Burn It Up, Burn It Off


We all know that Salsa is great for getting up and moving.  It’s especially good for some of us who are otherwise susceptible to boredom eating.

I find whenever I decline cake or chocolate (using up every ounce of willpower), people tell me “don’t worry, you’ll dance it off!”

But some of these foods have such high caloric content, that sometimes I wonder how true that is.

Anyone else ever wonder how dancing Salsa compares to your calorie intake?

These scientists are onto it!

Phew, there’s a lot of science lingo.  But essentially…

“A 70 kg person would expect to burn about 550 kcal of energy every hour salsa dancing.

“To figure this out for your own body weight, just multiply your weight in kg by 7.91”

 – Pablo Alberto Domene @ SalsaPHD


Nifty trick!  Take your weight, multiply by 7.91 and there’s your approximation of how many kCal you burn in an hour!

The results were based on dancing Afro-Cuban style to this songs tempo:

…And obviously varies by style, age, experience, metabolism and lifestyle factors.


As an indicator, here are some of our favourite foods:


Calories* Minutes of Continuous Salsa**
Mars Bar (regular size) 241 26
Sushi (Bento Box from Sushi Sushi) 634 69
Burrito (Original Beef Burrito from Salsa’s Fresh Mex) 914 100
Burger (Almighty Beef Burger from Grill’d) 805 88
Pizza (2 slices Supreme Classic Crust from Dominos) 318 35
Chicken Caesar Salad (large, Sumo Salad) 472 51
Caramel Latte (med, regular milk from Gloria Jeans) 221 24

* Calories found at CalorieKing

** Minutes dancing based on a 70kg individual, burning 550kCal/hr


So at 60kg, I would burn approx 475 calories each hour if I danced continuously.  At 476kCals, my favourite pre-salsa snack, the Little Guy Burrito from Guzman Y Gomez, would take just over an hour to burn.

Methinks it’s worth it 😉

– Jill

In Defence of the “Bah” Dancer…

An article has been circulating the salsa scene at the moment, which has me a little agitated.

“Why ‘Social’ Dancers are Killing Salsa”:

“People in the Bah! [“basic and happy”] cycle have achieved a certain rudimentary level of Salsa, they’ve made new friends and learned that they can enjoy themselves “dancing” without putting in too much effort… and that’s it. They remain in a state of perpetual mediocrity.

“If the number of Bah!-dancers reaches a certain critical mass, it creates a precedent for others to follow. What this means is that when people are exposed to large amounts of mediocre dancers they have no incentive to improve…” 

– The Dancing Irishman

To me this defies the foundation of Latin dance.


Salsa was borne out of an evolution of Afro-Caribbean beats and Latin rhythms.  It spread from countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Dominican Republic and became popular in New York around the 60s.  Salsa still remains an integral part of the culture in these countries.

Whenever I dance with Latinos, most of them have an innate sense of the music but generally don’t include complex turn patterns or tricks.  Most of my Latino friends have attained a certain level of ability and have no desire to improve.

To them, salsa is about feeling the music, having a drink, seeing friends and relaxing.  The music must have ‘sabor’ or flavour; regularly, I hear them say “no I won’t dance this song, it’s too dull”.

As beneficiaries of salsa-culture, it strikes me as absurd that people should be shamed for their disinterest in working towards professional salsa dancing.

Salsa has always been a social activity.  If you want to be elite, that’s your prerogative.  I’d argue that passing judgement on others, for not sharing the same approach, is far more detrimental to the salsa scene.

Every new dancer has the potential to be a great dancer, if they want to be.  But they will not want to join the salsa scene if the veterans are unaccommodating.  Sometimes we just need to take a step back and appreciate that others are not as obsessed with dancing as a ‘sport’ like some of us are (especially me!).

Finally, I’d like to point out that these “bah” dancers are the ones buying drinks and keeping venues open.  No drink sales means no salsa venue!


Do you agree or disagree?  Have another dimension to the debate?  I’m always up for a chat and happy to hear more, please comment or hit me up: jill@sydneylatinscene.com.au.

Top 10 best female salsa dancers! Number 1 is my favourite! – Penny

Thanks to:


Welcome! Disclaimer: Our list is based on a combination of social dancing skill and performance ability. Being a great Salsa/Mambo dancer is much more than performing the mechanics of the dance, and being able to do 1000 turn patterns…it also means having an emotional connection to the music, and effectively communicating those feelings to your dance partner or audience through body movement.  The individuals on our list are dancers that we would pay money to watch dance.  And we don’t mean at a congress or event where EVERYBODY and their mama gets to perform. True salseros understand what we’re saying.  We know that there is no “best” salsa dancer and that dancing (much like art and beauty) is subjective.

10 – Liz Lira – The female Flash.  I doubt anyone can spin faster than Lira.  She has been a regular on the salsa competition circuit, so she dances with incredible precision.

9 – Yesenia Peralta –  Influential talent.  Inspiring the world through dance and her battle with multiple sclerosis.

8 – Amneris Martinez – Has performed often with Juan Matos and doesn’t take a backseat to his greatness.  Phenomenal dancer.

7 – Edie “The Salsa Freak” Williams – One of the more popular salseras in the world due to a web/social media footprint and her writing skills.  Edie is also one of the few exceptional dancers who has the ability to effectively teach salsa.

6 – Amaryllis Cintron – Is not as well known as others on the list, but that’s ok.  DancePlanetDaily.com recognizes the skills.

5 – Shani Talmor – Oustanding performer.  Periodically seen performing with Eddie Torres. Smooth and solid.

4 – Griselle Ponce – Fierce. She attacks the dance floor with hips and high energy.

3 – Ana Masacote – A natural.  Superior dancer that can follow any lead imaginable with her own unique style.

2- Magna Gopal – Self taught sensation.  Well known for her ability to spin like a toy top on ice.  Magna is one of the most popular salseras in the world, and for good reason…she’s an amazing dancer.  Looks like your cute, Indian girl next door…until she gets on the dance floor and you realize your neighbor never danced like her!

1 – Alien Ramirez – A master of her craft.  Brilliant performer.  She can effortlessly improv with any salsero alive.  Versatile. She can be smooth or sassy.  Sexy or subdued.  She can do acrobatic tricks/flips or basic beginner styling with equal elegance and grace.  Like a salsa super-heroine, she has no mambo weaknesses.  Best of all…she always looks like she’s having a hell of a lot of fun dancing.  Alien is our choice for #1.

Honorable Mention: Amanda Estilo, Maricza Valentin, Joby Brava, Maria Torres,  Jennifer Silva, Duplessy Walker,  Jorjet Alcocer.