Salsa Styling Tips: A Beginner’s Guide

Salsa dance style cannot be easily defined. The term “Salsa” has been created by New York but New Yorkers are not the creators of Salsa dance. Salsa dance style combines many different cultural genres. Basically, salsa is a dance form associated with salsa style of music. It originated in Cuba and has influences of African, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Puerto Rico music styles. Many beginners confuse Salsa with Mambo dance form because both dance styles have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. But in Salsa, turns and body language are important features that differentiate it from Mambo. Here are some styling tips for beginners that will help them execute Salsa moves smoothly with a partner.


  • Chin up ALWAYS!

Dancers who keep their chin down while performing Salsa seem to be less confident and self-conscious about their performance. When you keep your chin up always, you can make eye contact with your partner, and you will also be able showcase how confident you’re about your performance.

  • Hands and arm style

Keeping the hands up at chest level ensures that you are ready for any lead. Extend your free arm sideways for maintaining balance and momentum. While spinning keep the elbows at chest level. This styling helps you improve balance when you’re being led into a wrap over the front of your body.

  • Shoulder movement

Salsa dance involves a lot of body movement besides hands and feet. When dancing, always keep your spine straight and shoulders back. Never dip your shoulders forward. Generally, shoulder movement is done side to side or back & forth.

  • Feet movement

Unlike hip hop dance, there is no bouncing in Salsa. All movements should be smoothly performed. Dancers’ feet should always glide across the dance floor. Your body should move horizontally rather than vertically.

  • Knee position

The placement of knees is very important in Salsa dancing. You don’t need to bend your knees unnecessarily just to balance your body weight. When you change weight onto one leg, the other leg should naturally bend at the knee to maintain balance.

You're your own worst critic. Watch yourself in a mirror while practicing Salsa and notice what you like the most and what you don’t. When you’ll join Salsa classes in London, your leader would let you know your flaws as well as help improve your dance moves. Keep these styling, movements and positions in mind while Salsa dancing. Salsa is all about having fun and good time. Enjoy your dance and improve your mistakes every single day!

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