SALSA

History

Although there are variations on the Salsa, it is the Cuban Salsa that is danced in Strictly Come Dancing. Created by Cuban immigrants in New York, it contains a variety of rhythms including Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Merengue and Lambada.

The dance

Salsa translates as 'sauce' giving you some indication of what the dance should be - hot and spicy with lots of flavours! It should be fast and rhythmic, and should be a mixture of in hold and apart. Like the Rumba the connection between the couple is important, but a more fun, flirty, sexy attitude is required.

The best of Strictly

While the Salsa was only introduced into the main competition in Series 4, Mark & Karen brought the audience and judges to their feet in the series final with their amazing routine and acheived the perfect score of 40. It was fast, fun and sexy, and a perfect choice of music in the song 'Hot, Hot, Hot', it set the benchmark for all Salsa's yet to come. In Series 11, Abbey became the first female celebrity to score a 10 for a Salsa, and with the disco inspired routine for Musicals week, dancing to You Should Be Dancing with Aljaž the couple scored the second ever perfect score for the Salsa.

The worst of Strictly

Without doubt, the worst Salsa performed on the show came from Ann & Anton in Series 8. Knowing that Ann wouldn't be able to dance a Salsa, Anton made a comedy routine with lots of gimmicky moments including ripping his shirt open to have Ann then do it back up again and an illegal lift, and at one point, Anton was even visibly trying to count the beat out to Ann to try and get her back on time for the little attempts as dancing in the routine. Craig said there wasn't a word in the English language to describe it, and gave them a 1, bringing the total score judges to 12 points.

Anton appears again and again in the list firstly with possibly one of the most unintentionally comic dances we've seen on Strictly, and the Salsa routine he danced with Kate Garraway in Series 5, which they danced to 'Peanut Vendor'. Having made it to week 6 based on the public voting for them to be save every week, unfortunately, Kate still didn't seem to be able to master the technique of spinning on the spot, and though she tried her best, only managed to get a total mark of 18 points. Then in the ninth series, dancing with Nancy Dell'Olio, and the introduction of allowable lifts in the salsa, the pair managed to perform a routine which Anton seemed to be going for the comedy angle, while Nancy appeared to think she was dancing a straight salsa routine. The resulting performance was not well received by the judges, drawing a 2 from Alesha, the lowest score she'd ever given.

In Series 4, trying to build on previous comments from the judges that they liked the raunchy aspects of his routines with Claire King, Brendan attempted to choreograph the dirtiest, sexiest Salsa we'd seen, but unfortunately, it didn't work, and the judges felt it looked more like a pole dance than something we should see on the ballroom dancefloor, and consequently awarded them only 21 points.

Scores for all Salsa performances:

Series 4
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Louisa & VincentBailamosWeek 5687829
Matt & LiliaPerfect LoveWeek 5567725
Claire & BrendanSenoritaWeek 5456621
Carol & MatthewDon't Stop Til You Get EnoughWeek 5768829
Mark & KarenHot, Hot, HotWeek 5999936
Emma & DarrenAin't NobodyWeek 11879933
Mark & KarenHot, Hot, HotWeek 121010101040
Mark & KarenLa BambaChristmas999936

 

Series 5
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Penny & IanHigherWeek 6667625
Kate & AntonPeanut VendorWeek 6346518
Letitia & DarrenPastime ParadiseWeek 6667625
John & NicoleRan Kan KanWeek 68910936
Alesha & MatthewWanna Be Startin' Somethin'Week 6989935
Matt & FlaviaVehicleWeek 891091038
Gethin & CamillaAzucarWeek 9899935
Matt & FlaviaVehicleWeek 12910101039

 

Series 6
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Jessie & DarrenHey MamboWeek 2446620
Lisa & BrendanRhythm Is Gonna Get YouWeek 2556622
Heather & BrianNe Tango De SalsaWeek 2568726
Rachel & VincentCan't Buy Me Love (Latin Version)Week 2788831
Cherie & JamesOye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)Week 7667726
Tom & CamillaPa Goza Con FrukoWeek 9899935
Christine & MatthewCosmic GirlWeek 11778830
Austin & ErinJohnny's MamboWeek 128910936
Tom & CamillaPa Goza Con FrukoWeek 1491010938

 

Series 7
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenAleshaBruno Total
Chris & OlaMicaelaWeek 45-67725
Ali & BrianQuimbaraWeek 48-88832
Natalie & VincentYou'll Be Mine (Party Time)Week 47-87729
Ricky & NatalieDancing MachineWeek 48-88832
Jade & IanLa Isla BonitaWeek 47-78729
Phil & KatyaLong Train RunningWeek 44-76724
Ricky & ErinAcuyuyeWeek 86-76625
Laila & AntonCogele el GustoWeek 125565526

