Salsa Colombian style is a very popular dance style in South and Latin
America characterized by dancers who remain very close, move from side
to side in a circular pattern, and use little or no back to forward foot
The steps of this style often involve going back to center or back then to the side. For this reason, the Colombian style is different than mambo, where the feet go forward to back.
Salsa Colombian style has four beats with a break on the fourth where a flourish of the feat or a hand clap is often performed. The Colombian style features very little spinning and absolutely no turning. Any spins that do take place are done by the female and are never very complex.
Salsa Colombian style originated from the northern region of Colombia
and is heavily rooted in Cumbia, the national music and dance of the
country. For this reason, the Colombian style can be danced to Cumbia
music as well as traditional salsa.
Cumbia comes from the Caribbean coast of Colombia and derives from Moorish, African, and Indigenous influences. Cumbia is played with accordions, brass instruments, guitars, and deep sounding drums and is danced with side by side dancers, mirroring each other’s steps.
Cumbia as well as the Colombian style became very popular during the big band era and continues to be very popular in Colombian nightclubs today as well as those in Mexico and around Latin America.
The Colombian style is often referred to as “Street Style” or as Cali Colombian style. The latter is named for Cali, Colombia, a region in the southern portion of country which is known as the international capital of salsa dancing.
However, Cali style can be showier and speedier than dancing based on Cumbia. Both styles are very unique and stand out from traditional salsa.
The Colombian style is often danced in salsotecas, or nightclubs, as
well as in Colombian style competitions which take place around the
Although the Colombian style is very popular, it is rarely taught in dancing schools. Instead it is handed down through families and learned in nightclubs.