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Why Salsa?

Salsa Dancing. What is it that makes it popular today? Why is it that people who salsa seems to be happier, in better shape and in a better mood compared to others? From these questions we see that there are two major roles dancing salsa plays in peoples lives: they are healthier and they have a great social life.

We all know, having heard or read somewhere, about the health benefits of dancing. Here are some of the more prominent ones to be considered:

Its a great cardio activity that is fun; its a lot easier to spend three hours dancing than it is to spend forty five minutes on the treadmill.

You burn 450 calories per hour while dancing. Isnt that amazing?

Your balance and posture improves.

You loose weight.

Your flexibility increases.

It helps develop better circulation.

You will have better coordination.

You gain long-lasting energy as your metabolism increases.

It helps you work through or reduce other major health problems (e.g., depression).

Esteban Conde

So if these reasons alone arent enough to understand why people pick up salsa dancing, lets analyze the social aspect of it. We all come from different walks of life; some better than others, but for the most part the one thing people mutually seek is the feeling of being important, of having a purpose and belonging somewhere (e.g., to a community or group of people with common interests or goals). That is where dancing comes in: the means to a better end, building confidence and a sense of self that will drastically improve your quality of life. So how does salsa dancing help fulfill this ultimate goal?

Here it goes: Salsa dancing

Inspires in you a positive attitude towards your daily life. Okay, I understand that you dont want to become the greatest dancer, but dancing helps shift and balance your mental state to a positive one. The best way to achieve this is by doing it often. Since dancing and the social contact uplift the spirit, if done regularly, it helps your life to become that way (positive, happier). Your daily activities become more pleasant as your overall mood is uplifted through dancing salsa. No wonder people say that dancing changes lives. Ill say it better: Dancing changes attitudes; positive attitudes change lives.

Helps you to meet new friends. So here are a couple of questions for you: How many long-lasting friends did you make the last time you went to a social gathering? Or a bar (the bartender doesnt count)? Here is the answer: NONE. Salsa dancing is the perfect social ground for new friendships. You know why? Because from the go, you already know you both have something in common, something that you can talk about. You also get to dance face to face (no offense hip hop), and are able to exchange a small conversation as you dance. This contact is the perfect beginning for a more developed conversation, which usually involves more people. And guess what, these people also like salsa. Next logical step: Lets get together to have a barbecue!

And from this the next common thing to happen is.dundundunduuuun.

You meet a special someone. How nice is the fact that you both love dancing and can share a favorite activity from the start? Forget about the awkward first date, and think about that next time you go dancing! As a bonus, that person is likely well groomed and in great shape! Yahoo!

Salsas partnering aspect makes it a great way to meet people but it also leaves a lot of room for personal expression. I love the opportunity to really get down and to do it in my own way. Theres a uniqueness about every salsa dancer no matter their skill level that you dont necessarily find in Hip-Hop for example. And then theres the regional differences. Salsa in Boston has a different flavor from the salsa in Miami, which has a different flavor from the Salsa in London. Its really amazing how a worldwide sub-culture can stay so paradoxically diverse and unified at the same time. Id say it eventually all comes back to the music.

A lot of salsa enthusiasts will point out the music as being one of the main reasons they cant get enough of it. Theres a lot to be said about that. Salsa music is very potent. Theres so much energy and emotion in the score and lyrics. Its practically timeless. In a salsa club, the DJ can play a track thats over 20 years old and the word old-school never crosses anyones mind. The rhythms of salsa have always been pertinent and always will be. A genre that is best enjoyed in the presence of a live band has a definitive edge. With a brass section blaring, vocalists harmonizing, and claves syncopating just feet away, you dont have to know the steps at all. You just cant help it. You have to dance.

You increase your self-esteem and confidence. If you are shy, this is the safest place to interact with people. The salsa community is an open and extremely friendly one. From the moment you walk in the door, you will feel welcomed its that easy. As you learn how to dance, you find yourself in a situation that is fun, open, and energizing. Dont forget about the exhilarating Latin music! Watching yourself lose weight, learn how to move well on the dance floor, and constantly improve is an enormous boost in confidence! As a girl, theres nothing more satisfying than having guys constantly asking you to dance (and more!). As a guy, being able to go up to the sexy girl you never would have dreamed of talking to and asking her to dance is an accomplishment that will change your world. Now you will have the boldness and courage to ask any girl to dance, and to be the spotlight on the dance floor! This sense of accomplishment and self-security is something that you will take with you from the salsa club into your daily life; you will be able to watch as the wonders that come from dancing salsa spread through your life, turning everything they touch to gold!

So here they are before you: the greatest reasons why people pick up salsa dancing, as their life-changing hobbies. These are their reasons for doing it; what is your excuse not to?
All you have to do is sign up for any local salsa class (they are everywhere!), and you will thank me later when Im in the crowd watching you tear it up on the dance floor. Have a happy journey through the world of salsa dancing!

What does Salsa mean to people? For many people Salsa is not just another type of music. For Willie Colon, another Salsa singer, Salsa is like a certain “spirit.” For other people it is a kind of music with a mix of many sounds.

For Mrs. Castro sponsor of the Hispanic Club and teacher at Blair H.S., Salsa is part of her life and who she is. “I am from Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico Salsa was the music that people used to hear everywhere. And because it is a Caribbean country, we also have the spirit that makes people to really enjoy Salsa. It is something that I have in my blood,” she said.

According to Mrs. Castro, many Salsa musicians have been educated in Puerto Rico. “Puerto Rico is one of the most important countries that Salsa has. It has mostly changed with every generation, and Puerto Rico is the place where many musicians were born, for example Paquito Guzman, Tito Phuentes, Willie Colon, Joe Arroyo, Willie Chirino, and El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, which is recognized as the university of the Salsa,” she said.

In other countries, like Venezuela, the world of Salsa is very important too. Oscar de Leon is one of the best musicians and is called the name “El Leon de la Salsa.” Oscar de Leon is very much appreciated in Central America, and that is one of the reasons why Salsa is very important for many people, not only for people in the Caribbean. Even though the Salsa is very important in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, it is also important in other Latin countries. “I know a lot of people from El Salvador and Nicaragua who really like Salsa, also Mexicans love Salsa a lot,” said Mrs. Castro. “That is very important because music, especially Salsa, has united many people from many places in Latin America.”