 

Series 8
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigLenAleshaBruno Total
Peter & ErinMambo No. 5Week 2355417
Patsy & RobinCanned HeatWeek 2777728
Scott & NatalieLet's Hear It For The BoyWeek 2888832
Pamela & JamesDoctor BeatWeek 2888832
Ann & AntonMambo ItalianoWeek 2144312
Gavin & KatyaDon't Stop The MusicWeek 2365519
Kara & ArtemCongaWeek 6999936
Felicity & VincentAll Night LongWeek 7577726
Matt & AlionaSpinning AroundWeek 11777728

 

Series 9
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigJenniferLenAleshaBruno Total
Chelsee & PashaHigherWeek 27-78729
Audley & NatalieDon't Stop 'Til You Get EnoughWeek 25-66623
Dan & KatyaUpside DownWeek 24-66521
Holly & ArtemMas Que NadaWeek 27-78830
Rory & ErinVehicleWeek 24-66622
Anita & RobinJump In The LineWeek 27-77728
Nancy & AntonPapa Loves MamboWeek 23-52414
Russell & FlaviaDancing QueenWeek 26-66725
Robbie & OlaLet Me Entertain YouWeek 85-77726
Harry & AlionaI'm Still StandingWeek 88-89934
Alex & James1-2-3-4Week 117-88831

 

Series 10
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Dani & VincentMama Do The HumpWeek 2767727
Sid & OlaHips Don't LieWeek 2665522
Louis & Flavia(I've Had) The Time Of My LifeWeek 3886830
Colin & KristinaSuperstitionWeek 4576624
Kimberley & PashaNaughty GirlWeek 5888933
Fern & ArtemYou'll Be Mine (Party Time)Week 6677727
Michael & NatalieI Want You BackWeek 6577726
Richard & ErinClub TropicanaWeek 7567624
Victoria & BrendanCandyWeek 8466521
Denise & JamesRhythm Of The NightWeek 9888832
Lisa & RobinBest Years Of Our LivesWeek 11788831
Louis & Flavia(I've Had) The Time Of My LifeWeek 12910101039
Fabrice & AlionaChristmas WrappinChristmas899935

 

Series 11
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Rachel & PashaGet LuckyWeek 2456520
Mark & IvetaBom BomWeek 2467522
Julien & JanetteSpice Up Your LifeWeek 4467623
Ben & KristinaHard To HandleWeek 4888731
Dave & KarenCuban PeteWeek 5355417
Patrick & AnyaWingsWeek 5687728
Abbey & Aljaž You Should Be Dancing Week 10 10 10 10 10 40
Ashley & Ola Conga Week 11 8 9 9 9 35
Natalie & Artem Wanna Be Startin' Somehtin' Week 12 10 10 10 10 40
Susanna & Kevin Move Your Feet Week 12 8 8 8 8 32
Rochelle & Ian Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Christmas 7 8 8 8 31

 

Series 12
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Thom & Iveta Hot, Hot, Hot Week 2 5 7 7 6 25
Jake & Janette Mambo No. 5 Week 2 8 9 9 9 35
Steve & OlaJump in the LineWeek 4677727
Sunetra & BrendanTurn the Beat AroundWeek 4677727
Simon & Kristina Let's Hear It For The Boy Week 9 9 9 9 9 36
Mark & Karen Viva Las Vegas Week 10 7 8 9 8 32
Frankie & Kevin Work Week 11 8 9 - 8 9 34
Caroline & Pasha Maria Week 12 10 10 - 10 10 40

 

Series 13
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Kirsty & Brendan Can't Touch It Week 2 5 5 5 5 20
Ainsley & Natalie Don't Touch My Tomatoes Week 2 6 7 7 6 26
Jamelia & TristanHeaven Must Be Missing An AngelWeek 3676625
Helen & AljažDoctor BeatWeek 4888832
Georgia & GiovanniYou Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)Week 5788831
Katie & AntonIt Had Better Be TonightWeek 5466521
Jeremy & KarenThrillerWeek 6466622
Jay & AlionaCubaWeek 9999936
Kellie & KevinI Want You BackWeek 10889934
Anita & GlebFeel This MomentWeek 12888832

 

Series 14
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Anastacia & BrendanSaxWeek 2466622
Will & KarenJai Ho (You Are My Destiny)Week 3887831
Laura & GiovanniRhythm Of The NightWeek 3777930
Greg & NatalieWrapped UpWeek 4777728
Ore & JoanneTurn the Beat AroundWeek 7889934
Daisy & AljažGroove Is In The HeartWeek 8788831
Ed & KatyaGangnam StyleWeek 8478625
Robert & OksanaSpice Up Your LifeWeek 9898833
Claudia & AJI Just Can’t Wait To Be KingWeek 119991037
Danny & OtiVivir Mi VidaWeek 129991037

 

Series 15
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyShirleyBruno Total
Aston & JanetteDespacitoWeek 2788932
Mollie & AJSúbeme La RadioWeek 4677727
Gemma & AljažSun Comes UpWeek 7577726
Jonnie & OtiTurn Me OnWeek 7677727
Debbie & GiovanniCan't Take My Eyes Off YouWeek 8998935
Joe & KatyaRide On TimeWeek 9889934

 

All dances from highest scoring to lowest scoring

Couple Song DateScore*
Mark & KarenHot, Hot, HotSeries 4, Week 1240
Abbey & AljažYou Should Be DancingSeries 11, Week 1040
Natalie & ArtemWanna Be Startin’ Somethin'Series 11, Week 1240
Caroline & PashaMariaSeries 12, Week 1240
Matt & FlaviaVehicleSeries 5, Week 1239
Louis & Flavia(I've Had) The Time Of My LifeSeries 10, Week 1239
Matt & FlaviaVehicleSeries 5, Week 838
Tom & CamillaPa Goza Con FrukoSeries 6, Week 1438
Claudia & AJI Just Can’t Wait To Be KingSeries 14, Week 1137
Danny & OtiVivir Mi VidaSeries 14, Week 1237
Mark & KarenHot, Hot, HotSeries 4, Week 536
Mark & KarenLa BambaSeries 4, Christmas36
John & NicoleRan Kan KanSeries 5, Week 636
Austin & ErinJohnny's MamboSeries 6, Week 1236
Kara & ArtemCongaSeries 8, Week 636
Simon & KristinaLet's Hear It For The BoySeries 12, Week 936
Jay & AlionaCubaSeries 13, Week 936
Alesha & MatthewWanna Be Startin' Somethin'Series 5, Week 635
Gethin & CamillaAzucarSeries 5, Week 935
Tom & CamillaPa Goza Con FrukoSeries 6, Week 935
Fabrice & AlionaChristmas WrappingSeries 10, Christmas35
Ashley & OlaCongaSeries 11, Week 1135
Jake & JanetteMambo No. 5Series 12, Week 235
Debbie & GiovanniCan't Take My Eyes Off YouSeries 15, Week 835
Harry & AlionaI'm Still StandingSeries 9, Week 834
Frankie & KevinWorkSeries 12, Week 1134
Kellie & KevinI Want You BackSeries 13, Week 1034
Ore & JoanneTurn the Beat AroundSeries 14, Week 734
Joe & KatyaRide On TimeSeries 15, Week 934
Emma & DarrenAin't NobodySeries 4, Week 1133
Kimberley & PashaNaughty GirlSeries 10, Week 533
Robert & OksanaSpice Up Your LifeSeries 14, Week 933
Ali & BrianQuimbaraSeries 7, Week 432
Ricky & NatalieDancing MachineSeries 7, Week 432
Scott & NatalieLet's Hear It For The BoySeries 8, Week 232
Pamela & JamesDoctor BeatSeries 8, Week 232
Denise & JamesRhythm Of The NightSeries 10, Week 932
Susanna & KevinMove Your FeetSeries 11, Week 1232
Mark & KarenViva Las VegasSeries 12, Week 1032
Helen & AljažDoctor BeatSeries 13, Week 432
Anita & GlebFeel This MomentSeries 13, Week 1232
Aston & JanetteDespacitoSeries 15, Week 232
Rachel & VincentCan't Buy Me Love (Latin Version)Series 6, Week 231
Alex & James1-2-3-4Series 9, Week 1131
Lisa & RobinBest Years Of Our LivesSeries 10, Week 1131
Ben & KristinaHard To HandleSeries 11, Week 431
Rochelle & IanSanta Claus Is Coming To TownSeries 11, Christmas31
Georgia & GiovanniYou Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)Series 13, Week 531
Will & KarenJai Ho (You Are My Destiny)Series 14, Week 331
Daisy & AljažGroove Is In The HeartSeries 14, Week 831
