There are many different styles of Salsa danced internationally. The next time that you are in a Toronto Salsa club pay attention to different dancers and you will see that there are many different styles of Salsa being danced on the dance floor; some dancers will dance in a slot, some will dance in a circle, some will use more body expression than others, and some styles have very complicated turn patterns. The most common styles of Salsa danced in Toronto are all offered in our Salsa classes / lessons in Dance Salsa at Social Dance Spot. Below is an explanation of the different styles of Salsa offered in our Salsa Classes at Social Dance Spot. These differences will once again be emphasized as you progress with us throughout the different levels of Salsa that we offer.
Ballroom Dance is a set of partner dances which are enjoyed both socially and competitively. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television. Ballroom dance may refer, at its widest, to almost any type of social dancing as recreation. However, recently the term has become narrower in scope. Today it usually refers to the International Standard and International Latin style dances, which were developed in England. In the United States, two additional variations are popular: American Smooth and American Rhythm. The dances that comprise each style are Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango for Standard/Smooth style and Samba, Rhumba, Cha-cha-cha, Paso Doble and Jive for Latin/Rhythm. Whether for performing or competitive purposes, or simply at a social level, Ballroom dancing provides a truly enjoyable partner experience while teaching the body to maintain a good, healthy posture that can be noticed even beyond the boundaries of dance.
Bachata is a dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is easy to learn as it is a 4 count dance followed by a “tap” on the 4th beat. This dance has evolved over time and today modern-day Bachata has a lot of technique from Salsa and Tango fused into it. The contents of the songs and music are usually along the lines of a sad romantic story, making this dance more sensual in nature compared to Salsa. The Social Dance Spot’s Toronto Bachata class is geared towards taking you from the basics to being comfortable dancing Bachata on a social dance floor, being able to perform turn patterns and dips. Bachata is the second most popular type of music played in Latin and Salsa clubs.
With roots from the French West Indies, Zouk is closely related to lambada. Traditional Zouk songs are mainly sang in Portuguese and French, although this is a dance that can be danced to a lot of contemporary music since the beat is very widespread in today’s music; it can be danced to R&B, Latin pop, Arabic and a long list of other music styles that use a Zouk beat. The Brazilian zouk dance style was first developed in the Ilha Dos Pescadores in Rio de Janeiro around the mid 90′s when Lambada songs stopped being composed. This dance is characterized by being led with different body parts; hips, arms, legs… as well as by focusing on figures where the upper body is moved but without the need of any footwork. Zouk is a smooth, sensual dance that combines fluid movements with a close connection with your partner and that allows for personal expression of the musicality of each dancer to make it a truly unique experience.
Originally created in Cuba in the 1950s, Cha Cha may be either danced to authentic Cuban music, or contemporary Latin Pop. While the music for the Ballroom Cha Cha has a more energetic nature, with a more steady beat, the Cuban style Cha Cha is more sensual and may involve more complex polyrhythms.
Merengue is yet another dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. Merengue is a 2 step count dance, is easy to pick up and feels a little bit like marching. It is very common in a lot of Latin and Salsa clubs around the world. Because this is a 2 step dance, easy to maneuver, it is very suitable for crowded dance floors. A lot of patterns in Merengue are borrowed from Salsa and other styles of dancing. There are no strict rules to Merengue as long as the dancer is on time. Merengue is a fun way to unwind when one is a little tired of dancing Salsa all night long. It is an easy dance to lead and follow along that is always tons of fun.