Music is always evolving. Nowadays there are tons of styles that have taken over the music and dance scene providing people with new ways of experiencing melodies. Salsa choke has taken over the Colombian salsa scene and is the dance everyone wants to learn!
What do you get by combining salsa with reggaeton, electronica, and urban vibes? Believe it or not, the answer exists and it’s called salsa choke! This new dance style is basically a modern version of salsa with more flavor and more beat. Now, you might be wondering how salsa choke works? Remember whenever the Colombian team scored goals at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 (James!) they did a very cool dance? That’s salsa choke and it is, perhaps, the newest Colombian dance style in the country. With its addictive and repetitive lyrics, along with the joy of its dance, salsa choke is slowly conquering the music scene in Colombia!
Salsa choke was born around 2008 as a mix of traditional salsa and urban sounds (reggaeton, electronica, and even house music), inspired by African rhythms. Originally from Tumaco (located in the Pacific region of Colombia), it was brought to Cali by the population who migrated due to the violence in the region. Additionally, “choke” translates to “bump” in Spanish, so it literally means “salsa bump.” And, just like reggaeton, it’s a dance style born exclusively in the city and permeated by technology and mainstream music. Salsa choke reflects the liveliness of salsa culture while adding more dynamic moves and super catchy rhythms and lyrics that always get everyone on the dance floor.
However, it has also been a subject of controversy, as some traditional salsa dancers, musicians, and experts have claimed that it isn’t really salsa or a genre of salsa either. Salsa choke might actually be a passing fad or maybe it’ll stay longer, but Colombians love it and it’s them who have made it popular over the last few years. If people enjoy it, that’s all that matters because that’s what dancing is for!
Dancing salsa choke
Anyone can dance salsa choke; it’s even easier than salsa, plus you don’t actually need a partner, so you can dance solo and it’s just as fun as with a partner. The basis of the dance is to move your feet and hips twice on each side and coordinate it with the hands (just like salsa). It’s similar to bachata’s basic step but way faster. That’s basically it (although it does have other steps that you could learn).
Want to learn?
- Choco to Dance Studio: it’s wonderful because you have beginner, intermediate, and advanced level classes, as well as a ridiculously cheap price of $29,900 COP ($9.99 USD) for four months (unbelievable, I know!) for any class you wish. You’ll also contribute to scholarships to promote education in Chocó (one of Colombia’s departments); so, it’s an education for education!
- Whee Dance Lessons: I recommend going to these lessons every Thursday at Meeting House. You’ll learn to dance many Colombian and Latin rhythms, as well as share the experience with other foreigners and locals (for free!). It’s a hell of a good time!
You can also learn by taking a look at these Youtube videos that teach you the basics, so you can practice:
Want to dance for fun?
Like any other dance, this is the best way to enjoy salsa choke. Going to the Pacific region, including Cali, would actually be the most joyful local experience, but whenever you’re in Bogotá, head to these amazing bars to dance your night away!
- El Bembé Bar: providing a local experience like no other, with the most amazing salsa and salsa choke. Don’t miss out on this place!
- Son Salomé: a place full of good music, good vibes for everyone’s delight!
Famous artists and songs
As it’s very new, there are not hundreds of artists and songs to choose from, so it’s not that difficult to select the best ones. Here they are:
- Cali Flow Latino (the most popular ones and not to be missed!)
- Choquibtown (they are not a salsa choke group per se, but they do have some songs worth listening to!)
- Los traviesos (they are just pure fun!)
- CJ Castro (one of salsa choke’s pioneers)
If you want to understand salsa choke and hear the rhythm, these are the mandatory songs!
- Ras tas tas by Cali Flow Latino (this is such an amazing song!)
- Salsa & Choke by Choquibtown (I love them and this song!)
- Swagga by Cali Flow Latino (it’s so catchy!)
- La rumba va sola by Los Traviesos (just joy, dance, and happiness!)
- Sueltáte by CJ Castro (pure salsa choke!)
To listen to more songs, click on this Spotify playlist and enjoy!
Salsa choke is taking over the Colombian music and dance scene and that’s why you shouldn’t miss it when coming to Bogotá! Really, it’s one of the most fun and enjoyable dances you could ever experience, and you know what they say: dance is medicine for the soul!
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