As a salsa dancer, this chart from Google Trends scares the shit out of me:
Let me explain. Google Trends analyzes Google search volume (duh) for every word. The above chart analyzes the search term “salsa” (the dance, not the delicious condiment or musical genre).
The total search volume is unknown but we do know that since 2004, peak search volume was in July 2005. And we know that today, search volume is 62% lower than at it’s peak. This is a troubling trend.
The trend is not consistent across all Latin dances. Check out the Bachata chart over the same period:
Today’s Bachata popularity is only 1% down from it’s peak in April 2014. Search volume has risen since 2004 by a wopping 86%! Kizomba also shows growth over the past 12 years:
Salsa dancing still has way more total search volume than either Bachata or Kizomba:
But why the huge drop in salsa dancing interest? Beyond data, this trending down of salsa proves out anecdotally in real life. I just moved to San Francisco last month. Guess which long running congress just got canceled? Yep, the San Francisco Salsa Congress.
Now put on your big boy/girl face and cover the baby’s ears. You’re not going to like what I’m about to say:
Salsa dancing will not be around forever.
I know, it’s unthinkable. But salsa as I know it (NY/LA style) has only been around since the 1980’s when Eddie Torres codified it. Plenty of extinct dance styles were around for way longer before going the way of the dodo.
There is no call to action in this post. But I will call you to awareness. We should all be aware of how our Latin dance community is growing and changing. I hope you found this post informative. As always, I appreciate your feedback!