Salsa Dancing in the Bay Area

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Salsa Guides

Are you new to salsa dancing and want to learn more about the dance before stepping into a club? Or have you been dancing for a while, but aren't sure what the difference between On1 and On2 salsa is? We've got you covered!

These salsa guides from Salsa By The Bay will teach you everything about salsa that you've wanted to know, but were afraid to ask! In our guides we cover everything from the history of salsa to the best dance shoes to wear to the club, and where to find the most popular salsa music.

So sit back and enjoy your salsa education! And if you have any questions we didn't answer, please contact us!


The Different Styles of Salsa Dancing

Did you know that there is more than one style of salsa dancing? In fact, there are five! Figure out which style you want to learn before stepping into a dance studio.

On1 Salsa

LA Style Salsa (Salsa On1)
On 1 Salsa, LA Style Salsa, Linear Salsa
A style of salsa originally popularized in Los Angeles. Known for its flash footwork and turn patterns. One of the most common styles of salsa found in the Bay.

On2 Salsa

New York Style Salsa (Salsa On2)
On2 Salsa, New York Style Salsa, Mambo
A style of salsa developed in New York where dancers break on the "2" and "6" beats of the music rather than "1" and "5". Popular in San Francisco and among more experienced dancers.

Cuban Salsa

Cuban Style Salsa
Cuban Style Salsa, Salsa Cubana
A style of salsa that originated in Cuba, and is danced in a circular motion rather than in a slot as in L.A. or New York style salsa. Popular in the East Bay, particularly Berkeley and Oakland.

Salsa Rueda

Salsa Rueda
Salsa Rueda, Rueda de Casino
Another style of salsa that developed in Cuba. Danced in a circle as a group with one person calling out the moves, rather than individual couples. There are a number of rueda groups in San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Cruz.

Colombian Style Salsa

Colombian Style Salsa
Colombian Salsa, Cali Style Salsa, Salsa Caleño
A style of salsa from Colombia, characterized by ultra-fast footwork and dramatic lifts and tricks. There are very few Colombian salsa dancers in the Bay Area, but you will often come across their style at salsa congresses and festivals.


Salsa Music Guide

Looking for some good salsa music recommendations? Here are some of our favorite songs that we enjoy dancing and listening to.

Top 10 Salsa SongsTop 10 Salsa Songs by DJ Felipe
Looking for some solid song recommendations? Here's a list of 10 great songs recommended by Felipe Martinez, aka DJ EldelaClave, one of the most experienced salsa DJs in the Bay Area.


Salsa Competitions Guide

Competitive salsa is a sport that is growing in popularity, and the SF Bay Area is known for some of the best competitive dancers in the country, with many local instructors holding World Championship titles. The following are the competition results for salsa competitions held in the Bay Area or in which Bay Area salsa competitors have participated in.


Bay Area Salsa Map

Want a visual layout of the Bay Area salsa scene? Check out our interactive Bay Area Salsa Map, complete with caricatures of local dance instructors!

Bay Area Salsa Map

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