Welcome to the home of Salsa Ritmo Dance in Pittsburgh, PA! We provide group and private lessons, technique and rhythm development, and performances of folkloric and modern Latin dances. Some of our main performance groups are featured here.
Las Chicas is an all female dance team that dance together to salsa and other styles of Latin music. Countless fancy foot patterns can be invented to the beat of Latin music. These rhythmic foot patterns are also known as "shines". Shines can be done without a partner and they give the dancer an opportunity to express her own personal style. The Chicas is the only all-female shine team in the Pittsburgh area.
Casino rueda began in Cuba in the 1950's inside of large dance halls called casinos. The casinos were popular places for dancing and socializing, and it was where this exciting new form of group dancing developed. Casino rueda involves a circle of couples dancing together. One member of the circle calls out moves, and each couple performs them simultaneously, often exchanging partners depending on what the caller yells out. Although our casino rueda dancers have learned close to 150 moves through year long practicing, the dance itself is not choreographed — every dance is different, depending on what our caller yells out.
Salsa is a distillation of many rhythms from different places in Latin America, each uniquely rich in its musical heritage. It has strong roots in Afro-Cuban music, particularly the music style called Son. Salsa dance, a spicy couple's dance, came alive in the United States around the 1960s in the barrios of New York when the flavors of American and Puerto Rican jazz musicians blended. The music and dance have continuously evolved into the dynamic style found all over the world today.
Plena music and dance was influenced by both Spanish and African culture. Plena music was used as a sort of "singing news paper": the news of the day was put to song and used to spread messages to the people of the barrio. Our plena dances often feature a vejigante, who is sometimes known here as the "boogie man." He mischievously passes in and out of the shadows and tries to scare away evil spirits.