The greatest gifts given by God can be considered abilities to hear and to feel. Thanks to this combination of senses, one can hear the rhythm by ears and throw out the energy and emotions in dance. Over half a millennium, people express their emotions in dancing to the tune of favorite music when they can feel every movement, following the rhythm and every note of melodies. Today, there is a huge variety of dance styles. Tango, waltz, ballroom dance or modern dances, such as break dancing, have its own features. Due to the diversity of styles, it is simply impossible not to separate one, which is full of rhythm, harmony, and ardent passion. This style of dance is called salsa.
Salsa is a musical genre popular mainly in Latin America and among its natives. However, this style of music is distributed not only in Latin America but also around the world. The name "Mambo King" is attributed to Tito Puente (Tito Puente, 1923-2000). The birthplace of salsa is Cuba. Although the style is also a hybrid of Puerto Rican and Latin American styles, Puerto Ricans, despite other Latin American nations, have also developed and popularized this style of music. Colombians are the guardians of the musical tradition of salsa, while other contemporary musicians continue their experiments in this sphere.
Salsa is the most popular music in Latin dance clubs, and as Ed Morales said, it is a "pacemaker for the whole of Latin music" (Ed Morales). Nowadays, the style has been spread throughout Latin America and abroad. Sometimes, the terms Latin jazz and salsa are interrelated. Some musicians have played in both genres, especially in the period up to 1970.
All styles and types of salsa, which exist in the world, are impossible to enumerate. Depending on the region, ethnic origin, and specific performance, salsa gets more and more new faces, and, follows new directions. Nevertheless, officially, there are two main types of salsa:
1. Circular Salsa
This type is characterized by the basic geometric design of dance, the circle. Circular salsa includes several subtypes:
• Cuban salsa (Casino)
• Venezuelan salsa (Dominican salsa)
• Colombian salsa
2. Linear Salsa (Cross-body style)
This type is characterized by the main feature of the dance, which needs to be performed "in line." Linear salsa includes the following subtypes:
• Salsa Los Angeles (LA)
• Salsa London
• Salsa New York (NY)
• Salsa Palladium
• Salsa in Puerto Rico
All types and subtypes of salsa also have their own characteristics in terms of music. As for musical instruments in salsa, they have evolved, as well as the salsa, over the years. Musical ensemble performing salsa in 1930s was characterized by generally double bass, guitar, clef, Maraca, and vocals. Later on, in the 40's, Arsenio Rodriguez changed the instrumental composition and included a piano, drums, three or four horns. In our time, salsa has similar instruments in its composition, but, to be more precise, it also included such instruments as bongo and guiro.
There are many wonderful Salsa artists in the world, and each of them represents its own way. However, there is a singer with which this style of music is associated now and will be associated for many years. The name of this singer is Cecilia Cruz.
Cuban singer Celia Cruz received a title of the legendary queen of salsa. Her talent, energy and commitment resulted in more than 50 discs. Cecilia’s songs have been loved by four generations of fans from different races and cultures. She worked with an eclectic variety of musical groups, from the Puerto Rican salsa star Tito Puente to pop star David Byrne.
She recorded twenty golden hits and obtained more than a hundred awards from various organizations, newspapers and magazines in different countries. In 1987, Celia received her star on the celebrated Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Celia was nominated thirteen times for a Grammy Award and won it twice, in 1988 and 2000. Celia Cruz, the most popular salsa singer, died of cancer on July 16, 2003, at 5.00 a.m. at home in New Jersey.
At the end, I must admit that Salsa is one of the most incendiary, light, dreamful, melodic, and passionate dance styles in the world nowadays. Owing to it, you can feel the beauty of the Latin American culture and express the brightest emotions in dancing. Not for nothing Salsa is called music to dream.