Latin & Rhythm
From the Bachata to the Samba, if you’re ready to learn Latin/Rhythm dancing, we offer group classes, and private lessons to suit your needs.
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Bachata / Merengue
A Latin Festival dance, this dance originated in the Dominican Republic and /or Haiti. It is a very simple dance to driving 2/4 time music with an insistent steady beat and many spins and turns. A most popular dance in Salsa Clubs along with Salsa. THE easiest dance to learn Latin Motion, which is used in all the other Latin and Swing Dances.
Bachata is a simple dance with Cuban hip movement; now a world-wide craze. Danced to upbeat American Box Rumba music, Bachata is found in Salsa Clubs and is basically comprised of four steps with a tap or pop on the 4th step (one…two…three…tap/pop).
Bachata is from the Dominican Republic, as is Merengue. If you were selected for a dance of Bachata, you were chosen as a mate; two dances with the same individual “sealed the deal.”
Bachata is a Latin form of “Blues” dancing, and has many styles. The original DOMINICAN or “DOMI-BACHATA” is a little bouncier with lots of foot syncopations, TRADITIONAL has lots of hip movement, MODERNA uses crossing actions and big movement, BACHATATANGO has Tango dips & ochos, URBAN incorporates Hiphop styling, and BACHATA RUEDA has called movements & partner changes. We teach a simple, toned-down version in classes.
Bolero originated in Spain in the late 18th century. The slowest version of Rumba and the slowest Latin ballroom dance. This dance is quite different from the other American Rhythm dances in that it not only requires cuban motion but rises and falls such as found in and contra body movement. The movements are drawn out and delayed, or held to release in an explosive movement. The music is 4/4 time, of a slow, romantic flavor. Popular music for this dance style need not be Latin in origin.
Cha Cha Cha
During the 1950s, Cha Cha was made famous by many Latino bands such as Xavier Cugat and Perez Prado. Cuban in origin, the Cha Cha rhythm is found in much of today’s popular music.
It is related to the Rumba and Mambo. A rhythmic innovation in the dance music to syncopate (step twice) on beat four of each measure. Cha cha cha is danced to syncopated 4/4 time Latin and popular music with a medium to fast tempo. The dance is characterized by a rhythmic tic in the upper body and “Cuban motion” of the legs and hips.
Paso Doble is a march, different and more dignified than Merengue. A Spanish dance incorporated into International Style Latin dance competitions. It is a very stylized, theatrical, dance not danced often socially in the United States. The man portrays a bullfighter and the lady his cape.
Based on Flamenco and gypsy dancing, the character of the dance is arrogant and passionate. The man is the main focus in this dance, while in the other Latin dances the lady is the focus of attention. The Paso Doble is featured in the movie ‘Strictly ballroom’. Although this version shown is more like the Flamenco style than the ballroom style, it gives a good portrayal of the character of the dance.
A Latin dance of Afro-Cuban folk dance origin that became internationally popular in the early 20th century. Best known for the dancers’ subtle side to side hip movements with the torso erect, (Cuban motion), the
American rumba was introduced into American dance salons at the beginning of the 20th century, characterized by high tempo, (nearly twice as fast as the present day ballroom rumba), typical examples being the tunes The Peanut Vendor and Siboney. The dance now is slow to medium in tempo, is danced with a basic pattern of a slow forward or back step and two quick side steps â€“ a box. Three steps are executed in each bar of music. The music, in 4/4 time.
In the European Style of Latin, International Rumba is slower than in the American style. Also more is required of the lady dancer, as more patterns are apart from the partner rather than simple mirror images. Best known for the dancers’ subtle side to side hip movements over the standing leg, with the torso erect, (Cuban motion). The basic step is a forward or backward “break” and slow side steps.
Salsa / Mambo
A very energetic, popular and fun Latin dance of Cuban/Afro-Cuban origin, Salsa is considered a “street dance” and has multiple varieties throughout Latin America, North America, Europe, Australia and many other countries. Lots of spins and sharp turns. Music suitable for dancing Salsa can be found at many Latin clubs in town.
Mambo, internationally popular in the late 1940’s and early 50’s, is danced as a quicker off beat Rumba in which a step taken on the last beat of music in 4/4 time is held through the first beat of the next measure. Mambo foot patterns and breaks are essentially the same as in both the International rumba and the street Salsa. Mambo is danced to syncopated Latin music in 4/4 time and a rapid tempo. It’s a “Ballroom style Salsa”.
The Latin dance of Brazilian origin, popularized in Western Europe and the U.S. in the early 40’s. Characterized by a simple forward and backward step and tilting, rocking body movements, it is danced to music in 4/4 time with a syncopated rhythm.
Couples may dance in a closed Latin hold or separate to dance variant steps. The biggest difference in this Latin dance is that it moves Line of Dance (CounterClockwise) around the dance floor, while all other Latin dances are “spot” dances in that they stay generally in one spot. Musical movies of the late 30’s and early 40’s featuring Carmen Miranda also give examples of early Samba.
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