When you take your first dance lesson you might learn about the origins of Salsa and Bachata and maybe even something about other dances. Many beginners know that Salsa comes from Latin America and that it has roots in Cuba. For most dancers this knowledge is sufficient. If they continue to learn they will come across Mambo, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and also New York Style or Pachanga. But I promise you, there is a lot more to discover.
I created a graphical chart of the different connections to give you an overview and better explain this. I based my research on a lot of sources. The boundaries between rhythm, dance, instruments and musical style are not always clear. Especially in traditional music there is a flowing transition. Although there are a few exceptions (such as the basic rhythm of the puerto rican dance "Bomba”, which is called Sicá).
The complexity of the human brain and its creativity is infinite. People constantly create something new by mixing things together (called fusion). This applies to music and dance too. It is almost impossible to trace Salsa and Bachata back to every root and identify it, so my graphic below is only an initial overview.
I myself learned a lot about these connections and hope my overview is as truthful as possible. I am looking forward to your feedback.
Origins of Salsa & Bachata and the Relationships of Latin American Rhythms and Dances
Origins of Salsa & Bachata and the relationships of latin american rhythms and dances
(click image to maximize)
As you can see, the roots of today's Salsa are very diverse and sometimes so blurry that we are unable to reconstruct the whole picture. The rhythms and dances of the Yoruba people, an African tribe, have made a big contribution. Further influences are Son, Danzon and Cha Cha Cha, which themselves have European influences. If you want to read everything in more detail, I recommend the below articles about Salsa in English, German and Spanish language on Wikipedia (can be translated with Google or Deepl.com):
Overview: Rhythms of the Caribbean:
Rhythms and dances of Cuba
Nueva Trova Cubana
Rhythms & dances of Colombia
Popular rhythms of Colombia
Rhythms of the Pacific Coast of Colombia
Pango (auch Pangora)
Andarele (auch Amanecer)
Bunde (auch Chigualo)
Rhythms from the Andean Region in Colombia
Rhythms of Llanera (Orinoquía)
Rhythms & Dances of Venezuela
Balie de Tambor
La Changa / Changa Tuki
Official translation by Meri Jankuloska (german to english)