The rhythms of Salsa music are the heartbeat of many Latin countries. Salsa isn’t generation specific, a tradition loosing ground to newer sounds.
The Paseo de la Princesa (Walkway of the Princess) in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico starts at the ocean and works its way inland. It is popular on the weekend and lined with food vendors and street entertainers.
Strolling along the esplanade on a Sunday afternoon earlier this year we came across an outdoor café with a salsa band in full bloom. Tourists five deep were crowded around the entrance watching people dance and a few slipped in to sit at tables to get a closer look. They were welcome and smiles were exchanged.
Certain music has the ability to make even a chronic wallflower overcome shyness. Salsa is like that. Not a dancer? It doesn’t matter. Someone will grab your hand and pull you on the dance floor. Everyone is included and it’s bad form to deny someone a dance.
Part of the beauty of Salsa is that it is not typically danced to solo. The man in the black and white ensemble in the photograph above had many partners and never left the dance floor. I bet he is there almost every weekend.