Stepping Into Salsa Culture: An Experiential Account of Engaging With a University Non-Credit Dance Programme

Pablo Domene, Sheriden Morley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
155 Downloads (Pure)


Salsa is a popular form of partnered social dance with a distinct Latinx identity. In the qualitative literature, the experience of involvement in Salsa has been explored within a community-based setting in a cultural and health promotion context. How students experience engaging with Salsa, as a social dance when instruction is provided within a university environment and delivered as non-formal learning, remains less clear. This research sought to improve our understanding of how university students in the United Kingdom experience Salsa when offered as non-credit group-based dance classes. We collected data using face-to-face semi-structured individual interviews and took a reflexive approach with our thematic analysis. The three themes we developed were: Stress relief and escapism; Challenging at first but amazing after; and Switching partners to meet people. University campus-based partnered social dance provides opportunity to experience subjective well-being, skill acquisition, and social connectedness. We discuss some of the practical implications of supporting Salsa as a means of non-formal learning to enhance mental health through physical activity engagement within higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalResearch in Dance Education
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • Big
  • Latin dancing
  • QBraun and Clarke
  • constructionist
  • wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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