Salsa Systema and the Cha Cha

I never was much for dancing. Sure, I respect it as an art form and enjoy watching good dancers but I was never one to actually get up there and do it. That sorta changed after I was sunning in my chaise-lounge at the pool while in Cuba when all of a sudden some animations staff appeared. The music went full blast and a bunch of people erupted into a mass dance explosion. At first I thought this was a flash-mob but learned it was a Zumba class. Zumba?

Well I must have been living in a cave for the last ten years as I have never heard of Zumba. A mixture of Salsa, Cha Cha, aerobics and what ever else you want to throw into the mix. Interesting I thought and fun to watch.

At night the resort bar had incredible bands and the salsa dancers were pretty amazing as well. It inspired me to want to learn this, how hard could it be?

Upon my return home on a cold snowing day sitting at my computer I felt like listening to some Cuban music. After a song or two I stumbled into a Zumba video and felt this was the time to start my Salsa dance career.

Step one, find a good beginner video on Salsa dancing on YouTube. No problem, found a great children’s dance class learning the three basic Salsa steps.

At first I was quite useless. In fact for my first at-home lesson I couldn’t even do the basic steps without stumbling. I thought I was coordinated but I was greatly mistaken. Obviously this was going to take some effort.

Next day, lesson two. There was a vast improvement in my rehearsal and I was actually starting to get the hang of it.

The thing that first caught my attention on day one’s effort was how useful this activity is in complimenting a Systema training regiment. It is excellent training for balance and coordination. Physically it is great workout for the lower back and once you start to get the arm motion happening it gives the shoulders a good workout too.

Cha Cha and Salsa is great for stand-up fighting technique different then say Capoeira, which incorporates a more acrobatic dance style. In other words, it ‘s fantastic for leg work training.

So if you would like to add something different to your Systema martial arts training program throw on some vibrant Cuban music and start dancing.


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