One of the best things about DJing in
One genre that is at the top of many clients’ lists to include is salsa. They know how its festive rhythms can really take an event to a higher level on the dance floor. But we also sometimes meet clients who are very open to it, yet seem a bit unsure if it would work for their guests, since they think their guests wouldn’t know how to dance to salsa and therefore might be intimidated.
What we tell these clients is that there’s more than one speed of salsa. They’re likely thinking of the really fast kind, the kind that one often sees in movies or at live performances, where expert dancers in elaborate, brightly-colored clothing sexily and seamlessly twist and slide and dip their way through the air. Of course, most people out there – even those who’ve taken a few salsa dance lessons – can’t live up to this, so we understand how one could get this impression that playing salsa might make some people not want to try to dance to it.
However, we’ve found that at the events we’ve performed at over the years that the exact opposite is true – it simply gets couples out to the dancefloor, whether there is anyone there who knows how to salsa dance or not. This is because – unless we know that a crowd wants very fast, intricate salsa – we always begin with a slower, more accessible, more vintage kind of salsa. If played at the right time, we’ve regularly seen these songs elevate the energy at an event. They give couples a chance to get close and try some more adventurous moves than they would be able to do while doing a foxtrot to a jazz standard by Sinatra, or the usual box-step to a more recent pop song. Other couples will be lured to the dance floor by these salsa numbers simply to try out some moves they might recall from a salsa dance they recently took. But, best of all, because these slower salsa songs are so fun and festive, couples will often get up and improvise what they feel are dance steps that fit the songs. They might not be completely right, but that’s the magic of playing these songs – it doesn’t matter. These vintage salsa songs are like a bar with great lighting – they make everyone look good.
Have a listen to two of our favorite salsa classics, the first, “La Murga,” by Willie Colon (pictured above, in his gangster trombonist persona), and the second, “
Willie Colon – La Murga
Tito Puente – Ran Kan Kan