Salsa and Bachata


Salsa is a fast Latin social dance, which has become hugely popular the world over. Salsa dance movements originate from the Cuban Son dancing of the 1930′s, more specifically through the beat of Son Montuno with strong influences from the dances of Danzon, Mambo, Guaguanco and other Afro-Cuban folkloric dancing. Today there are various styles of Salsa dancing, including Cali-style (from Colombia), Cuban-style (“Casino”), LA-style, New York-style, and Puerto Rican-style.


The earliest bachata was originally developed in the Dominican Republic around the early part of the 20th century, with mixed Cuban boleros and, which originated from Son. With African elements, combined with traditional Latin/Caribbean rhythms. During much of its history Bachata music was denigrated by Latino/Caribbean society and associated with rural backwardness and delinquency. As recently as 1988 Bachata was considered too vulgar, crude and musically rustic to enter mainstream music. In the 1990s, bachata’s instrumentation changed from acoustic guitar to electric steel string. The new electric bachata (New York Style) soon became an international phenomenon, and today bachata is as popular as salsa and merengue in some Latin American dance-halls.