Difference between Salsa and Ballroom Dance

Key Difference: Salsa’ is a category of a stylized Cuban rhythmic dance with the elements of rock and soul music. In this dance couple don’t embrace instead hold one or both hands. On the other hand, ‘Ballroom dancing’ needs a large room where number of people dance in a formal manner.

Most of the people love dancing as the popular form of self expression and art. It doesn’t matter you are a slow dancer, fat or just go around in the arms of your partner. You just need to have a learner in you. Salsa and ballroom dancing, both are distinct form each other in a social way.

Salsa is a dance form which origins from the Cuban Son and Afro-Cuban dance, generally associated with the salsa music style. Salsa is a fast and high speed dance where performers completely focus on each and every beat. Here, beat plays a very important role because there are “8” counts which a performer has to remember.

Salsa has many moves and one should have a correct posture and flexibility in it. The arms play an essential part in salsa; as it allows or gives signal to the follower to either move in an open or closed position. Salsa can be performed as a partner or one can perform alone. Salsa is not a serious dance as many Latin Americans and Spanish dancers perform in clubs, parties, saloon and lounge.

However, salsa is a popular music; it has different styles for different places:

Colombian / Cali Style: Colombian Salsa. Also known as Cali-Style, has established at Colombian City of Cali. The essential parts of Cali-Style Salsa were very strongly influenced by dances to Caribbean rhythms which anticipated salsa, such as Pachanga and Boogaloo. The basic thing about this style is it a game of footwork and has quick and finished motions. Their footwork is complex thus it is helping several Colombian Style dancers win major world championships.

Miami-Style Casino: Miami’s are great known as ‘Flash Mob’ dancers but they are also amazing Salsa dancers. It is originated by Cuban migrants to Florida which is als called as LA Style. Miami-Style Casino is a dance where dancer breaks On1 step that is first step and sometimes miss 4 counts instead of full “8” counts.

Cuban Casino Style: White Cubans during the mid-20th century derived this style “Casino” where a popular social culture dancing on the dance floor and has done among the better off.

Los Angeles Style: L.A. style is danced on 1, in a slot, with a measure of easiness and adaptability to it. It is strongly influenced by the Mambo, Swing, Argentine Tango and Latin Ballroom dancing style.  L.A. style places strong emphasis on sensuousness, theatricality, aerobics and musicality. The lifts, stunts and aerial works of today's salsa shows are derived mostly from L.A. Style forms with origins in Latin Ballroom and Ballet lifts.

New York Style: It is similar as Casino Style that is LA style, however, NY Style is danced on the second beat (On2) and follower steps forward on the first step of the music, not the controller. There’s a specialty of this dance that all separate from their places and dance solo which looks very impressive and unique form.

On the contrary, Ballroom dancing is performed in a slow and low tempo. The term ‘Ballroom dancing’ was derived by the Latin word ‘ballare’ means ‘to dance’. It expresses an extreme upset tune. In ballroom dancing, performers do not focus much on sound or song and are more interested towards technical perfection. Ballroom tango, a type of ballroom dancing, is a dance which evolved in Paris in the early 20th century "from" proper Argentine tango. 

There are many style of dance which falls under the banner of ballroom dancing –

International Style: There are two main categories – Latin and Standard. In standard, the style of dress is very formal and in Latin it is far more a sensual in music, feeling and clothing. In standard, men wear coats and women wear elegant gowns and in Latin, men wear tight fitting apparels and women wear very small amount.

Standard: In standard ballroom dancing, there is a deep appreciation for the technical qualities which one has to focus in this form of dance.

Latin: Here, the style of dance is contrary to standard. It is a very exotic, emotional as well as beautiful to watch. There is lot of energy required in this dance as there is a phenomenal amount of energy required. The costume should be fit and up to mark.

Smooth: The smooth portion of the American Style of ballroom dance includes the Foxtrot, the Tango, the Viennese Waltz, and the Waltz.

Rhythm: In American Style Ballroom dance, the Rhythm portion of the dance includes the following: the Cha Cha, the Bolero, the Mambo, East Coast Swing, and the Rumba.

Both, Salsa and Ballroom dancing are performed in many countries but you just have to choose which one is your type. On one side, salsa is a fast and high pace dance whereas, ballroom dancing is danced in a lower and slower music. In ballroom dancing, performers have to hold their hands and move around with their partner. Salsa is based on hip movements in time with music beats. It requires only hand connection during spinning and moving around the partner. Whereas one style can be danced solo, another needs a couple to be performed. While swift motions are required to perform a ballroom dance on the floor, salsa is danced with fast whirls and spins.

Image Courtesy: salsabuffalo.com, tientip-leelart.blogspot.in

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