History of Salsa Music & Dance
The dance is done by two or more couples who do the moves in synchrony. A group consciousness develops to make the rueda work well—with everyone watching the leader for the calls. Son is considered an older version and ancestor to Salsa. Vocals are based on call and response chant. Sooner or later they began to dance the moves together. Instruction is slow and patient with beginners; and experienced dancers are moved along at a good clip so they learn a great amount in each class.
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Both types of salsa remain popular today and with the popularity of the music, came the popularity of the dance. The key instrument that provides the core groove of a salsa song is the clave. It is often played with two wooden sticks called clave that are hit together. For salsa, there are four types of clave rhythms, the and Son claves being the most important, and the and Rumba claves. Most salsa music is played with one of the Son claves, though a Rumba clave is occasionally used, especially during Rumba sections of some songs.
There are other aspects outside of the Clave that help define Salsa rhythm: The cowbell is played on the core beats of Salsa, 1, 3, 5 and 7. The basic Salsa rhythm is quick, quick, slow, quick, quick, slow, in other words, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, which are very similar to the beats of the cowbell.
Recognizing the rhythm of the cowbell helps one stay on Salsa rhythm. The Montuno rhythm is a rhythm that is often played with a piano. The Montuno rhythm loops over the 8 counts and is useful for finding the direction of the music. By listening to the same rhythm, that loops back to the beginning after eight counts, one can recognize which count is the first beat of the music. Tumbao is a rhythm in salsa that is played with the conga drums. Its most basic pattern is played on the beats 2,3,4,6,7, and 8.
However, the historical development of timba has been quite independent of the development of salsa in the United States and Puerto Rico and the music has its own trademark aspects due to the Cuban Embargo and strong Afro-Cuban heritage. It came into use as a music genre name, first as timba brava, around The main precursors of timba are three bands: Historically, Casino traces its origin as a partner dance from Cuban Son dancing, and its rhythmic body motions from Afro-Cuban Rumba heritage.
Son is considered an older version and ancestor to Salsa. Son is danced on delay measure upbeat contra-tiempo following the clave Son Clave whereas Casino is usually danced on the downbeat break of 1 or 3 a-tiempo. Casino was popularized in the late s as the Cuban Son received upbeat and quicker arrangements by musicians. Casino has a very independent development, free from external influences such as Puerto Rican and North American dances partly due to the effect of the Cuban Embargo.
Cuban-style salsa, also known as Casino, is popular in many places around the world, including in Europe, Latin America, North America, and even in some countries in the Middle East.
Dancing Casino is an expression of popular social culture; Latin Americans consider casino as part of social and cultural activities centering around their popular music. The origins of the name Casino are derived from the Spanish term for the dance halls where a lot of social Salsa dancing was done in Cuba during the midth century and onward.
In order to speak of the antecedents of the Rueda de Casino it is necessary to go back to the reign of Luis XIV in France where the first ballets appeared. In order to have a good title it was necessary to know certain choreographies that were performed in the celebrations of the nobility. In the XVIII century, with the presence of French fleets in the bay of Havana, the arrival of emigrants of Louisiana, New Orleans and fundamentally the French emigration coming from Haiti with the revolution produced the appearance in Cuba of the French Contradanzas and derived from this the Cuban Contradanza arises.
The court of Luis XIV, the Creole aristocracy, Spanish and including the town interpreted the dance with pre-planned figures that all had to know and directed by a bastonero. There have been contradiction between the informants of the place where casino fist appeared.
Some say that it first appeared in the Spanish Casino, Grammar school of Havana, the Patricio Lumumba and others say in the Sport Casino; what is true is that it expanded throughout the capital. In the s many great dancers gathered there for friendly competitions. They would practice all week to invent new moves and go to the club to show them off. Sooner or later they began to dance the moves together. In order to keep a distinction between one move and another, they began naming them and Rueda de Casino was born.
As a result of the Castro regime, many Cubans immigrated to the US, a large portion of which to the Miami area. With them they took their culture including various foods, music and dancing. Rueda de Casino began to slowly make its way into the Miami salsa community and in the late s and early s it experienced an enormous explosion of popularity.
There it has been so embraced, that one is hard-pressed to find a nightclub in which Casino or Rueda is not danced. This festive dance, which was brought to Miami by Cuban immigrants, took hold there in the ls and ls. From Miami, it spread first to major U. Salsa Casino has evolved in Miami to such an extent that a new and distinctly different style has emerged. It is a type of salsa dancing done by a group in a circle, with partners being passed around.
This wildly popular dance was done everywhere in Cuba—in the streets, in parking lots, in clubs, in homes. The moves to this dance are numerous and can be very complex. The dance is done by two or more couples who do the moves in synchrony. A member of the circle calls the moves for everyone to execute. Each move has a name and most have hand signals since it is hard to hear in noisy nightclubs.
Moves can be called in quick succession, and along with frequent partner exchanges, this creates a very dynamic and exciting atmosphere for everyone involved. The group nature of the dance is unique and makes it quite social.
A group consciousness develops to make the rueda work well—with everyone watching the leader for the calls. Dancers have to open up their sphere of awareness far beyond what is necessary for ordinary partner dancing.
Whether you are dancing or watching, it is thrilling when a rueda circle works well and flows smoothly!! Rueda can be done to any salsa music. It is best danced to music with a driving beat and no rhythm breaks. Latin music often changes rhythm throughout one song, unlike American music. Note that salsa dancers can step on beats 1, 2 and 3 or on beats 2, 3, and 4. Most Cubans dance on two, and some American dancers prefer the more relaxed feeling that dancing on two creates.
However, some dancers prefer to dance on one since that is more consistent with an American approach to music, and the first beat is easier to find. Dancing on two is a little more musically difficult. Rueda in this country is generally danced on one. To the reader, this difference—which beat the dance pattern starts on—may seem like a small matter.
Leading musicians playing NewYorican Salsa: Salsa Dance LA style salsa moves are designed to dazzle the spectator — exciting, sexy and flamboyant with lots of dips, spins and drops. Leading musicians playing Cuban Timba: First Saturday Class Free with this coupon. So Join The Party! Performing at the DC Verizon Center. Barb teaching in London. Medley performance in Puerto Rico. Show for the NY Salsa Congress. DIT Show in Miami. Barb Bernstein on stage in NY. Women's History Month at National Acquarium.
Show for the DC Salsa Congress. On stage in NY. TV publicity for popular show.