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Salsa Overview   «
Ballroom Dancing Basics  
1a. Basic - Salsa Breaks  
1b. Basic - Back Breaks  
2. Quick Underarm Turn  
3. Cucarachas  
4. Left & Right Rocks  
5. Man's Right Turn  
6. Underarm Turn Left  

Salsa Mood

spicy, fun, exciting, Cuban, sexy

Beats Per Bar: 4


47-48 bars per minute

Basic Count- QQS

There are a few different ways of using the 4 beats of Salsa music to make a dance rhythm. And while some people have very strong convictions about the 'rightness' of their way of counting, the bottom line is that you can have a great time dancing many rhythms.

In our Salsa syllabus we count QQS and dance the first Quick on the 1st beat of music. This is probably the easier rhythm to dance, because it starts on the '1' beat of the music, which is natural for most people.

Alternatively, some Salsa dancers hold the first beat of music and start dancing 'on 2'. Dancing this count, you start on the 2nd beat and count 2 3 4 hold. (Notice that this is just QQS starting on the 2nd beat). This is often thought of as Mambo rhythm, but it can be danced to any Salsa music.

Music & History

Salsa and Mambo music are highly percussive, Cuban based rhythms that make you want to dance!

The music is based on a 2 bar clave rhythm that repeats throughout the song. Bongos, Congos , Bells and Timbales are other featured percussive elements, with horns and vocals layered on top. To the average new listener the music usually sounds like a jungle of percussion overlaid with horns.

Although Salsa and Mambo are usually thought of as fast exciting dances, they can have a slower more romantic feel as well.

Popular Salsa's

  • La Bomba -- Ricky Martin
  • Mambo #5

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