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Salsa

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Salsa

Salsa is Spanish for a mix of rhythms from the Latin American culture with the Clave as the central instrument. It is the music that guides us to how we best match and move to the music. Whether we dance Salsa, Casino, Son, Mambo, Rumba, Cali style, Pachanga, Boogaloo etc.

Salsa has roots in Cuba and in Puerto Rico. The name Salsa arose in New York City at the end of the 1960’s and was considered as the modern form of the Cuban Son and the American Mambo (originated from latin jazz), with influences from other rhythms from Latin America, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Both the Salsa dance and music spread fast to countries in Central America, the northern part of South America and to Miami.

Salsa and Bachata are for many not just a hobby but the epitome of life style because it’s a positive and openminded way to view the world: through optimism, smiles, joy, healthy lifestyle, sensuality, body awareness and an active social life.

Salsa and Bachata have found the way to many hearts all over the world – and maybe yours is the next?
Salsa is energetic, happy, rhythmical fun and versatile. It’s fast, hard pumping and dynamic or smooth and delicious depending on the style and music genre.

Salsa – Crossbody or Cuban

SALSA – CROSSBODY OR CUBAN

When you speak about Salsa, you primarily talk about the styles Crossbody or Cuban.

Crossbody is a common term in Denmark for both L.A. Style (also called On1) and N.Y. Style (also called On2). The expression On1 and On2 refers more exactly to which counting in the music, you emphasize (on the 1 or the 2 count).

Today Crossbody is the most widespread Salsa style worldwide – though it variates from country to country and from club to club which Salsa genre is the most popular the given place. Cuban Salsa is also called Casino in Cuba and was the first Salsa style to arrive to Denmark. Colombian Salsa (Cali Style) also exists but is not danced in Denmark. Below follows an explanation of the de salsa styles that you can dance at Salsabine Dance Studio.

L.A. Style / On 1 / (Crossbody)

L.A. STYLE / ON 1/ CROSSBODY

The dancer emhasizes the “1” (and ”5”) count, thereby the name On1, which means 1- 2-3 (and 4), 5-6-7 (and 8) and is danced “quick-quick-slow, quick-quick-slow”. You dance “on line” and the most important step is the “cross-body-lead” (equivalent to the Cuban step “di-le-que-no”). In “crossbody” you mostly dance face-to-face with eye contact.

All combination parts have English terms and can be put together as you feel like, meaning the full dance variation does not have a name as it has in Cuban Salsa which can help you to be more individual in your dancing and more present in the music. The combinations in L.A. Style are the same as in N.Y. Style. Usually there is more focus on and more space for the woman in L.A. and N.Y. Style than in Cuban Salsa. Meaning that it allows more individuel movement, styling and steps (shines).

N.Y. Style / On2 / Mambo (Crossbody)

N.Y. STYLE / ON2 / MAMBO / CROSSBODY

N.Y. Style is danced ”on line” and is still danced on the counts 1-2-3, 5-6-7 and with the same crossbody combinations and terms as in L.A. Style. But the basic step is displaced accordingly to the music, so as a leader you step on the spot with left on ”1” and step back on the right on ”2” (as the follower you step on the spot on right on “1” and forward with left on the “2”), so you thereby emphasize the ”2” and ”6” beat (hereby the expression ”On2”). Musically you follow the Conga and the Clave beat by dancing this way (and you work more on the upbeats, where “On1” you work more on the downbeats with the cowbell).

The dancer gets the feeling of getting more time, ”flow” and being ”in” the music instead of being “on the downbeat” and can feel less stressful than Crossbody On1 and Cuban. The feeling of dancing “On 2” is how the Cuban dancers feel when dancing the Cuban Son (how Salsa was like before it was called Salsa) – and which the Cubans love to dance today.

Cuban Salsa

(also called Casino) is danced on the “1” beat (1-2-3, 5-6-7, sometimes with an extra tap on the 4 and 8 beat) or on the “3” beat (3,4,5 and 7,8,1). In Denmark it’s mostly dance on the ”1” beat.


In Cuban Salsa you dance in circles around each other and the most important step is the “di-le-que-no”. You dance angled to each other. All combinations has Spanish expressions.

Opposite the Crossbody style, the Cuban Style has names for the whole combination – but the more complex combinations it can be called different names with the different dance schools.
The dance seems more hard but constant in the rhythm (“walk-walk-stop, walk-walk-stop) and the man is the center of the dance. Rarely the lady is let go in the dance.

In most classes of Cuban Salsa in Denmark you also dance the Rueda de Casino (a common dance in a big group, danced around in a circle. A leader of the group takes the lead and shouts commands where all executes the combination at the same time and change partner after each variation. All commands are in Spanish.