Dancing the Night Away


Salsa dancing can burn calories (and it’s fun too!)


By Katherine Blasewitz



Running, cycling, swimming, Pilates, hiking and yoga are all great ways to exercise.  But who ever thought that dancing Salsa could be just as good (and much more fun) for you?  With the popularity of shows like Dancing with the Stars, it is easy to see how much work dancing can be.  The good news is that Salsa dancing is not only a great way to get your recommended 30 minutes of cardio every day, but it is also a ton of fun! 

    In fact, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) reported that dancing can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, decrease blood pressure and help manage your weight.  And in addition, the Mayo Clinic reported that social dancing may reduce stress, increase bone strength, increase energy, enhance muscle tone and coordination and help you develop strong social ties.  So not only will you be burning calories, you will be making friends too!

But just how many calories can you actually burn Salsa dancing?  There are several factors that contribute to how many calories you burn.  These factors include your current weight, how long you dance and how vigorously you dance.  Experts seem to agree that for a person of average height and weight (approximately 150 pounds), one hour of Salsa dancing can burn up to 420+ calories!  That may seem like a lot of calories to burn but it only equals eating a grilled chicken and baby spinach salad from Subway or a ten-piece chicken McNugget from McDonald’s.  But if you watch your caloric intake and use dancing as exercise, you should be okay.

So, now that I’ve discouraged you from eating unhealthy food ever again, where do we go from here?  Well, the next step is to learn the art of Salsa.  Salsa is a unique form of dance because it has many different styles.  In fact, there are eight popular styles of Salsa including Cuban, Columbian, Los Angeles, New York (also known as Eddie Torres style), Power 2 / Palladium 2 / Ballroom Mambo, On Clave, Puerto Rican and Rueda.  There are plenty of ways to learn how to Salsa from signing up for classes at your local dance studio to buying instructional videos or books.  But you don’t really need formal training and can easily pick up the style from friends who already know a few moves.  Either way, make sure to grab a pair of high heels, a willing partner, and some great music and get ready to shake your hips because you are going dancing!


Suggested music:

  1. Diferente - Jose Alberto "El Canario"
  2. ¡Saboreando - Salsa Dura En El Bronx! - Wayne Gorbea & Salsa Picante
  3. Llego Van Van – Los Van Van
  4. Soy la Candela - Edwin Bonilla
  5. Power Salsa – Fruko y Sus Tesos
  6. Oye Como Va: The Dance Collection – Tito Puente


Source: http://www.amazon.com, http://www.justsalsa.com, http://www.eugenesalsa.com


Salsa for Beginners

For the Salsa basic dance step there are for points of contact between the man and the woman.

  1. The man takes the woman’s right hand with his left hand.
  2. The man places his right hand on the woman’s back.
  3. The woman places her left hand on the man's shoulder
  4. The man and the woman look into each others eyes.


The Cuban Salsadiagram below

Basic Salsa Step ~ Man's Timing.

    The numbers below represent the beat of the music. Your weight should be on the foot mentioned by the time the beat occurs in the music. “Break" means stepping forward quickly and rocking back in essences breaking your momentum.

Start with both of you feet together.

  1. Step forward with your Right Foot
  2. Shift your weight on to your Right Foot
  3. Break forward with your Left Foot
  4. Rock back onto your Right Foot
  5. Step back with your Left Foot
  6. Shift your weight on to your Left Foot
  7. Step back with the Right Foot
  8. Rock forward onto your Left Foot Repeat Step 1


Basic Salsa Step ~ Woman's Timing.

Start with both of you feet together

  1. Step back with your Left Foot
  2. Shift your weight on to your Left Foot
  3. Step back with the Right Foot
  4. Rock forward onto your Left Foot
  5. Step forward with your Right Foot
  6. Shift your weight on to your Right Foot
  7. Step forward with the Left Foot
  8. Rock back onto your Right Foot Repeat Step 1


Source: http://www.justsalsa.com