Salsa dancing is emerging as a refreshing replacement for conventional
aerobic exercises. Classes based on the fiery music and movements of Salsa,
Mambo, Cumbia, Merengue and more are starting to get people interested
in Salsa dancing, while at the same time giving them a pounding workout.
Salsa music first appeared in the 1960s as a rhythmic fusion, birthed in the
cultural melting pot of New York City. Combining Cuban Son with Guaracha,
Montuno and Guaguanco, it also has a strong Puerto Rican Plena, Bomba
and American jazz influence that mellows the smoking urban sound.
Salsa’s popularity began to percolate beyond the borders of the Latin
neighborhoods in the early Seventies, spreading into New York’s ballrooms
and dance halls. Although somewhat formulized when practiced by those
who favor profession competitions, salsa dancing in its most traditional
form is typically spontaneous and extremely energetic. Dance movements
alternate between the very slow and the furious, an embodiment of its
lively musical style.
From a strictly athletic point of view, a night of dancing is a superb
workout. It merges aerobic and anaerobic training, working your stamina
and leg strength. Any kind of dancing is a great way to build the perfect
body shape. The continual movements build up aerobic stamina while
steadily burning calories over the course of the evening. This helps to
strengthen and tone your legs at the same time you lose weight. But salsa
excels at this.
Experts say that dancing salsa can burn up to 10 calories a minute, without
the negative side effects of high impact exercises such as running. You can
learn salsa dancing in the privacy of your home or in a studio, with or
without a partner and it’s a fitness program that can easily be integrated
into your social life. By using salsa dancing to get fit, you will not only look
great, but you’ll have no excuse not to get out more and improve your social
The sudden bursts of frenzied dancing in Salsa also can help to improve the
anaerobic fitness essential to sports like sprinting, swimming and
basketball. Equally important to the aerobic paybacks are the
improvements in flexibility and dexterity, a commonly overlooked facet of
fitness. Elasticity from dancing will help your swiftness, power and co-
ordination by growing your overall range of motion.
When you think about it, dance is actually the most natural form of exercise
around. It is also a lot more fun. Life is too short to waste on regimented
aerobics, spinning and step classes. Put some spice in your fitness regimen
and become a Salsero!