Vente Negra – La Nova Tradicional
One of the most beautiful slow salsas there is. Find someone you like, get close and lose yourself in this hit from Habana con Kola.

Via – Al Delory
A great On2 acoustic song that brings back great memories for me.

La Pantera Mambo – La 33
A fast and furious song from the Colombian band La 33. At over 6 minutes long expect to finish this one out of breath.

Como Los Quiero – Ñejo
A great cuban style track with an excellent beat that just makes your shoulders want to move.

Valió la Pena – Marc Anthony
Me llama la rumba. Thank you Marc Anthony.

Fragilidad – Milagros Piñera
I prefer the mature female vocal of this version more than Sting’s version (which is also great itself).

Hong Kong Mambo – Tito Puente
Another amazing On2 orchestral piece from El Rey, Tito Puente.

Yo no sé mañana – Luis Enrique
A great medium paced salsa perfect for On1 and one the first Spanish songs I learned the lyrics to.

La Banda – Hector Lavoe
A nice fast paced classic that goes well with a little salsa caleña.

Merecumbe – Johnny Colon
The opening to this song is simply spectacular and features some of the best use of piano in any salsa song I know!

El Preso – Fruko y sus Tesos
The perfect number to get your feet moving Cali style.

Abre Que Voy – Miguel Enriquez
A great opening with a spectacular clave rich beat!

Salsa, Timba y Amor – Isaac Delgado
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Cuba.

La Salsa Dura – Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Pure mambo perfection. Just try NOT dancing when you hear this song.

Soledad – La 33
Another brilliant salsa from La 33 with great lyrics, perfect for some On1 dancing.

Sonido Bestial – Richie Rey & Bobby Cruz
This is a very special salsa with some incredible use of piano and spectacular and unexpected rhythm changes. There is something for everyone in this classic!

Locos por mi Habana – Manolito y su Trabuco
I love this up-beat Cuban rhythm and the lyrics just make me want to be in Havana.

Oiga Mire Vea – Orquesta Guayacán
This is a true Cali classic. The lyrics really tell the story of the city and the beat is perfect for the city of rumberos.

Pedro Navaja – Ruben Blades
This is a really fun salsa with some great percussion from a true salsa legend, Ruben Blades.

Aisha – Africando
This is a great salsa perfect for mambo that really allows you to play with the music. More salsa in French please!

Carita De Pasaporte – Havana D’ Primera
The lead singers voice really makes this song what it is. A very sensual, slow salsa.

Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club
The legendary Buena Vista Social Club has produced many hits and this song is up there as one of the most beautiful. Perfect for a slow, close dance!

Zumbale – Henry Fiol
This is a great, really fun salsa that has some great rhythm changes that allow for a lot of play in the dance.

La Pesadilla – Ocho y Media
The opening to this cha cha almost gives me goosebumps and leads into a delicious, quicker salsa beat.

La Palomilla – Joe Cuba Sextet
This a very earthy salsa that makes you want to work those shoulders and gives plenty of opportunity for some great shines.

Feo pero Sabroso – Louie Ramirez
What a title and what a great track too. I almost want to make it my theme song!

Ran Kan Kan – Tito Puente
My God Tito Puente was a true master. If any one could fill a song with “sabor” it was him.

Sonando el Tambor – Orquesta Clandeskina
Beautiful vocals with great rhythm changes make this a real salsa classic, perfect for a mix of slow and faster beat salsa.

Llorarás – Oscar de León
This is a serious classic here in Cali and it’s a great rhythm to dance some salsa caleña to.

Así no – Orquesta Sonolux
A nice slower paced salsa great for getting plenty of swing and soul into your dance.

Para Que Volver – Eddie Maldonado
This classic salsa has one of the most unforgettable trumpet rhythms that you’ll ever hear.

La Divine – Habana con Kola
Another smooth salsa classic from Barcelona’s Cuban newcomers, Habana con Kola.

Amor a Medio Tiempo – Bobby Valentin
This song sounds so cheesy and late 1970s that it’s actually fantastic. For all you part-time lovers.

Torbellino de Amor – Orquesta Dan Den
Another classic salsa with great rhythm changes that I feel would work great for some smooth on2 dancing.

Tiempo Pa’ Matar – Willie Colon
Funky! The only way to describe how this song starts out. Great tempo changes throughout.

Viene y Se Va – Mauro Castillo
Another recent hit in Cali with some very heady trumpet playing from the lead singer.

Rumba pa’ los Bravos – Sociedad 76 Orchestra
A great brassy song with plenty of “golpe” from the spectacular percussion and a nice fast beat make this perfect for salsa caleña or some ambitious lineal salsa.

Baila mi Hermano – DJ Timba
The heavy primal beat, changes in tempo and spectacular use of the violin make this simply one of my favorite smooth salsa songs.

Descongelate – Orquesta La Descarga
This is some seriously mellow funked out salsa that is perfect for letting you “descongelate” (unfreeze yourself) and play with the music enjoying every beat in the song.

El Muñeco de la Ciudad – Cano Estremera
A song about a guy who everybody stares at because he’s so white but who dances with sabor! I do believe I have found my theme song. A classic salsa number with the orchestra of Bobby Valentin.

Sentencia China – Los Hermanos Lebron
I must have listened to this song 10 times the first time I heard it. A beautiful, slow and smooth salsa with great percussion, piano and lyrics from the Hermanos Lebron.

