How to Dance Solo Salsa

Knowing how to dance solo salsa is one of the best ways you can have fun salsa dancing. Salsa solo or salsa shine is when a salsa dancer decides to dance solo. If he or she is dancing with a partner, the dancer may want to dance separately and alone.

Salsa is known to be a partner dance. Sometimes though partners will dance separately and dance alone. This part is called a shine. The term is probably derived from tap dance referred to as ‘tap shine’.

When salsa dance involves partners, the shine moment is when each partner does his or her own fancy dance moves. The partners can both show off some intricate footwork and body movements. These steps are supposedly impromptu but it will be best to have them choreographed because one might have difficulties doing improvisations in front of a huge crowd.

Solo salsa dancing is very beneficial for beginners who want to know how to dance salsa but do not want to worry about finding a partner to dance with.

Among all Latin dances, salsa dancing is considered one of the most exciting ones. Adding Salsa shines to your routine will make it even more interesting.

Salsa is normally a partner dance. Do the normal salsa routine with your partner at the start of the dance. You should make the dance look exciting. The audience will also come to appreciate the excitement you inject to the dance. This will set the mood for the salsa shine moves later.

Split from your partner at the middle of the dance. You can do this at a certain point of the dance. The break away part is most often choreographed. This will highlight the different dance moves, techniques and fancy footwork of each partner. The other partner may take a short break as his partner takes the center stage.

The partner who wants to do a complicated step may also need a breather before doing the said step. This will spotlight the intricate footwork or body action that the partner will do.

The actual salsa shine will consist of very advanced footwork or flashy dance moves that will go well with the music. Salsa shine aims to spotlight the individual partner. As the name implies, each partner or one of the partners will have their moment to shine. If you are the partner who needs to do the salsa shine then you have to add your distinctive moves to your salsa moves.

As you grow in experience and skill in salsa dancing, the shine will be easier to do. It will not be as nerve wracking as you think it will be. Your dance moves will come to you naturally with time and constant practice. You actually enjoy the attention you derive from doing it. This is the reason why practicing and developing your salsa dancing skills are of prime importance.

When doing the salsa shine expect to do some free style moves. The partner will split and dancing will be individually not as a couple. The solo salsa must follow a certain rhythm which is quick-quick-slow. No matter what fancy moves you decide to show, they must move to the beat.

After your shine moment, partners reunite and continue with salsa dancing. The reunion should occur at a certain point. Both partners must then prepare for the finale. Learning how to dance salsa shine will enable the dancer to develop and grow in his or her salsa dancing skills.

Salsa Music, Lifeblood of Cali

You step through the darkened entranceway, leaving the tropical night behind. Suddenly, waves of sound crash over you Iike ocean surf. Breaking out in a sweat, your heart pounds to the rhythm of bass, bongos, bells and brass. The walls seem to pulsate. The pungent smell of perspiration mixed with perfume assaults you. As your eyes adjust to the dark, broken by hypnotic flashes of the multi-colored strobes, you realize it’s not walls that enclose you, but dancers– scores of dancers gyrating, weaving and swirling, limbs flashing, hips thrusting in quarter–time beat. You fill your lungs with the spicy aroma, tighten your belt a notch and plunge in. Welcome to Chango’s in Cali, Colombia – one of Latin America’s hottest Salsa night clubs.

Cali, a modern, festive city, lies in the heart of “the Valley.” when Colombians say “the Valley” they mean the Cauca valley, a not so little Garden of Eden a hundred-fifty miles long and some fifteen miles wide between the coastal mountain ranges and the Central Cordillera. Until the turn of the century, this valIey was little more than a rural outpost.

Then, with a population of some 15,000, the Cauca Valley was largely cattle country, parceled out in vast tracts among the “haciendados.” These were proud, almost haughty men who raised cattle for leather and beef. Some had plantations of sugar cane used to produce the sweetener “panela” and distill the crystal-clear but potent “aguardiente” still sipped today. Life was slow, measured, patriarchal and unchanging.

It has been said that the Cauca region is to Colombia what the South is to the United States. Indeed, there are similarities. In bygone days “hidalgos walked the unpaved “calles” in coats of velvet or scarlet broadcloth embroidered and buttoned with gold and silver, their waistcoats of flowered silk, and the ruffles of their shirts were of the finest batiste,” says Kathleen Romoli, author of Colombia: Gateway to. South America. And like the Southern states in colonial rimes, large numbers of slaves were imported to work the fields and serve the gentry.

