Salsa is a popular form of social dance that originated in the Caribbean. The movements of salsa have origins in Puerto Rican bomba and plena, Cuban Son, cha-cha-cha, mambo and other dance forms. The dance, along with salsa music, originated in the mid-1970s in New York. Different regions of Latin America and the United States have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Cali Colombia, L.A. and New York styles. Salsa dance socials are commonly held in night clubs, bars, ballrooms, restaurants, and outside, especially when part of an outdoor festival.
In many styles of salsa dancing, as a dancer shifts their weight by stepping, the upper body remains level and nearly unaffected by the weight changes. Weight shifts cause the hips to move. Arm and shoulder movements are also incorporated. Salsa generally uses music ranging from about 150 bpm (beats per minute) to around 250 bpm, although most dancing is done to music somewhere between 160–220 bpm. The basic Salsa dance rhythm consists of taking three steps for every four beats of music. The odd number of steps creates the syncopation inherent to Salsa dancing and ensures that it takes 8 beats of music to loop back to a new sequence of steps.
Salsa evolved from earlier Cuban dance forms such as Son, Son Montuno, cha cha cha, Mambo and Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena which were popular in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Latino communities in New York since the 1940s. Salsa, like most music genres and dance styles, has gone through a lot of variation through the years and incorporated elements of Afro-Caribbean dances such as Guaguancó and Pachanga. Different regions of Latin America and the United States have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Cali Colombia, L.A. and New York styles.
There is some controversy surrounding the origins of the word “salsa,” which has been ascribed to the dance since the mid-1800s. Some claim that it was based on a cry shouted by musicians while they were playing their music. Others believe that the term was created by record labels to better market their music, who chose the word “salsa” because of its spicy and hot connotations. Still, others believe the term came about because salsa dancing and music is a mixture of different styles, just like salsa or “sauce” in Latin American countries is a mixture of different ingredients.
Salsa is different everywhere. For example, singer Celia Cruz described her music as a Cuban style of salsa. Her music was aimed heavily towards the Afro-Latino communities. Her songs represent traditional Cuban sounds and customs. In the United States, there are multiple styles in different regions of the country.
Info from the English Wikipedia. For more see the Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salsa_(dance)