Lalala – Direct Latin Influence
Now here is a salsa classic, complete with some great footage from the Palladium Era. This was recommended to me by the infinitely knowledgeable Josue Joseph of “La Época” series of salsa documentaries. Feel the music.

La Bailarina – Havana D’ Primera
If any song were to remind me of my time in Cuba it would be this beauty. I heard it virtually every day in my salsa classes and in the clubs at night. Pure nostalgia. La Bailarina me enamoró.

Mucha Emoción – El Tattoo del Tigre
Now this is a fun song to dance to, nice slow start moving into some funky clave-heavy rhythm with plenty of breaks throughout.

Beautiful – Edwin Rivera
I absolutely the use of the wind instruments, especially the flute in this song. A great jazzy number that is just perfect for On2. Easy to dance to and lots of fun to dance

I Want You Back – Tony Succar (feat. Tito Nieves)
Sometimes you just hear a song that makes you feel good and want to dance for no other reason than its catchy beat. The original by the “Jackson 5” is a such a song and now you can dance salsa to it too. About time.

Bongo Boy – Joe Loco Quintet
Classic and funky latin jazz with some crazy percussion segments that will test anyone’s shine skills. They don’t make it like this anymore.

Vivir mi vida – Marc Anthony
Some songs are good because they bring back good memories (this was popular when I visited Cuba) or some because the lyrics have a great message. This has both. Thank you Marc Anthony.

Thinking of You – Lenny Kravitz
When a salsa cover of a non-salsa song is good, it’s usually really good (the rest is not worth mentioning. This song is golden blend of Lenny Kravitz smooth vocals and some great percussion, perfect for dancing On2.

Ni sirvo pa’ queso – La Maxima 79
Old school salsa with a great descarga in the middle. Just the tune for some On1 or On2.

Esta Pegao – El Timba & Fabio Gianni
This is the kind of mambo that gets you breathing heavy and wanting to shine like your life depended on it from the very get go. A little slow in the middle but still a great song.

No No No – Boogaloo Assassins
This song is simply fun and with a load of great music breaks thrown in to keep any one with a fetish for body movement and self expression happy.

14 Responses to “Salsa”

  1. margarita moran June 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    solo puedo decir una sola cosa : tienes muy buen gusto 🙂

  2. DAO June 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Me mataste! ya imaginas por qué! excelentes canciones y sobre todo la primera

  3. suave que es bolero July 10, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Permiteme recomendar un Boogaloo de esos que nos recuerda que uno de los placeres de las vida es estar ahí, olvidaos/as del mundo, en medio de la pista…..bailando!!!

  4. Thomas Barr October 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    (Juliana Que Mala Eres) and (En Barranquilla Me Quedo)
    Great read altogether

    • The Dancing Irishman October 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      Thanks Tom, Glad you liked it. And by the way, I LOVE both of those songs you mentioned. I’ll have to add them to the list.

  5. John Wilson December 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Hello, Enjoyed reading your articles, but I do have a question that perhaps you can answer. To give you a background of myself as a point of reference here. I have dance salsa on 1 before and really enjoyed myself. I can not remember how long it took me to learn intermediate level. Having stated that, My wife and I are thinking about going to Rucafe to learn Salsa cubana as we cannot go to Cuba because we are Americans. My question is how long do you think it would take newbies to learn Salsa on 2 with Casino style?

    • The Dancing Irishman December 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi John,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the blog.
      First off, I want to point out that you as an American CAN go to Cuba. As long as you go via mexico or another country there should be no problem (they won’t stamp your passport at immigration control). I met A LOT of americans when I visited Cuba last year.
      On to your question: Casino or Cuba style is actually danced On1 (the On2 styles are New York and Puerto Rican). If you go to Rucafe they have a really well structured system so could could get to a decent basic level after 3 months (assuming 1 class a week). Remember to keep practicing it regularly and you can reduce that time a lot.
      Best of luck with casino, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

      • John Wilson December 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

        Thanks for the fast response and information! One time a week is that normal? When I was learning before it was three times a week and each level was 6 weeks.

      • The Dancing Irishman December 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

        I’m not sure how many classes they do a week, obviously the more, the better.


  1. Cali: One year on! « The Dancing Irishman - September 5, 2012

    […] Salsa […]

  2. The Greatest Salsa Playlist EVER! « The Dancing Irishman - October 10, 2012

    […] Salsa […]

Leave a Reply to The Dancing Irishman Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Fiona Uyema

Japanese Cookbook Author

ZoukSide Down - A journey with Brazilian Zouk

A personal blog aimed at contributing, and paying homage, to the most sensual, beautiful dance of Brazil.


Spanish as it hits my ears

SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

Rhapsodies of the Barefooted Gypsy

Just another site

Carina Of Devon

Adventures of a family afloat


Cycling: A Great Excuse to Eat More

Alicia en el País de las Maravillas

Las Maravillas del Mundo

Surfista Travels Siargao, Philippines

The most fun, personalized & professional SURF LESSONS and SURFING EXPERIENCE in the Siargao Island, Philippines!

Zacki Zacki Miyazaki - Sascha's Blog


Raymond D. Murphy's Portfolio

My graphic design portfolio, displaying all of my work working in Tokyo

DMS Photograph

Dreams. Memories. Stories.

Oh what a world!

Smile! You’re at the best site ever

My Brailzian Adventure

A record of my time living and teaching in Brazil

Just Dancing Salsa~ Cape Town

Feel. Play. Express.


Cuba reflected through food

%d bloggers like this: