Salsa bachata dancing is back at Mesa


Jaqueline Sanchez Rivera, Photo editor

Soldiers and Students Who Salsa Bachata dancing has begun at San Diego Mesa College, not as a course, but as free lessons for all students. Classes are scheduled every first and third Monday of each month in ES-103 starting on Oct. 21. The event begins at 5:30 p.m and ends at 6:30 p.m. Right after the class ends, social dancing begins and ends at 8:00 p.m. The class is geared for all levels and it is encouraged for students to come out and have a good time. 


What is salsa bachata? Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic and is danced all over the world. Salsa, on the other hand, originated from Cuba, Spanish (European) and African cultures. The basics of bachata are three steps , a sway hip motion followed by a tap with the leg as the hip makes movement on the fourth count. Salsa is usually pretty fast and more liberal compared to bachata.


Compared to bachata, salsa is faster, with more pushing, rapid pulling, and spins. Bachata is known as being sensual by its slower pace movements which reflects an intimate feeling. Salsa means “sauce” in Spanish which represents a lot of Latin influences and jazz elements. There are a lot of different salsa styles, from Cuba, Colombia, Miami, Casino Rueda, Los Angeles, New York, Puerto Rico, and salsa shine. As for bachata, there is bachata tango, Modern, Ballroom, original Dominican. Salsa bachata is a mixture of both dance artistries. 


Social dancing is happening after class ends but what is social dancing? It is more of participation than a performance, which means you can pick a partner and not worry so much about messing up on technique. It is the time to have fun and move your body with ease as you and your partner make a connection. It is the best part of it all! Feeling, expressing, and moving like a dancer.


Mesa’s dance department offers more than 40 dance courses including history and music of dance, choreography, five levels of ballet, five levels of tap, five levels of jazz, belly dance, mid-eastern, hip hop, modern, dance improvisation, classical and contemporary dances. 


Unfortunately, no salsa dance classes have been permanent. Mesa student, Bianca Hurtado stated, “A few semesters ago I took salsa dancing as a course and it was really fun and I learned a lot of techniques. I also met new people and was able to attend the dance concert as a requirement for the class. After that, salsa hasn’t been posted as a course. Maybe they don’t have a stable professor for it. There have been times where I have seen posters posted in the second week of school that there would be a latin dance class going on but then it would be too late  because it would either interfere with my schedule and it would be too late for me to rearrange it. I wished there was a stable class for it, maybe more students would join and know about it. I am glad that salsa bachata classes are coming back at least for now.”