Salsa dance movements originate from the Cuban Son dancing of the 1940s, more specifically through the beat of Son Montuno with strong influences from the dance of Danzon, Mambo, Guaguanco, and other Afro-Cuban folkloric dancing.

Today there are many various styles of salsa dancing because of geographical dispersion and cultural syncretism. The most well-known styles are Cali-style (from Colombia), Cuban-style (“Casino”), LA-style, New York-style, and Puerto Rican-style.

Salsa is typically a partner dance, although there are recognized solo forms (Floor Shines) and Rueda de Casino: where groups of couples exchange partners in a circle. Salsa can be improvised or performed with a set routine, choreography and freestyle.

Every Salsa composition involves complex African percussion based around the Clave Rhythm. Incorporating other dance styling techniques into salsa dancing has become very common, for both men and women: shimmies, leg work, arm work, body movement, spins, body isolations, shoulder shimmies, rolls, even hand styling, acrobatics, and lifts.

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