand correctly,

  • Salsa dancing styles were refined from the influence of dancing that were popular from 50’s and 70’s.
  • Dancing was refined because the musicians told the dancers about Clave rhythm, and how the movements and the accent should be in relation to the rhythm.
  • Cuban salsa is a completely different music by itself. Rhythmic structure of LA/NY style salsa is different from Cuban salsa.
  • In Cuban style, they add lot of Cuban footwork. You can see lot of bending of the knees, very low to the ground often.
  • In LA style, they are more extravagant, physical, and acrobatic.
  • Advice to a starting male dancer: listen first and speak second. Listen to the female dancer and be receptive to  what is happening to her.

Well, I think the advices are so excellent. In terms of Cuban style, even though I do not dance Cuban style, elements of Afro-American influences are often exhibited in shines (when partners separate and do heir own footwork). I am indicating bending of the knees, body and hip movements to the percussion section, etc.

If you want to see more videos of different salsa styles, please  go to the following link. And if you like what you see, start going to your local salsa dance classes. Yes, it may take a couple of years, but you can be that good !!!!


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