Music as a language
Participating in Salsa dance, music and culture deepens your awareness of and relationship to music. The very essence of the experience lies in the way in which the music moves you and how you respond to it. Salsa music is largely a fusion of Puerto Rican and Cuban music, namely the Cuban son montuno, guaracha, chachacha, the plena, bomba and mambo. Prior to the 1970s, it was not termed Salsa however its aesthetic narrative by far predates this era.
Salsa translates to "sauce" in Spanish. This portrays the richness and spice filled energy of the music and more specifically, the analogy of delicious cuisine. Political landscapes of the regions embedded in Salsa history have inspired many lyrics and themes. This is matched with the Salsa "spicy" pleasure of life- the search for pleasure, sensuality and celebration.
Enriching one's relationship to self
The experience of Salsa dance is fluid and ever-changing, just as we as creatures are ever-changing. To surrender one's self to the Salsa dance allows us to go deep within a landscape of pleasure and experimentation and feel enticingly alive. We can express our wants and needs and leave the celebration with a sense of growth, expression and vivid appreciation of active embodiment. The self awareness and sense of achievement!
Connection with others
Each particular style of Salsa has a different emphasis on the role of those with whom we dance. Whether we engage in a dance of pairs, or open ourselves up to a group, we can strengthen the relationship we have to those near us. Cuban style Salsa emphasizes the group dynamic. To mix with numerous people and to combine stylistic tendencies is the point of the dance. Columbian Salsa is about rapid movement and greater physical energy. We can impress our partners and align with those to whom our energy matches. New York Tango, by definition, is largely a dance of pairs, whether they are newly exploring each other as dancers or are reinventing historical ties. The sense of good will, community and appreciation is an underpinning reason why Salsa enhances your connection with others.
Health and vitality
The movement of Salsa has physical health benefits akin to other exercise forms. Salsa, however, does not feel like an exercise regime- it is potentially the festive social highlight of one's week. The dance enhances flexibility, toning, speeds up our cardiovascular system and encourages better circulation. Our muscles and coordination benefit too, particularly with the more vigorous styles. The movements in Salsa dance place resistance on all major muscles, particularly if correct Salsa shoes are worn and good balance is achieved.
Most importantly, our state of mind is improved due to the physical movement but also due to the celebratory experience of each and every Salsa dance.
To say Salsa is culturally diverse is an understatement. It is inclusive to the extent that it embraces difference and individual flair. It is an opportunity to expand one's mindscape and explore pockets of culture and aesthetics we may otherwise not experience. Whether we dance close to home or undertake a journey of travel, we can meet people with whom we may not connect with.
If you are shy or feel as though your social life does not cater to particular aspect of you, Salsa can give you a sense of freedom both physically and emotionally. It is a cathartic melting pot of people seeking out goodness and beauty. Whether it is a consideration of ability, cultural background, gender or fringe artistic tastes, we can all find a home in this shared adventure of music, dance and freedom.