There seems to be a continued debate as to the origins of Salsa. Some believe that salsa began with the Cubans or Puerto Ricans, the truth of the matter is, Salsa has had a great number of influences. Not only are there Cuban and Puerto Rican Styles; we now have Cumbia, L.A., New York and Casino Rueda.
If you have been frequenting the salsa clubs in Toronto for the past 10 years you would have noticed a shift in styles. Toronto first saw the emergence of Cumbia Style Salsa, which is referred to as a side to side basic with a back break on counts "3" and "7". Cumbia style is also seen as having a rotational or circular pattern that is based on the same basic footwork.
L.A. and New York Style Salsa are referred to as a slotted or linear style originating from Mambo. Both styles use the Mambo basic however, L.A. Style breaks forward on count "1" and back on count "5" where as New York Style breaks forward on count "2" and back on count "6"
Casino Rueda dance style has it's roots in Cuba. However, it has really gained popularity and a home in Miami. Casino Rueda is a synchronized group dance that requires the dancers to be attentive and quick as they respond to a designated caller. The caller is the lead dancer in the group who guides the dancers through sequences of combinations which, at times, includes a change of partners. The caller navigates the dancers through the patterns by using both verbal and hand signals.
Toronto now has a very diverse and varied sense of Salsa styles, which has been influenced by the burgeoning popularity of Salsa worldwide.