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Colombian Salsa

The Cali style is characterized by its speed, with the feet movements following all musical instruments to perfection, and for its spectacular acrobatic figures. 

Cali Style Salsa, also known as Colombian Salsa, is based in the Colombian City of Cali. Cali is also known as the “Capital de la Salsa” (World’s Salsa Capital); due to salsa music being the main genre in parties, nightclubs and festivals in the 21st century.

The basic step of Colombian Salsa is the “Atras” or “Diagonal”; breaking backwards diagonally instead of moving forwards and backwards as seen in the New York and L.A. Style. Also dancers do not shift their body weight as greatly as seen in other styles. 

Instead, dancers keep their upper body still, poised and relaxed while the feet execute endless intricacies. The dancer breaks mostly On1 (sometimes On3), with short measures of “4” instead of full “8” counts.

A major difference between Cali Style and the other styles is the footwork which has rapid steps and skipping motions. They do not execute the Cross-body Lead or the “Dile Que No” as seen in the other salsa genres. Their footwork is intricate and precise, helping several Colombian Style dancers win major world championships. Cali hosts many annual salsa events such as the World Salsa Cali Festival and Encuentro de Melomanos y Coleccionistas.
It’s history is born of a mixture of Afro-Colombian rhythms, Twist, Tap, Boogaloo, Rock ‘n Roll, Mambo, Swing, Pachanga, Foxtrot and Descargas.

At Salsa Caleña as well as salsa we teach all rhythms especially the following:

– Pachanga (involves very fast footwork)
– Boogaloo (cross between salsa & rock n’ roll – the original salsa)
– Merengue (two-step dance with hip movement )
– Bachata (cross between the conga and merengue)

Find out more about our salsa classes click Salsa Ealing


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