What is Cuban salsa?
The real name for Cuban Salsa Style is Casino. The origins of the name Casino are casinos deportivos, the dance halls where a lot of social dancing was done among the better off, white Cubans during the mid-1950s and onward.
Casino is danced in three points which makes up a circular motion as partners face each other in intricate patterns of arms and body movement. This is distinctive from the North American Salsa styles which is danced in a slot (two points) and linear positions as taught by the North American and European dance studios.
This is also a major point of differences between Casino and Northern American forms of Salsa, which ascribe to the ballroom adage of "leather are the picture frame while follower are the picture."
Cuban Casino does not have many fast spins. Instead the movement is very circular as opposed to linear and partners tend to travel around each other. The hip movement is more noticeable in this style and stems from the pumping of the knees.
There are 3 other types of salsa:
LA Style (Dancing on 1)
LA style salsa is danced in a line or "slot" with dancers exchanging positions throughout the dance, unlike Cuban salsa which is danced in a more circular fashion. The two essential elements of this dance are the forward–backward basic step and the cross-body lead.
New York Style (Dancing on 2)
It is a linear form of salsa, where dancers dance in a slot, similar to LA style salsa. Unlike other styles of salsa, however, New York style is danced on the second beat of the music ("on 2"), and the follower, not the leader, steps forward on the first measure of the music.
Puerto Rican Style
Puerto Rican salsa lines are clean, shoulder shimmies abound and arm movements are circular. There is also an emphasis on dancing to Clave rhythm (2/3 clave). As dancers break away from their partners, they execute complicated and fast solo footwork called “shines” for the audience, as soloists.
When you sign up for our Cuban Salsa dance classes in Toronto, we'll introduce you to these other 3 types.
What will you learn?
At Shumdesalsa, we have 6 levels of dance classes. If you sign up for our Cuban Salsa dance classes in Toronto, this is what you can expect to learn.
Beginner 1 & 2
This is a course for absolute beginners, but it's also for people who have danced other types Salsa styles before.
First, we will teach you how to dance “a tiempo” (on time) and able to identify where the count start on each beat of the music. Then you will learn the basic steps and turns, as well as some nice combinations, such as:
Front and back step
Side to side
Dile que no
We’ll also place emphasis on creating a solid foundation both at the theoretical and practical levels.
The beginner stage will be your preparation to dance not only Cuban salsa (which, by the way, is known in Cuba as Casino dance), but other rhythms that make up the whole concept of Latin dancing.
By the end of the program, you will be able to hit the dance floor.
Intermediate 1 & 2
At this level you will know all the basic steps and understand the basic timing required to dance salsa.
You will also know the basics of leading and following. This is a progressive 5-lesson course so each week you will learn new turns patterns including styling moves for followers and leaders as well as reviewing previous classes.
Moves for this level will be:
They all look complicated to begin with but in time most people become familiar with each move.
Once you are familiar with the beginner 1 & 2 moves with a degree of confidence, then you can consider yourself a Casinero.
Advanced 1 & 2
At this level you are putting everything together that you learned in Beginners and Intermediate lessons .
You are able to confidently and firmly lead (if you are a leader and can follow a lead well if you are a follower).
The actual moves are more complex and intricate but they are almost always based around the fundamental steps learned before.
Please note that you must have completed a full Beginners course with ShumdeSalsa .
Moves such us:
Solo or Partner
Come with a partner or come alone. We'll match you with a partner in class.
Dress comfortably in sneakers and loose pants.
When you have a membership with us, you have unlimited classes in any of our studios in Toronto.
Don't know your level?
Contact us to book a $25 drop-in class and we'll assess your level.
About Your Instructors
Our Cuban Salsa dance classes are taught by instructors, Dailyn Martinez and Enrico Casertano.
Dailyn is from Cuba and Enrico is from the Dominican Republic. Both are passionate performer, and experienced instructors. They bring energy and personality to their classes.