Salsa’s popularity as a dance form is an international phenomenon. Salsa is similar to mambo in the sense that both have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The dances share many of the same moves. In salsa, turns have become an important feature, so the overall look and feel is quite different from that of Mambo. Mambo moves generally forward and backward, whereas, Salsa has more of a side-to-side feel.
The basic movement common across most salsa styles is to step quick-quick-slow over the 4 beat measure. Typically the quick steps are on beats one and two, and the slow step is actually a quick on beat three followed by pause or tap on beat four
The Break Step is important in most styles of salsa. It serves two functions. First, the break step occurs on the same beat each measure and allows the partners to establish a connection and a common ground regarding the timing and size of steps. Secondly the break step is used in an open break to build arm tension and allow certain steps to be led. On which beat the break step occurs is what distinguishes different Salsa styles.
There are many characteristics that may identify a style. There may be different step patterns, different timing of steps, particular movement on the dance floor (ex: slot, circular), dancer preference of turns and moves, attitude, dress code, and others. The presence of one or more of particular elements does not necessarily define a particular style
AS a tree, Salsa has many roots and many branches, but one trunk that unites us all. The important thing is that Salsa is played throughout the Hispanic world and has received influences of many places within it. It is of all of us and it is a sample of our flexibility and evolution. If you think that a single place can take the credit for the existence of Salsa, you are wrong. Each dancer is accustomed to dance his/her own style. None is better, only different. ¡¡¡Viva la variedad, ¡¡¡Viva la Salsa!!!