Cuban Salsa

I wanted to write about Salsa so many times. Trust me. But the truth is I never knew where to start. Salsa and dancing in general are such a strong elements of Cuban culture. I could write here about the history and influences but I won’t. I will tell you what salsa is all about.

When I first went to Cuba I had zero experience in dancing. I didn’t enjoy it. I would sit on every party. I didn’t even wanted to go to the scheduled salsa class in Cuba. But then me and my friend Hampus had a bit of wine and we both thought we should have fun. So we went and had this really strange salsa class in front of garage of this Cuban lady who gave it to us in a dirty shirt with two kids crying on her side. We were bit tipsy and it was really hot that day, and we couldn’t have got the steps right but…trying salsa that day gave me so much joy. Until that day I have never had so much fun dancing. Even if you couldn’t really call it dancing…I have to be honest. After all this time I still don’t dance salsa well. I manage to follow Fidel and that’s it. But salsa it’s about 2 people (or more) having fun dancing. Enjoying it.

What surprised me in Cuba the first time that there are more guys than girls dancing. Cuban men are the first ones on the dance floor. In Europe usually they have to get drunk first or they have to love to dance. In Cuba dance and rhythm are something Cubans are born with. They feel the music like nobody can. Salsa is played at homes, at bars, on the streets on the school breaks. Everywhere. I seriously think it should be considered for the national anthem.

And how to Salsa? Well on YouTube you’ll find so many videos you can choose from to learn the basic steps. What’s the problem? The problem is that Cuban salsa has 3 basic steps and they are actually really easy. In one hour you can master it and feel like you have it. But then you go out and you’re asked by a Cuban to dance and then  you’re like “WTF is this? This isn’t salsa I’ve just learnt”. But it actually is.

Meet Raydel and Martica from Raydel & Martica Los Fashion .  They are another Cuban-Polish couple (which is a proof Europeans can move as well:) ) and they’ve been salsa dancing for few years now.  They met in Cuba just like us and been dancing ever since. So this is how Cuban salsa looks like. Another big aplause for Marta for doing it on heels.

 

And what do you do when you manage to master salsa and dance like Martica and Raydel. Well then you can enter Salsa Level Nr 2 and join Cubans in typical Rueda de Casino which can vary from 2 couples to over 1000 participants (current Guinness record).  And it actually happens on most of Cubans parties so take a look, you never know when you may be caught in magic Cuban circle 🙂

If you are a salsa lover I really don’t think there’s a better place for you to be than Cuba, where you’ll find people so passionate about it, who enjoy it, who improvise it. For those in Poland I would like to remind that Marta and Raydel give dance classes all over Poland. For those abroad I recommend to get the first flight leaving towards Caribbean 🙂 Or to listen to Marc Anthony, famous salsero, to get you in mood.

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