Cuban Salsa vs L.A. Salsa
Category: Salsa / Date: 12th May / Written By: Michelle Robinson / Comments: 0 comments
Considering learning salsa? You may have noticed that people dance salsa in different ways. You’re not wrong – there are actually two different styles of Salsa.
I will show you how to decipher between them and then choose which one is right for you!
First question. Are they dancing in a linear or circular fashion?
The LA style of salsa dances in a more linear fashion as if the couple were constantly moving up and down a skinny path, changing directions, and switching the direction they face. You will also notice they are ‘breaking’ or stepping on the ‘1’ count of the music: 1,2,3 – 5,6,7.
The Cuban style of salsa, the original style, moves in a more circular fashion. The couple dancing will also be stepping or breaking on the 1 count of the music but you will notice men engaging in playful little pauses and changes in timing with their feet.
Which style is best for me?
LA style, as the name suggests, was designed in Los Angles for westerners who didn’t start salsa dancing whilst still in their nappies! LA style is a fantastic starting point for those with or without prior dancing experience.
The narrow path aspect of LA style makes easy to keep track of where you are in-and-among all of those spins and turns you will very quickly be mastering! LA style traditionally has more lifts, dips and drops as these entered the genre from the more traditional ballroom/Latin styles.
Cuban style is great if you are looking for a more earthy, primal form of salsa. It fits really tightly confined spaces such as traditional and modern salsa clubs. If you are planning on attending salsa nights, it is a good idea to have a splash of Cuban salsa in your repertoire.
So what do we teach at QuickSteps?
Both! That’s right, our salsa syllabus is made up of steps taken from the new, funky LA style and the traditional, earthy Cuban style.
Why the mix?
Quicksteps is a social school so our main focus is preparing our students to be excellent dancers in a social environment, such as part, salsa club, dance event or overseas on holiday. For this reason we find the combination style salsa is by far the best. You need to be ready for anything!
All of our beginner steps are borrowed from LA style as they are easier to learn and you can be up and dancing straight away! Once you are comfortable with the way salsa feels we add in some of the spicy Cuban moves and some of the specky drops and dips from LA salsa.