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Salsa Basic Steps

The word 'salsa' literally means 'sauce', usually hot and spicy, and that's definitely how you would describe salsa dance – zesty, energetic, passionate and sexy. Salsa is a sensual Latin dance, similar to Mambo. Both have a pattern of six steps over eight counts of music and they both share many of the same moves. The great thing about Salsa is that just about anyone can learn it. That's why it gained vast popularity in the last few decades and is now danced in nightclubs all over the world. There is a well known saying that is often repeated by dance teachers - if you can walk, you can Salsa.

Salsa Dance Basic steps
Salsa Dance Basic Steps

Salsa is the result of combining many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances, a fusion of Cuban, Puerto Rican and African rhythms which all came together in New York. The basic rhythm is quick, quick, slow; quick, quick, slow, using the 1,2,3 and 5,6,7 beats (beats 4 and 8 are paused or slowed) and are generally not counted out for basics. Salsa is the most popular couple dance world wide. At first glance it might seem difficult, but the truth is quite the opposite - basic salsa steps can be learned with less than 10 minutes of practice. But its better to get to a class than learn via you tube and diagrams so you dont get bad habits and learn more than just the "steps". ..... Find out about classes here >

Salsa is danced with partners facing each other. It can be danced in closed or open position or even without a partner aka "Shines". Note that salsa steps are very small. The faster the music, which is usually quite fast, the smaller the steps.

Free Salsa Video

We recommend trying our free Salsa lesson online, its a pre-recorded video on how to do the basic steps, we also have paid options if you want to learn more than the basics.... see here >

What are Salsa Shines?

Salsa Shines is Salsa Footwork, these are special patterns of footwork that a fun to learn. Infact the better you get with Salsa Shines & Footwork the better your dancing becomes in general. Learn more about shines and their benefits here >

Salsa Basic Footwork Diagram:

Because Salsa allows for a lot of creative improvisation, many different styles have developed over time. But regardless of different styles the basic steps are essentially the same. As a beginner, you should always start at the beginning. Remember, practice makes perfect.


- Black foot - represents where your weight is, - White foot - represents a placement with no or little weight on it.

- Start with Feet together as on #8, then follow through each step.

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