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Salsa Dance Classes in Belfast

A whole dance culture has developed in Belfast and Internationally around Salsa and Salsa dance venues can be found teaching classes in not only Belfast but most major cities around the world.

There are a number of Salsa dance variations taught in Belfast and Internationally such as Cuban Salsa and LA Salsa which have distinct style differences and tend to be taught in different classes. There are also variations with Salsa timing as the main Salsa beat can be danced as Salsa on one or Salsa on two.

Which ever version of Salsa your Belfast Salsa classes teach, it is an experience not to be missed and will not ultimately impact on your enjoyment of Salsa dancing or your classes in Belfast. Be aware though, in Belfast, if you later decide to compete in Salsa, the timing in particular and style of Salsa you choose are important at a competitive level and in the case of timing mutually exclusive.

History of Salsa

Salsa is not easily defined. Who invented Salsa? The Cubans? Puerto Ricans? Salsa is a distillation of many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances. Each played a large part in its evolution, but the only thing you can be assured of is that nobody in the greater Belfast area was involved. Salsa is similar to Mambo in that both have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The Salsa dances share many of the same moves so what classes you attend will not have a major impact. In Salsa, turns have become an important feature, so the overall look and feel is quite different from those of Mambo. Mambo moves generally forward and backward, whereas, Salsa has more of a side to side feel.

A look at the origin of Salsa dancing By: Jaime Andrs Pretell

It is not only Cuban; nevertheless we must give credit to Cuba for the origin and ancestry Salsa dance creation. It is here where Contra-Danze (Country Dance) of England/France, later called Danzn, which was brought by the French who fled from Haiti, begins to mix itself with Rhumbas of African origin (Guaguanco, Colombia, Yambu). Add Sn of the Cuban people, which was a mixture of the Spanish troubadour (sonero) and the African drumbeats and flavora and a partner dance flowered to the beat of the clave.

This syncretism also occurred in smaller degrees and with Salsa dancing variations in other countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Puerto Rico, among others. Salsa bands of these countries took their music to Mexico City in the era of the famous films of that country (Perez Prado, most famous...). Shortly after, a similar Salsa movement in New York classes occurred. In these two cities, more Salsa promotion, classes and syncretism occurred and more commercial Salsa music was generated because there was more Salsa investment.
New York created the term "Salsa", in dance but it did not create the dance. The term became popular as nickname to refer to a variety of different music, from several countries of Hispanic influence: Rhumba, Sn Montuno, Guaracha, Mambo, Cha cha cha, Danzn, Sn, Guguanco, Cubop, Guajira, Charanga, Cumbia, Plena, Bomba, Festejo, Merengue, among others. Many of these have maintained their individuality and many were mixed creating "Salsa" the dance. If you are listening to today's Salsa, you are going to find the base of sn, and you are going to hear Cumbia, and you are going to hear Guaracha. You will also hear some old Merengue, built-in the rhythm of different songs. You will hear many of the old styles somewhere within the modern beats. Salsa dance varies from site to site. In New York, for example, new instrumentalization and extra percussion were added to some Colombian songs so that New Yorkers - that dance mambo "on the two" - can feel comfortable dancing to the rhythm and beat of the song, because the original arangement is not one they easily recognize. This is called "finishing," to enter the local market. This "finish" does not occur because the Colombian does not play Salsa, but it does not play to the rhythm of the Puerto Rican/Post-Cuban Salsa. I say Post-Cuban, because the music of Cuba has evolved towards another new and equally flavourful sound.
Then, as a tree, Salsa has many roots and many branches, but one trunk that unites us all. The important thing is that Salsa is played throughout the Hispanic world and has received influences of many places within it. It is of all of us and it is a sample of our flexibility and evolution. If you think that a single place can take the credit for the existence of Salsa, you are wrong. And if you think that one style of dance is better, imagine that the best dancer of a style, without his partner, goes to dance with whomever he can find, in clubs or classes where a different style predominates. He wouldn't look as good as the locals. Each dancer is accustomed to dance his/her own style. None is better, only different.
So enjoy your Salsa classes and respect other classes who may teach and dance in a different style. Your teacher may have a financial incentive to brainwash you that his style and his opinions are more authoritive than others but you do not.
Belfast has an active and diverse dance scene, so enjoy it and avoid becoming trapped in a tribal obsession with the detail of a dance, dance type or style. Remember your opinion or your teachers on a dance or style is worthless until you have mastered it.

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