Comments on: What Can I Write About For The Alternative Music Tempo Beat Of Salsa? Bet Better - Win More Wed, 18 Sep 2013 06:31:18 +0000 hourly 1 By: timbera_ Wed, 18 Sep 2013 06:31:18 +0000 I’ve danced salsa for 10 years and *I* don’t understand what it means either. Ha ha. I think the question was not well phrased. But what you can say about the beat of salsa is that the music is based on the clave, which is a syncopated rhythm played on two sticks. The full clave pattern stretches over two bars of music and is 3 beats followed by 2 beats. Here are some audio samples of what the clave pattern sounds like. There are 4 variations used in salsa, but generally samples 1 and 3 are most common in non-Cuban salsa. Cuban salsa uses samples 2 and 4 a lot. Although the music is syncopated it is still in 4/4 time. But in salsa instead of taking steps on each beat you take three steps and pause. If you want to count this with the two-measure clave you count 1,2,3 pause 5,6,7 pause. Some people count it as “quick quick slow” There are different styles of salsa dance. Some dance On1=1,2,3 5,6,7 other dance On2=2,3,4 6,7,8. The on2 styles come from the original dances that developed into what we call salsa today. Son, mambo and chachacha are all danced on the upbeat rather than the downbeat, i.e. 2,3,4 6,7,8. But most salsa today is danced On1. Here are a couple of videos showing different dance timing. Son (the original dance that salsa came from) Danced on2. You can clearly see that they dance pause 2,3,4 pause 6,7,8 You can also hear the clave in this song pretty well. The idea of On2 is that you emphasis the clave beat, particularly the third strike of the clave (which comes on beat 4) Cuban salsa danced on1. Still very similar to son but with more complicated turn patterns and danced 1,2,3 pause 5,6,7 pause. If you guys danced salsa in PE you should talk to your instructor about putting together a rueda. Rueda de casino is a group salsa dance where one person calls out the moves and everyone performs them in unison, sometimes changing partners at the end of the move. It’s fun and would be good for a large group. Here is an example of a rueda. The fun thing is that if you knew the names of each move you could join in their rueda without ever having danced with these people before.