Finding Your Rhythm

Dance allows for the creative expression to flow from your body. There are a variety of different Latin dances that root from different origins and can be mixed with contemporary choreography. In this article, I listed some of the more known Spanish dance styles along with some videos to try out yourself!

Bachata

Bachata is a style of social dance that originates from the Dominican Republic but has spread to all parts of the world. Often danced in a coupe, partners dance based on the rhythm of the different instruments played. Authentic dance from the Dominican Republic is based on a full 8 count moving in a square, but the Western world has modified it to a basic side to side step.

 

BachaTango was created with the fusion of dance from the western world with the addition of tango like steps to bachata. The pop count is used to make the dance more elaborate and sensual in Latin ballroom dance style. This seen more in ballroom performances than dance.

 

Salsa

Salsa originated in New York based off of Caribbean and African influences in the mid 1970s. Couples typically perform this dance together. It incorporates elements of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean dance moves. Based in Latin America, there are distinct dance styles of their own such as Cuban, Colombian, Puerto Rican, and New York styles.

Want to learn more? Check out the basic steps:

 

Maybe one day you’ll be this:

 

Samba

Samba is a lively, rhythmic Brazilian dance with roots in Africa via the West African slave trade. Samba in Brazil incorporates a distinct sound in music, associated with the drumming pattern typically seen as a musical expression of urban Rio de Janeiro people. Samba is usually seen in the media during Carnaval.

Take a look at samba during Carnival in the video below:

Cumbia:

Cumbia originated in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal region with the fusion of native colombias. Cumbia began as a courtship dance practice among the African population and later mixed with European steps. Cumbia is still danced in Colombia as both modern and traditional styles.

Traditional courtship: 

 

Merengue

Merengue is a style of Dominican music and dance that is dance closely in a pair. Merengue was made the official music and dance of the Dominican Republic by Rafael Trujilo. The dance originated from slaves in sugar beet fields. Partners hold each other in a closed position in which the leader holds the followers waist with the right hand and the left hand hold the followers hand. The hips of both partners go the same direction throughout the song.

 

 

 

Now that you know a couple new dance styles and moves, go out and try them! Have fun and try your best.

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