Steps of Salsa

The steps of salsa— many people love to watch it, but few will attempt to learn it. Sure, the steps may look complicated and fancy, that’s why it’s entertaining. However, this is not too hard to master. The most important thing to learn in salsa is the dancer and how he/she carries himself/herself.

What do you know about the steps of salsa? Or more importantly, what do you know about salsa itself? If you tell me it’s your favorite spicy dip for chips, then we’re going to need to brush you up on the fantastic dance that is the salsa.

Salsa is generally attributed to have come from Cuba, but it is not strictly only Cuban in nature. It is said that salsa is heavily influenced by the tribal folklore dancing of African and other European cultures. Over the years, the dance has been polished and standardized to become the salsa dance that we know today.

This is a fast paced dance that is danced so performers need to be quick on their feet. Traditionally, the music used in salsa includes instruments like the congas, piano, bongos, bass, maracas, guitar and claves. Recently though we have seen creative choreography push the boundaries of ballroom dancing like the salsa in terms of music, costumes and styles of dancing.

That’s right, this century old dance is constantly developing into something new, without losing its essence. What makes salsa appealing is that no matter who dances it and how varying the different elements are, it has retained its distinct flavor that is separate from all the other dances. It really is no wonder that so many dance enthusiasts pick salsa as one of their most favorite ballroom dance of all time.

When you look at a couple dancing the salsa, you think they look good. It almost seems magical and effortless. Do you want to know a secret? It’s not. Of course dancing is an amazing hobby to get into, but there’s a lot of unseen hard work to get to the point where it becomes a joy to watch. Professional dancers have to master timing, footwork, musicality, spins, isolations, rolls, lifts, partnering and of course, the attitude which holds the audience captive.

Sure, some people are born with a better sense of coordination. There are some who look graceful even when they yawn and scratch themselves early in the morning. But the general public is not as lucky. If you are one of those people who need more work with their grace— no need to fret. Anybody can learn how to dance— anybody.

If you want to learn the steps of salsa, all you need is a little hard work and a lot of heart. Sure, it might not be easy if you’re not naturally gifted with movement like other individuals, but let me tell you— it’s worth it. The fun you’ll have and the sense of fulfillment you’ll get when you master a number is worth the training that you will put into it.

How about it? Do you want to join the beautiful, and sometimes complex world of salsa?  The basic salsa steps are easy. Let’s start with the position. The man usually assumes the lead. He holds his partner’s right hand with his left hand, and he puts his right hand on the woman’s waist. The woman, or follower, places her left hand on her partner’s shoulder. Eye contact is maintained throughout the dance, except otherwise indicated.

The two basic movements in salsa footwork are the forward and backward step. The man steps forward with his left foot, rocks back to his right foot, and steps back again with his left foot. Then he steps back with the right foot, rocks forward to his left foot, and steps forward with the right foot again.

For the woman, she steps back with the right foot, rocks forward to her left foot, and steps forward again with the right foot. Then she follows by stepping forward with the left foot, rocks backward with the right foot, and closes by stepping back, bringing the left foot beside the right foot. You will notice that the woman simply mirrors the man’ steps.

From this basic footwork, twists and turns are incorporated. The sideway basic, cucaracha, underarm turn, windmill and basket are just some of the moves that you will find in a professional salsa dance. Acrobatic turns and movements are also thrown in by the more adventurous couples. When you are starting out, do not attempt to accomplish all the difficult moves right away. Master the simpler steps individually, then bring it all together and practice often with your partner.

Are you ready to turn the steps of salsa into a performance worth watching? You are a star, it’s time everyone else knew about it. Enjoy!

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