Hi, My name is Pablo, and I'm a fifth grader in South Florida.
This page is about how people around the world have learned about salsa thanks to computers and the internet.
First of all, you should know that Ed Roberts invented the first personal computer in 1974. It wasn't like the computers we know now. It only had 256 bytes of memory, it didn't have a monitor or a keyboard and there was no operating system, like Windows. You programmed the system from the front panel switches. The personal computer now has come a long way!
The internet was invented by Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf around 1973, based on the first computer network at UCLA which was started in 1969. Mr. Kahn and Mr. Cerf invented a standard called TCP/IP, which means Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol so that different kinds of computers could "talk" to each other.
Once people could communicate, the internet really took off! They started talking about all sorts of different things, like salsa!
My mom used to be the World Cityguide Correspondent for South Florida, and the Cityguide Supervisor for Latin America and the Caribbean for another major Salsa website, until they decided to pull some underhanded things and replace her, without ever giving her an explanation. You can learn more about how that particular website conducts their business by reading THIS. My mom decided to do her own thing, so besides this site, she also founded SalsaPower.com
My mom knows a lot about dancing salsa, and she taught me how to dance!
This is one of my favorite steps called "La Flor"
We dance a kind of salsa called
CASINO, which comes from Cuba.
Casino was invented by Cuban dancers in the 1940's. They used to dance the traditional "Son" in a place called the Casino Deportivo in Havana. The Afro-Cubans used to dance a traditional dance called "Guaguancó". The two dance forms merged together to form what we know today as "Salsa". The name was given to the dance by people in Puerto Rico and New York, because the dance was a bit of this and a bit of that, and it was HOT! The people in Cuba still call it "Casino", rather than "Salsa".
There are different kinds of Salsa.
Here in Miami we dance the Casino-Style Salsa because of the Cuban influence.
The turns and steps came out of Cuba, but as early as in the 1970's, Miami
dancers started inventing new turns. Some of the turns have some disco moves
in them. Each turn here has a name, and most of the better dancers in Miami
know all the turns. They get together in a club and do salsa in a round,
sort of like Cuban Square Dancing, and call it RUEDA (pronounced "Roo-ay-da").
It is lots of fun!
One of the turns we do is called "Complíquese"
Rueda moves are constantly being invented. Even I invented a turn called "El Pablo". You start with a "sombrero doble", then go into a "montaña al revés", then you do an "alarde" over the girl, then an "enchufla", then the guy does a "ronde" and a fast "alarde" over his own head with his left hand, ending with a backward step on the left side. You can learn this step if you come to class at my mom's school,
Absolute Salsa Dance Studio.
In New York the style is different. It comes from Mambo, (also from
Cuba) which is danced on the "2", whereas here in Miami we dance on the
"1" beat. They don't do so many turns, and sometimes they dance separate,
doing something called "shines", which are wild steps.
Eddie Torres Dancers
Congreso Mundial de la Salsa - Copacabana nightclub, New York
May 17, 1999
In California the Salsa style has a lot of influence from Hollywood, so they do more "show-y" steps and dips and flips.
Here is a picture of Miguel and Stephanie
from the L.A. Salsakids group
I did a survey about how many people dance in
certain salsa schools in South Florida.
The results are shown on the graph, below.
KEY to Abbreviations:
|Abs.||Absolute Salsa Dance Studio|
|Dream||Dance Dreams Latin Heat Studio|
|Gil||Gil Santos Dance Studio|
|Jami||Jami Josephson's Group|
|Rhy.||Latin Rhythm Dance Studio|
|Reg.||Regnier's Dance Studio|
|Cas.||Salsa Casino Dance Studio|
|Con.||Salsa Connection Dance Studio|
|Ex.||Salsa Express Dance Studio|
|Kn.||Salsa Knights Dance Studio|
|Lv.||Salsa Lovers Dance Studio|
I did the survey on January 19, 2000, asking each studio
how many students had attended their last class (1 hour)
during the week before.
You can find more information on
these schools and others on the SalsaPower.com SCHOOLS listing,
which can be found here:
It is because of websites
like this one (Absolute Salsa) and SalsaPower,
among others, that people all over the world can learn about salsa!
Even someone in the most remote part of the earth can learn about salsa,
as long as they have a computer and an internet connection!