Time has brought many changes. Today vast sugar cane plantations still carpet the Valley. Mechanized production of cotton, rice and cattle has turned the Cauca Valley into Colombia’s most important agricultural area, after “King Coffee”. And with economic growth has come industry. A leisurely colonial town in 1900, Cali has grown into a large manufacturing center with more than a thousand industries at last count

There is Salsa in the air

Yet with all the changes, Cali retains a homey charm, a personality different from other cities, an atmosphere you might expect to find in the Caribbean. Romoli describes it well:

The most striking thing about Cali today is not the plaza with it imposing government buildings and rows of taxis, along the avenues of giant palms, nor the suburbs with their modem villas, and churches, whose bells chime melodies instead of clanging as it Bogotá, nor the busy factories. It is the pervasive air of cheerfulness almost of gaiety Not that it is a city of many amusements; Cali is not gay by virtue of commercial facilities for organized diversion but by the grace of god.

Cali attracts travelers from all over; tourists, businessmen, back packers, scientists, and students. And, of course, salsa fans and salsa artists. Recording studios, “rumberias”,”discothèques” and “viejotecas” abound.

What is Cali’s appeal? The city’s buoyant atmosphere? The spectacular sunsets? The natural beauty of the soaring Andes? The vaunted beauty of its women? Perhaps it’s the climate where it’s always June. Or could it be its remarkable cleanliness? Many Colombian towns are clean, but Cali is so clean it stands out. Or maybe it’s the trees and flowers–the billowing crimson and purple bougainvilla that tumbles in profusion from the walls, the cup-of-gold that drips from the eaves, the waxy bells of the trumpet flow, the poinsettia bushes, gorgeous gardenias, the trees with magenta leaves and carmine flowers or others with feathery green–white blossoms or pale clusters of pink–the wild extravagance of blooms among which humming birds with iridescent green bellies flit even in winter.

No Salsa No Dates

Cali has all these. But undoubtedly for many, the principal attraction that lures them to this charming city is Salsa music. The sensuous, tropical rhythms of Salsa pervade the lives of the two million plus Caleños. On every bus you’ll hear Salsa. Go for a walk, to school or shopping there’s salsa in the air. And, of course there’s Salsa on almost all of the more than two dozen local radio stations. All over town, 24-hours a day, Salsa blasts from speakers on the streets, in parks, in stores, from cars, portable radios and private homes. Cali lives and breathes Salsa. But why Salsa? Many other musical traditions, styles and types of folk music flourish in Cali (including the traditional Cumbia, where machete wielding dancers stomp around full-busted women in ruffled skirts). What’s so special about Salsa? After all Vallenatos, a brand of folk music with roots back to the days of the Spanish conquistadors, is still hugely popular–especially as sung by the likes of Colombia’s Grammy award winner Carlos Vives. Boleros (check out Luis Miguel’s “Inolvidable”) and Merengue continue to have strong followings here.

Why has this one style ingrained itself so deeply into the culture? To aficionados the answer is simple: “I love salsa music.” Whatever the reason for it’s universal popularity in Cali, Salsa is more than just music, more than a dance. It’s an indispensable social skill explains my friend, Carmenza, “No salsa–no dates.” You can’t meet others if you can’t dance.” And that’s why there are salsa dance schools throughout the city. You pay for lessons by the hour. Prices range from $2 up to $6 per hour for more private, one-on-one instruction. Group classes fu up fast. Salsa classes are not just the place to go for learning, but to practice and perfect your moves or pick up some new ones. They’re a good “meeting place” for neighborhood residents. “It’s important to dance very well or you’re boring,” says Sofia, an avid Salsa fan.

Cali calls itself the “Salsa Capital, of the World,” a title wrenched from post-Fidel Cuba and often shared with New York City. But even those who might take exception to “World Capital” will agree that Cali is certainly the “Salsa Capital of South America.” The top Latin salsa performers, like New York’s Jerry “King of 54th Street” Gonzalez, regularly fly in to strut their stuff. At any given time you can see all the famous names in salsa, artists hike Cuba’s “Queen of Salsa,” Celia Cruz; guitarist, singer and songwriter Juan Luis Guerra from the Dominican Republic; Frank Raul Grillo, the Cuban American also known as Machito; Reuben Blades, the popular Panamanian singer, songwriter, actor and politician renowned for his musical innovations as well as traditional Salsa; Willie Colon; Oscar d’Leon, and others.


And you don’t have to go far in this city of dancers to hear all the different styles and variations of Salsa. Juanchito, with 120 of the hottest dance halls, is the throbbing rhythmic heart of Cali’s Salsa nightlife. Every week throughout the year, two hundred thousand locals pour into this eastern suburb to party. Cali teems with discos and “viejotecas” for the young and not so young. Latinos of younger generations typically favor a smoother, more sentimental music known as Salsa Romantica, popularized by bandleaders such as Eddie Santiago and Tito Nieves. Internationally popular salsa singers of the 1990s included Linda “India” Caballero and Mark Anthony. The Puerto Rico-based orchestra “Puerto Rican Power” is another hot group with ardent fans both in Cali and Puerto Rico.

