Salsa is a popular form of social dance that originated in Cuba and Puerto Rico in the late 1890s. A distillation of many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances whose movements have roots in the Cuban Son, Cha-Cha, Mambo and other dance forms, the evolution of Salsa was in large part due to this intricate mix of styles.
Even though modern Salsa was born in Cuba and Puerto Rico, its origins can be traced back to other lands and earlier parts of our history.Basic components of the Salsa have been brought together by countless immigrants who came into Latin America searching for better life or by those who were brought there against their will, such as African slaves.
Salsa dance entered into the peak of its popularity in the 1970s when the influx of Dominican and Puerto Rican workers arrived to the continental US. Their new dancing style was popularized with the exploits of musical stars including Johnny Pacheco, Fania All-Stars, Willie Colon and Reuben Blades.
The bachata basic steps are done by moving within a small square (side, side and then tap your toes back and side, side, back) and is inspired from the bolero step but evolved to including a tap and also syncopation (steps in between the beats) depending on the dynamics of the music being played. The hand placement can vary according to the position of the dances, which can range from very close to open to completely open.
The authentic version is still danced today in the Caribbean and all over the world. It is increasingly danced to faster music, adding more footwork, simple turns and rhythmic free-styling and with alternation between close (romantic) and open position. Authentic bachata is danced with soft hip movements and a tap or syncopation (1, 2, 3, tap/syncopation). It was created by Dominican social dancers over the course of decades (starting around the beginning of the 1960s) and is still evolving to this day.