That Cuban Salsa, That African Style

Ben is tall, dark and moves with such consummate ease, it almost seems he’s disinterested in the dance. A wry smile plays around his mouth. His steps are diminutive, and with controlled arms, he guides his lady naturally around the floor.

The look on her face says she’s enjoying this relaxed version of Salsa. Usually the music is of a high tempo and commands that you move quickly. But not for Ben, he sticks to his calculated, lazy steps while the woman is lively, but still, in tune with him.

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The beauty of the South American dance is this: the ladies are the stars of the show. Short skirts (or tight jeans), alluring hip movements, playful actions and elegant twists and turns are par for the course – or in this case the dance floor. Show me a man or a woman who won’t smile at this delightful sight.

Even so, the man leads this dance. He directs his partner, who glides along, in perfect harmony. I still can’t stop watching how effortlessly Ben leads, and I ask myself why can’t I?

Then there’s Caspa, shorter and not as dark as Ben, he clearly feels the music. His fast footwork, bouncing body and wide smile have everyone else feeling his elation.

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Whether he dances with Melissa or Nadia, they complement his style. Two people moving happily, swiftly, together, and then apart as they freestyle to an erratic drum beat. Did they rehearse this? How do they know? This is Cuban Salsa, flavoured by Africans, you’ve got to love it.

I’ve never been to Cuba, but if they do this, then every weekend must be an epic party because Caspa is partying like a Salsa star. I can’t help watching how effortlessly he does this, why can’t I? I wonder. I’m jealous.

Just last week I saw a video of Junior and Frida, they’re a killer Kizomba couple from Mozambique, and their Cuban Salsa is on fire too. Other couples stop dancing to watch them, in the background you can hear people cheering and you can see the delight on Junior and Frida’s faces. I ask again did they rehearse this or is this witchcraft? LOL. I love their style.

Whether you can do the basics or not, whether you take it easy like Ben or liven it up like Caspa, the joy of Cuban Salsa is clear, and it’s got something for everyone.

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