Many popular dances originated in Latin America, and so are referred to as Latin dances. Compared to other ballroom dances, Latin dances are generally faster-paced, more sensual, and have more rhythmic expression. The latin dances are for couples, typically a man and a woman. Partners sometimes dance in a closed, tight position, and sometimes hold only one hand. Latin dancing, as Latin music, is sultry and physical. Quick paced rhythms and playful movements make the various Latin dances endlessly entertaining, sometimes even breathtaking.
A fast ballroom dance of Latin American origin, born from the mambo, that follows a rhythmic pattern based upon a quick three-step movement. Cha Cha became a popular social ballroom dance in the United States in the early 1950's when the Mambo dancers grew older and couldnt keep up, so they added a "cha cha" step to their Mambo rock steps and thus the dance was born.
In Ballroom Merengue, a relatively slow tempo is maintained and small steps are taken by the couple, which enables them to circle each other and move around the dance floor. Merengue is essentially an easy and fun dance to learn, which makes it a popular social dance. The ‘paso de la empalizada’ of Ballroom Merengue is sometimes replaced by an exaggerated Cuban hip motion in social dancing, which results in a more fluid leg movement.
Because Texas has different Latino cultures a more recent variation in the dance clubs has made Merengue more stationary and often involves faster music. As a result the steps are smaller and involved more interchanging turns than traveling based patterns.
Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. The basics to the dance are three-steps with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a tap which can include a hip movement also on the fourth beat. At some point in the late 1990s, dancers and dance-schools in the Western World began using a simpler side to side pattern instead of the box-steps probably due to a misunderstanding of the original steps. This is also a must for the Latin Social Dancer.
All social dances in Cuba involve a hip-sway over the standing leg and, though this is scarcely noticeable in fast salsa, it is more pronounced in the slow ballroom rumba. In general, steps are kept compact and the dance is danced generally without any rise and fall. This style is authentic, as is the use of free arms in various figures.
A fast paced and energetic Latin dance. Complete with spins, quick movements, and sharp turns. The movements of salsa have its origins in Cuban Son, Cha cha cha, Mambo and other less known dances.
Many debate the true origin of the dance to this day. Many like to say it split from the 1940-1950s Mambo as they are very similar. Mambo began on the 2nd beat where Salsa primarily breaks on the 1st beat. There has been many good arguments that the original salsa came from Afro cubano areas like the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.
The dance's penultimate popularity originated in the mid-1970s in New York, and is still one of the most popular styles in the Latin Club scene today.
No dance is more pure and free than the Argentine Tango!
This dance showcases the true talent of lead and follow in its most concentrated form! Argentine tango is danced in an embrace that can vary from very open, in which leader and follower connect at arms length, to very closed, in which the connection is chest-to-chest, or anywhere in between. Although, Originating at the ending of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, and Montevideo, Uruguay, it quickly grew in popularity and spread internationally. It is most recognized by its freedom of timing, allowing the lead to pick and chose when he wants to move, and interpret the music to how he sees fit. A great choice if you enjoy breaking rules, a great dance to spur creativity!
Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance of Brazilian origin in 2/4 time danced under the Samba music. However, there are three steps to every bar, making the Samba feel like a 3/4 timed dance. Ballroom Samba which differs significantly, is done with a partner in closed hold or open positions including but not limited to hand to hand hold, or side by side positions. This dance is by far one of the most awe inspiring dances to watch and one of the most difficult to do in technique and speed!