There is a lot to write about salsa history, but don't worry, we will keep it short and simple.
Salsa is the result of a musical evolution of various types of Latin rhythms. Salsa is also a dance style which combines many different cultural genres.
Salsa music and salsa dancing are very much connected because the main purpose of the music is to dance to. Still they both have their own story.
There exist an ongoing discussion on the exact origin of salsa. Many people believe that it originates from the Cubans. Because of the social and political pressures and restraints enforced in Cuba and Puerto Rico in the 30’s, many people emigrated or fled into the cities of the U.S.A including New York. These emigrants from the Caribbean blended several music styles together.Read more about the history of Cuba.
The term "Salsa" was created in New York. The dance style has an Hispanic origin and was cultivated in New York.
The term refers to a variety of Hispanic musical styles: Rhumba, Són Montuno, Guaracha, Mambo, Cha cha cha, Danzón, Són, Guguanco, Cubop, Guajira, Charanga, Cumbia, Plena, Bomba, Festejo, Merengue, among others.
Many of these have maintained their individuality and others were mixed creating "Salsa". We can therefore conclude that not one single country or culture can take the credit for the existence of Salsa.
The late Celia Cruz , also known by many as the queen of salsa, said that salsa does not exist as a rhythm, but that it is rather an exclamation for music such as guaracha, bolero, cha cha cha, danzon, son, rumba, and more.