Originally called Casino in its native Cuba, this unique form of salsa was popularized outside of the island in the 1970s.
And to help distinguish it from other styles of salsa from around the world, it is also referred to as Cuban-style salsa or Salsa Cubana.
Why it’s a unique style of Salsa
Because of its afro-cuban roots, Cuban Salsa has a more urban, ‘street’ flavour compared to other forms influenced by ballet and ballroom dancing.
Consequently, Cuban Salsa is more spontaneous. Giving dancers the freedom to frequently integrate other dances moves, such as Rumba or Cha Cha Cha.
Technically, in Cuban Salsa, the footwork is very simple and the complexity of the moves are more in the arm work than the steps. The hip movement is more visible and body isolation (torso mainly) is more pronounced. Beginners are usually relieved to find Cuban Salsa doesn’t have many fast spins!
Where the focus of salsa forms influenced by ballroom dancing is more on the women showing off and the men leading; in Cuban Salsa (under the cultural guise of males having to attract attention and tease their female partner) it’s the male partners who play show off.
This is the reason why in Cuban Salsa, the moves are not linear or in ‘slots’. And you’ll find partners are
constantly dancing around each other in a circular motion. It’s all part of a playful tease 🙂
I hope you enjoy learning this simple, spontaneous, and sensual dance, which strips salsa dancing down to its original roots and meaning, as much as I enjoy teaching it!