Christine & MatthewCosmic GirlSeries 6, Week 1130
Holly & ArtemMas Que NadaSeries 9, Week 230
Louis & Flavia(I've Had) The Time Of My LifeSeries 10, Week 330
Laura & GiovanniRhythm Of The NightSeries 14, Week 330
Louisa & VincentBailamosSeries 4, Week 529
Carol & MatthewDon't Stop Til You Get EnoughSeries 4, Week 529
Natalie & VincentYou'll Be Mine (Party Time)Series 7, Week 429
Jade & IanLa Isla BonitaSeries 7, Week 429
Chelsee & PashaHigherSeries 9, Week 229
Matt & AlionaSpinning AroundSeries 8, Week 1128
Patsy & RobinCanned HeatSeries 8, Week 228
Anita & RobinJump In The LineSeries 9, Week 228
Patrick & AnyaWingsSeries 11, Week 528
Greg & NatalieWrapped UpSeries 14, Week 428
Jonnie & OtiTurn Me OnSeries 15, Week 727
Dani & VincentMama Do The HumpSeries 10, Week 227
Fern & ArtemYou'll Be Mine (Party Time)Series 10, Week 627
Steve & OlaJump in the LineSeries 12, Week 427
Sunetra & BrendanTurn the Beat AroundSeries 12, Week 427
Mollie & AJSúbeme La RadioSeries 15, Week 427
Heather & BrianNe Tango De SalsaSeries 6, Week 226
Cherie & JamesOye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)Series 6, Week 726
Felicity & VincentAll Night LongSeries 8, Week 726
Robbie & OlaLet Me Entertain YouSeries 9, Week 826
Michael & NatalieI Want You BackSeries 10, Week 626
Ainsley & NatalieDon't Touch My TomatoesSeries 13, Week 226
Gemma & AljažSun Comes UpSeries 15, Week 726
Matt & LiliaPerfect LoveSeries 4, Week 525
Penny & IanHigherSeries 5, Week 625
Letitia & DarrenPastime ParadiseSeries 5, Week 625
Chris & OlaMicaelaSeries 7, Week 425
Ricky & ErinAcuyuyeSeries 7, Week 825
Russell & FlaviaDancing QueenSeries 9, Week 225
Thom & IvetaHot Hot HotSeries 12, Week 225
Jamelia & TristanHeaven Must Be Missing An AngelSeries 13, Week 325
Ed & KatyaGangnam StyleSeries 14, Week 825
Phil & KatyaLong Train RunningSeries 7, Week 424
Colin & KristinaSuperstitionSeries 10, Week 424
Richard & ErinClub TropicanaSeries 10, Week 724
Audley & NatalieDon't Stop 'Til You Get EnoughSeries 9, Week 223
Julien & JanetteSpice Up Your LifeSeries 11, Week 423
Lisa & BrendanRhythm Is Gonna Get YouSeries 6, Week 222
Rory & ErinVehicleSeries 9, Week 222
Sid & OlaHips Don't LieSeries 10, Week 222
Mark & IvetaBom BomSeries 11, Week 222
Jeremy & KarenThrillerSeries 13, Week 622
Anastacia & BrendanSaxSeries 14, Week 222
Claire & BrendanSenoritaSeries 4, Week 521
Dan & KatyaUpside DownSeries 9, Week 221
Victoria & BrendanCandySeries 10, Week 821
Katie & AntonIt Had Better Be TonightSeries 13, Week 521
Laila & AntonCogele el GustoSeries 7, Week 1220.8 (26)
Jessie & DarrenHey MamboSeries 6, Week 220
Rachel & PashaGet LuckySeries 11, Week 220
Kirsty & BrendanCan't Touch ItSeries 13, Week 220
Gavin & KatyaDon't Stop The MusicSeries 8, Week 219
Kate & AntonPeanut VendorSeries 5, Week 618
Peter & ErinMambo No. 5Series 8, Week 217
Dave & KarenCuban PeteSeries 11, Week 517
Nancy & AntonPapa Loves MamboSeries 9, Week 214
Ann & AntonMambo ItalianoSeries 8, Week 212

*The score for any dances marked by five judges have been adjusted down to allow for fair comparison, so the score in this column is the adjusted score followed by the actual score in brackets.

Mark & Karen's salsa routine (danced as a demonstration in series five):

 

The first ever 10s for a female salsa, and Abbey & Aljaž got 4 of them, here is their series 11 routine:

Quickly followed by another perfect scoring salsa from Natalie & Artem in series 11

Matt & Flavia's sensational salsa: