Cultura Dura is a Remezcla and Mike’s HARDER content and event series highlighting emerging Latin urban culture. We’ll be exploring scenes that haven’t really gotten any coverage anywhere else – from block parties and street art to underground sports and raw, young artists making movements pa’ la calle.
Surprise time: you may already be familiar with salsa choke if you caught the Colombian national football team taking their moves to the stadiums of Brazil for what became a trademark dance.
Salsa choke (referencing the “choque,” or bump-style dance) finds its heart in Cali, Colombia, representative of a hybrid genre that’s in dialogue with Afro-Pacific styles of the region like marimba, chirimia, and Cali’s own salsa scene, but also attuned to currents of urban styles across the board like the latest in hip hop and perreo meditations.
There’s the scene’s defining moments, like “Chichoky” from CJ Castro, or genre mutt cases like Mucho Flow out of Cali flipping the signature toy flute line from Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle Wiggle” into a standard salsa choke number, or transnational loops heard throughout Latin America and the Caribbean blended in the case of Junior Dj Mix’s “Oh Siii,” which merges salsa urbana with reggaeton, and the early ’90s Bam Bam dancehall riddim.
The scene has seen some major names emerge like Son de AK, Junior Jein, and Integración Casanova, who’s hit “La Tusa” has been inescapable on Colombian urban-leaning radio and dancefloors, helping the group connect with audiences outside of caleño clubs. In the past year or so, Integración Casanova has performed at large-scale venues in Bogotá like the annual outdoor Salsa al Parque event in front of thouseands, as well as on tour for diaspora communities in Miami, New York, and Palma de Mallorca.
While all of the videos feature the smoothest of steps, we’re looking out for the beginners and included an instructional video at the bottom of the post for some basic pasos in case your game needs a intensive refresher.