What makes this dance recognizable? What is typical, distinctive or characteristic?

A count as the Mambo with a dead' count (without step) at four. The movements and music are smoother and rounder than the Mambo.

Demasiado corazon - Mink Deville, Belle Perez

La vida es un carnaval - Celia Cruz

Rumba cha cha cha - Grupo Kual

BPM: 40-55

Salsa is derived from the Spanish word for sauce. Salsa is not just the name of a genre, but also the collective name for a large number of South American styles such as rumba, bolero, guaracha and plena.

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Salsa is closely related to other South American music styles like merengue, bachata, cumbia, cha cha cha and Cuban son and bolero (in the standard dance world known as rumba). Salsa has a specific clave, a rhythmic motif on which both musicians and dancers can orientate themselves.

The music on which is danced is actually the "son", who is also the mother of the mambo and the cha cha cha.
About the exact origin are sometimes different opinions. But it is clear that it is a musical style that combines several South American music streams. The oldest origin seems to be the son, at least to originate from Cuba between 1930 and 1940. Musicians mix the merengue from the Dominican Republic, the plena of Puerto Rico and the cumbia from Colombia with theire own son. Dance bands originated with as occupation piano, saxophone, trumpet, bass and percussion instruments like timbale, conga and cowbell.

In the U.S., several Latin neighborhoods arose and interest in Latin music was also increasing. The music that was created previously during the '50s was mostly the mambo and the Bogaloo. Meanwhile, there was also experimented with rock and roll, Latin Jazz and other South American music. This caused the mid-60s in New York music that would be from that moment newly named salsa.

This was mainly due to the link that was made with / by the Fania record label. What was Motown to R & B, Fania was for the salsa. The first record of Fania was "Cañonazo" by Johnny Pachego 1964 (co-founder of Fania with Jerry Masucci). Fania also organized many live concerts, where all of their Fania All-stars appeared. During and after the Fania - years arose different currents within the salsa like:

. Salsa Romantica, where a single (handsome) romantic singer sings songs about love between husband and wife. Musically, this salsa is often not innovative, but in recent years its young performers such as Victor Manuelle and Marc Anthony also managed to make musically interesting versions of this.

. Salsa Dura, where music is still made ​​according to the old Fania concept but sometimes with more swing and more powerful.

. Timba, the current Cuban musical form that has developed somewhat independently of the current salsa and meanwhile is a very swinging and infectious variant.

The highly energetic salsa is very popular since the seventies. Especially in Colombia, where the Cuban son and mambo have always been popular. That creates its own, more melancholy tinged form of salsa. In the Latin American countries salsa is since then the most popular music. In the western world, the interest is growing again in the late nineties, especially in the circuit of the dance schools.

A salsa band usually consists of a combination of instruments such as congas, timbales, bongo, trumpet, bass, piano and of course the claves.
Bands like the Joe Cuba Sextet were the first who played mostly salsa music. Also Tito Puente had a great influence on the salsa music. Indeed, he refused to characterize his music as salsa. He preferred to speak about mambo and Latin Jazz.

In Europe, meanwhile also interesting music was made ​​by, for example, mixed Dominican and or Cuban and or local talent. Salsa Orchestras roll out their music on instruments and rhythms that often seem disorganized and unstructured for outsiders. Accent shifts, the vocalist who improvises on complex rhythmic patterns, a keyboard player who seems to be drumming his keystrokes, a bass player who always seems too early or too late... and yet harmony is created. Every musician follows the pattern of the clave, formerly tapped by two hardwood sticks, now often electronic.

The salsa music typically consists of two parts. The first part is reminiscent of an event in which the musicians try to contact each other and the singer sings the announcement of an event. At one point, however, there will be a reversal in the whole and let the musicians, the emphasis always fall in the same place. This is the second portion. The chorus starts then and ever repeats itself. The cantor improvises past and trough the choir. This performer owns than a limited freedom: a good sonero is a singer who understands the art in between to ' juggle ' the choir without losing the melody and the clave 'out of sight '. It is no wonder it is rightly said that salsa music is full of misplaced silences and anticipations. The arrangement may be often on paper, but the musicians need the right feeling so the case remains swinging.

The way of salsa dancing varies. The Cubans and Puerto Ricans place the emphasis unlike Bailadores on Curaçao. For those local salsa dancers it seems as if the Bailadores from Cuba and Puerto Rico dancing off the beat. Obviously, however, you can hardly claim that about people who come from a community where the salsa music was born.

The start may be different: on the first beat (the one), on the second beat (called New York Style, closely related to the Mambo). Also on the three (many Antilleans dance to 3) or on the 4th beat (including the Son is danced on the 4th beat) can.
Salsa is not a static style but emphasis on movement. This also means that there is no fixed order in which people dance. The man is leading and determines, on the basis of the music on the spot the moves.

A set of dance steps in a salsa dance is divided into 8 counts divided on two sizes of 4 counts. Because the 4th and the 8th count is usually a rest, is often counted in the following way: 1, 2, 3,..., 5, 6, 7..., or 1 and 2,... 3 and 4... and have a 4/4 measure.

The hip movements are obtained by stretching the knee. The weight usually rests above the bended knee.

Cuban salsa has a faster pace, the man revolves a lot around the lady, the lady is following or partners revolve around each other.

LA style is slower, the lady is more to the foreground, dances shines, and change place with respect to an imaginary line. It looks more elegant and more stylized than the Cuban style.

Rueda de Casino
Rueda de Casino, literally turning wheel, is a dancing group based on salsa figures. If Salsa is danced in a circle with three or more pairs, thise is Rueda de Casino, a dance form originating from Cuba. The leader (caller) of the Rueda group gives in this case with specific terms or gestures the moves. That can be dance moves, movements or partner changes that the dancers have to perform together.
There are several hundred moves for the Rueda de Casino, but if and when deployed, the leader determines, based on the music. Here, too, there is no fixed choreography.

 It is a fun social event, you dance with different partners, but also with the whole group. A good co-operation is necessary in order to keep the whole synchronously.

Buena Vista Social Club, Marc Anthony but also Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez led to swinging dance numbers.

The difference between Mambo and Salsa.
The base is fundamentally the same. The Mambo came first. Some conductors refuse to call their music Salsa. They swear by the original. As music and dance Salsa is usually slower. Mambo is more linear, cut and blocked. Salsa more lateral and circular, rounder and smoother, and with an exuberant arrangement. It is mainly about a different feeling.