Salsa history is long and stretches over a century in Cuba. Salsa dancing has become popular all over the world, with many people taking salsa lessons. There are many professional salsa dancers who wow fans on the floor, and some also help people enjoy the dance when they take a salsa course.

The Origins of Salsa

Salsa’s dance style and music were developed at the same time during the 1920’s. This is when African, Son Montuno, and Mambo combined on Cuba. Cuba had already become a melting pot of Latin dances. This unique combination of music and dance styles lead a dance studio called Fania to name the new style “Salsa”.

In a short time, salsa music and dance spread through Cuba. After that, salsa spread to Miami and South America where Dizzie Gilespie and Tito Puente added the unique sound of salsa to their music.

As the salsa style of dancing spread, salsa dancers started to add more complicated moves to their dances. This created different styles of salsa because each region created their own style.

Salsa History From Across the World

Shortly after salsa left Cuba, new styles of salsa were created. These styles are named after the region where it is believed each style was created.

‘Casino’ Cuban-Style Salsa

The ‘original’ style of salsa was created in Cuba in the middle of the 20th century. The origin of salsa can be attributed to the Cuban embargo. This style of salsa has a strong Afro-Cuban influence. The name ‘casino’ comes from Spanish dance clubs, and this style is a major part of Latin-American heritage.


Columbia is the South American country that adopted salsa the fastest, and salsa dancing has become a national pastime. Cali-Style has intricate footwork, with an upper body that is almost motionless. This style is very different from North American and Cuban styles in its movements and styling.

North American Styles

There are many styles of salsa that fall under North American Salsa. The most popular styles are New York, Miami, and LA style. Each of these styles has its own preferred music and movements. Overall, North American salsa styles are more flamboyant because there are more turns, twists and acrobatic moves than South American styles. Shows like Dancing with the Stars have made these styles of salsa more widely known, and more popular with both casual and professional dancers.

Other Salsa Styles

There are many styles of salsa dancing across the world, like Rueda de Casino. Rueda de Casino is a mixture of salsa and folk dancing that people dance in a circle. Solo salsa was also created in Cuba, so dancers could enjoy salsa without need to find a partner.

With more people seeing salsa dancing online, salsa lessons have become more popular than ever. Salsa London is developing its own unique style since many dancers are combining other dance styles with salsa. While Salsa history is short compared to other styles, it has become a major part of dance culture around the world.