Salsa is the most popular of all Latin styles. Salsa has had many influences but originated in New York as the result of the mixture of Cuban music and Latin Jazz in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Salsa has had many influences from countries such as Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, New York as well as elements of Afro-Cuban and Afro- Caribbean music and dance.
Salsa evolved from earlier dance forms such as Cha Cha and Mambo which were popular in New York. It incorporated elements of Swing dancing and Hustle such as Guaguanco and Pachanga. Salsa is a partner dance and consists of a 4/4 beat or rythym, with a pattern of six steps danced over the eight counts of music eg 1,2.3 -5,6,7
It can be danced ON2 (New York style), but it is commonly danced ON1 (LA Style) in most clubs and dance schools. Other styles of Salsa- Cuban Style Colombian/ Cali style
Bachata is a dance style that originated from the Dominican Republic in the 1960’s. The style is danced with soft hip movements and a tap with or without a small “pop” of the hip (1,2,3 hip) in a close and intimate hold. The music is often romantic and sentimental and usually tells a tale of romance, love, heartbreak and sadness. Bachata is now one of the more popular styles & easy to learn!
Merengue originated in the Dominican Republic. It is a two step beat where the hips swing from side to side and is danced in a closed or open hold. Sometimes the tempo of the music is fast but the upper body is kept still.
Cha Cha has origins in Cuba. Cha Cha may be danced to authentic Cuban, Latin pop or contemporary top 40 music. The music for International Ballroom Cha Cha is energetic and with a steady beat whereas the Cuban Cha Cha is more sensual. The original Cuban and Ballroom count is – two, three, cha cha cha or “four and one, two three” The dance starts on the beat of 2
Rueda de Casino
Rueda is a Cuban street dance which began in the 1950’s. Rueda in Spanish means wheel or circle. Rueda is also referred to as Casino Rueda. Casino refers to the Cuban style of Salsa dancing. It is a popular dance that was done in the streets and clubs. It is based on the steps of Salsa, however, couples are dancing in a circle performing the same figures as instructed by the “leader” or “caller” The unique part of this dance is the constant changing of couples during the dance.
Lambada is known as the forbidden dance and originated in Brazil. The dancers move from side to side with a pronounced movement of the hips. It is distinguished from other forms of Latin dance through the wave like motion of the dancers bodies. Lambada is a Portuguese word referring to the wave-like motion of a whip
A variation of Lambada originating from the French- Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti. Zouk means “party” or festival in Creole. Zouk Lambada is a smooth , romantic and hypnotic with long , fluent wave-like movements of two bodies moving as one. Zouk is popular in France, French speaking Africa, Brazil & French Polynesia.
Originating in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and Montevideo Uruguay in the 19th Century. Tango is a graceful and improvised dance. It has no set timing, nor a set pattern. There is no correct step pattern or incorrect sequence. Tango is not rehearsed or planned in anyway. Each step is unique, easy and led. A Milonga is a Tango social. This is where you can dance Tango, socialise and enjoy yourself. At every beat of the music, the leader has the option to lead the follower to any step in any one of several directions (forward, back, side, front cross, back cross, weight change in place, boleo, gancho ect) or even to not step ie to pause. The ability, to add pauses and tempo changes to accompany the music is a key element in making Tango what it is, a dance of infinite variety- no two dances are ever the same.
The Jive is a mixture of Rock & Roll, Boogie Woogie, African/American swing and the Jitterbug. The Jive is a dance you can dance together or alone. The couple does not have to stay in contact with each other all the time. In International style dancing, the Jive is one of the five Latin competition dances. It is sometimes called the International style version of Jitterbug or East Coast Swing. The dance is characterised by chasses, flicks, kicks and turns. The music for Jive is in 4/4 time, which means four beats to a measure. Jive timing usually begins with a link or rock step counted 1-2 then followed by a chasse (to the left- man and to the right -lady) 3-a-4 The Chasse is then repeated in the opposite direction as 3-a-4 Other comparable counts are quick-quick, quick-a-quick, quick-a-quick. The beat value of each step is critical for the look and feel of the jive. The Jive is fast paced dance and can be danced to modern music.