While it’s thrilling to hear famous performers of Salsa music from abroad, don’t forget Cali’s many own outstanding world class groups and musicians of Salsa fame blending the old with the new. The classic and the innovative. It’s worth a trip to Cali just to hear the vibrant non-traditional sounds of Jairo Varela and the Grupo Niche. Or other artists like “Son de Cali,” the all–female “Orchestra Canela” and Lisandro Meza who also inject new blood into Cali´s Salsa scene. These and the intoxicating classic Salsa sounds of Kike Santander, Joe Arroyo and Eddy Martinez thunder through the air and flow in the veins of “coca-colos” (late teens to early 20s adolescents) and “cuchos” alike in discos, salsatecas and even in viejotecas that draw the over-35 crowd.

When I arrived in Cali 1995, I thought my salsa was OK. After all, l’d picked up some smooth moves from a bevy of hot Puerto Rican beauties during a summer stint in San Juan. Even back in my home state of Pennsylvania, there were opportunities on Friday or Saturday nights to slip out and mix with Latinos at our local Hispanic watering holes. I’d perfected a double-quick step in a rectangular pattern, too, and added whirls and spins to the heavy beat. I had no trouble getting, and keeping, dance partners. Then in Miami, during a Labor Day weekend retreat, I met a Latin cutie. I invited her for dinner and dancing later that week at “La Cima,” one of the city’s top Salsa clubs, to show off my moves. She was impressed. A year later we married and after a couple more years we moved to her native Colombia.

Colombian salsa is a different beast. The style, rhythm and beat are similar in other places but it’s a different story on the dance floor. My feet recognized the beat, but behaved as if 1 were wearing Bozo shoes. For a while, 1 stuck to downtown places like “Cuarto Venina,” perched on the banks of the brownish, knee-deep Cali River. It’s listening only, no dancing here. The music is so subdued you can carry on a conversation over empanadas and cold “Costeña”. It can be just the right touch for a Sunday afternoon. Nowadays, my Latin cutie and 1 are considered “cuchos” (the over-35 set). It’s been ten years. We’re still here though, still dancing Salsa. And I’m still showing off my moves.

Sea Salt or Table Salt in My Salsa Recipe

Hola salsa makers! I’m here to talk to you about sea salt vs. table salt in regards to your salsa recipe.

Sea and table salt both hold the same the nutritional value according to Katherine Zeratsky from The Mayo Clinic. Overall, it doesn’t matter which one you use, but its important not to use too much as it can drown out the other various flavors in your salsa. For every 16 ounces of salsa that you make, a recommended amount of salt would be right around ½ teaspoon. You will notice that several large salsa manufacturers will often use table salt, tomatoes, and sugar to comprise the majority of their recipe. While the human body has a tendency to crave sugar and salt more frequently than others ingredients, it doesn’t mean that these also have to take over your salsa’s flavor profile. Remember, don’t copy, you want to be different and better!

If you are looking to sell your new salsa product, consider using this salt simply as a marketing tool. It has become attractive to many common food suppliers, even in the fast food industry, as it yields a more natural connotation that shows on the bottom line. Depending on whether you are creating a prepared salsa or a salsa mix, sea salt can be advantageous strictly for shelf appeal. A salsa mix (a blend of seasonings that when added to tomatoes allows for a quick substitute to store bought salsa) that is packaged in a transparent bag with sea salt allows for a bit more “eye candy” to the customer. In monitoring the food industry over the past several years, there has been a significant move towards healthier eating habits and with that comes a higher demand for ingredients to be visible, in more ways than one. I have seen a handful of salsa mix companies that use salt from the sea for its coarse appearance, as it aesthetically compliments the remaining ingredients in the blend, affirming the customer that they are eating a healthy product.

Whether you are just preparing your salsa recipe for a few friends or ramping up for your first production run, the coarse nature of this salt can be advantageous when storing for long periods. Spices don’t necessarily go bad, but they simply lose their freshness over time. Due to the coarseness of this appealing ingredient you can expect a bit more resilience to maintain freshness amongst common kitchen conditions. Its recommended that you store all of your spices out of direct sunlight and in air tight containers for optimal taste when it comes time to prep with food. We’ve done tests and have also learned that storing spices in a refrigerator will increase their fresh flavor over time.

Authentic coarse sea salt actually has a small red tint on one side of the mineral that indicates it is in fact sea salt, and not table salt. Additionally, if you are ever in a bind and need sea salt but don’t have any, some margarita salt will do just fine, make sure you order enough for your big production run though, as you’ll need consistency with your recipe.