Ask the Experts

Salsa styles differ greatly from state to state. Do you feel that a definitive style will emerge?

Didio Barrera

Didio Barrera (Professional Dancer and Instructor as well as the Director of Music at the Emerald Ball)

"A lot of this salsa stuff really came from New York City. Then they went back to Cuba – the rhythms came from Cuba – but the actual dance, I believe, came from New York City. We think everything came from Cuba, like the International Cuban Rumba! It never came from Cuba! There's no such thing! It was developed in England! So, I think that the same thing happened with the Mambo. Some of the actors, like Tito Fuentes, were always in New York. That's where they developed the clubs and everything.
Now, the Cuban Salsa is a little different. The Cuban has a lot of intricate turns. All the different regions from Columbian salsa to Cuban Salsa to Puerto Rico Salsa are all danced a little different. Cubans tend to dance more circular, where you never really break back or forth, you just keep rotating. The Salsa in Columbia is done in place, either very together, almost on top of one another or you dance without holding hands – almost a free style. The Puerto Ricans tend to go back and forth without a lot of turns. There are lots of different styles. I'm sure that when we start to learn the salsa, we'll actually do something with it! We'll come up with something. The NDCA will analyze it, break it down!"