Salsa Dancing – Understanding the Different Styles
1: L.A. Style The LA style salsa has been developed by the people of Los Angeles by the Vazquez bothers. It is a very straight-lined form of dance that incorporates modern mambo foundations (forward and backward movement) and a variant of men who move forward with the count of '1'. This dance style is famous for its flashy dance moves and the dramatic movements that make extensive use of variations of dips, drops and tricks that are performed by males. The majority of movements of this dance come from cross body footwork patterns and lead variations. This creates a complicated set of quick and jazzy footwork steps. The LA style is a salsa that incorporates a number of other forms of dancing, including the hip-hop and jazz. This makes it difficult for the dancers to perform however, it is a delight to the eye of the people watching it. It shares a lot of similarities in style to New York style of salsa and this is what explains their wide range of moves and styles, however, they have differences in their approach to the ebb, their fashion and movements. If we take a closer review of their approach to dancing from a view, we are able to identify the differences in their dance styles. The New York style of salsa is comprised of a more elegant and smoother look and feel for the dance, whereas salsa dancing in the LA type of salsa demands the dancers to display an astonishing display of high-energy tricks that can be noticed within a second. The execution of the movements is extremely precise and sharp with a vigorous appeal. The most distinct characteristic of the LA style of Salsa is the desire for including the most difficult Acrobatics in the dance as well as the incredible amount of strength the dancers denote to their stage performances. 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New York Style The LA style of Salsa and the New York style of Salsa are closely related to one another as they both have the Mambo basic elements and are linear in execution. However, unlike its counterpart in the LA style, the New York kind of Salsa is renowned for being danced at the second beat of music, or 'on 2', whereas there are many New Yorkers who still dance to 1. This kind of Salsa is renowned for its more comfortable and elegant method of dancing. This involves cross-body turn patterns and a complicated set of foot-works which are known for being fluid and controlled. These with some intricate movements that make the dance look more elegant as well as graceful and flowing. The manner of dancing requires dancers to stay in their seats and to not move around the dance floor in a a lot of spins and the styling. In the New York type of Salsa puts greater emphasis on dancing that stands apart from other dancers, including their partners. This introduces situations, where dancers are separated from their partners and dance alone for a period of time. There are generally two kinds of variations of new York type of salsa which are The Contemporary Mambo (or the Eddie Torres Style) and the Palladium style. The Eddie Torres style of new York Salsa was popularized by Eddie Torres who is also often referred to as"the "Mambo King". This type of dance is distinguished by its continuous smooth body movements and changing of feet on the non-weight-changing counts of '4' and '8'. Different from that of the Eddie Torres Style, the Palladium style of Salsa is more similar to the Mambo style in the 1950's, where the non-weight changing occurs at the numbers '1' or '5'. This small change in counts may not mean appealing to you, however it could drastically alter the way a person sees themselves dancing Salsa. This New York style tends to be quite diverse in comparison to other types of dance, in terms of interpretations and explanations of the basic steps. Because this style of dancing is extremely compact and compact, it requires less space than other types of dancing, which makes it an ideal method of dancing on busy floors. 3: Cuban Style It is believed that the Cuban form of Salsa, also known as Casino style, originates from Cuba. Many Cubans consider casino to be part of their culture and social lifestyle, thus making dancing casinos an expression of their culture of social acceptance. They've devoted a lot of popular music to dancing the Cuban Style Salsa. The term Casino originates in the form of dance halls "Casino Deportivos", where the white Cubans used to meet and dance during the mid 20th centuries. The Casino originates from the partner dance in the form of Cuban Son, which has been merged with partner figures and turns of to the North American Jive. This Casino Style Salsa is distinguished by the Afro Cuban style body movements that use complete body isolation and frequent hip moves. The hip movements are highly visible due to the emphasised pumps of the knees. The Cuban style Salsa does not have lots of quick spins and mainly relies on circle movements performed by the dancers around each other. They typically have basic footwork, however they have an extremely intricate armwork that requires the dancer to be extremely flexible in their arms. With a lot of similarities to Son, Danzon and the Cha Cha Cha, the Cuban style Salsa is usually danced in the form of the "Contratiempo". In this method of dancing it is common that the 1st and 5th beats of the clave patterns are left out but the 8th and 4th beats are heavily emphasized while dancing. In this way, dancers do not have to conform to beats, but may have their own unique contribution to the dance by using the polyrhythmic pattern of music. The dance has its life and energy not due to the mechanics that can be taught in a class, rather from the knowledge and application of Afro-Cuban culture and the vocabulary of the Casino dance. In the same way that singers quote older songs into their own the Casino dancer often incorporates other dances, movements as well as folklore passages and attempt to make their own improvised versions of these. The Casino dancers try to improvise by including extracts from dances to African gods and the Rumba and other well-known dances, such as dancing the Danzon as well as the Cha Cha Cha. 4: Rueda de Casino In the 1950's, a group dance by Guaracheros de Regla, named Rueda de Casino, or Casino Rueda, or simply called Rueda became extremely popular within Havana, Cuba. Its name refers to the style of dancing it requires, which is characterized by the intricate moves and turns associated with dancing. In this kind of dance, a lot of couples are dancing in a circle the dancer, named the caller, performs hand movements to signal moves to be executed, and then the appropriate dance move is executed by all the couples simultaneously. The dancers move in a circular fashion, with leaders rapidly exchanging partners and performing various complicated movements in synchronization all to the beats of salsa music. Every move has a name and is relayed to the dancing couples with hand signals given by the caller. Sometimes, the calls are given in extremely fast succession, creating a very dynamic environment for dancers to perform. One of the notable characteristics that is unique to this Rueda de Casino version of Salsa is that it is able to be able to hold as many dancers as can be accommodated in the space. It can be performed by two couples, or more than ten couples. Sometimes, the dancers even create multiple number of circles to within. This Rueda de Casino style of Salsa creates a whole new meaning in Group Dynamics. It brings a degree of awareness and understanding among dancers. This will help the dance group appear fashionable and smooth that's enjoyable for both the dancers as well as spectators. Dancers must be able to open their eyes to be aware of what the other dancers are doing , and follow their actions as they are. In this way, the dancers begin to coordinate with the other dancers in perfect rhythm and style, making dancers in the Rueda de Casino function. This kind of dancing includes partner switching, which is very tricky to master, yet can be very entertaining to watch. One of the advantages of learning La Rueda de Casino, is the fact that the techniques that are learned in Rueda can also be executed with just one partner making it a part of the dancer's repertoire that includes a variety of moves.

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