History of Salsa:
The dance referred to as Salsa got its name because like its namesake, it is hot and saucy. The tomato-based product also includes any combination of onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, tomatillos, or other variants depending on taste. The same goes for the dance. It comes from many cultures with many influences and depends on taste. Sally Sommer writing in Dance Magazine said salsa comes from “a “fusion of peoples, languages, music, movement and styles that define the times. Salsa was—and is—multicultural, multinational, multi-musical and multiracial” (Sommer 47). Max Salazar claims that “the popular usage of the word 'salsa' for danceable Latin music began in 1933 when Cuban song composer Ignacio Piñerio wrote the song "Échale Salsita” (Salazar). But others claim the actual dance did not come about until much later. Some say the dance originated in New York City in the 1960s and ‘70s and combined elements of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and New York jazz. Whenever it originated, Salsa’s style and rhythm come from African-Cuban rumba and mambo, Puerto Rican bomba, and Dominican merengue. All these styles ended up together by imitation and adaptation. Some of it happened in night clubs, some on the city streets.
Some say that Salsa is a street dance, a street version of other Latin dances. Salsa can be thought of as a club or street version of the Mambo that is danced with less technique and different timing. Both dances share a pattern consisting of six steps danced over eight counts of music, and both dances include some of the same moves. Salsa has incorporated turns into the movement and they have become important features of the dance. The music of the two dances differ also, although many think it is identical. The main difference is that Salsa music has a beat of 47-51 beats per minute and Mambo music has more rhythm (Krupa). But Salsa has origins in other places too. The Chachacha caused great interest in the dance world, but the difference between it and the Mambo was too subtle, so the Salsa incorporated many of the Chachacha’s characteristics too.