One of the most beautiful qualities of dance is its diversity. Dancing has been a part of many cultures across the world for thousands of years. And, over time these dances have become widely practised by professional and amateur dancers alike. As an avid dancer, I enjoy so many different styles and routines; one of my favourite forms of dance is Latin.
Originated in Latin-America, Latin style dances are a beautiful combination of slow and quick movements that require dance partners to hold a strong connection and trust each other’s steps. It’s also globally known as an excellent form of fitness training as it requires endurance, flexibility, and the use of generally all major muscle groups. Depending on the dance, some routines are more challenging than others. However, with the right amount of practice, you can learn different tricks and tips to improve your performance; and have fun while doing it! If you’re considering taking up Latin dance, here are a few of the most popular routines to learn:
When you think Latin dancing, what’s the first style that comes to mind? For many, its the traditional form of Salsa dancing. Salsa is one of the most popular styles of dance in the world, and depending on the location, it can have different styles of its own. Salsa music originated in the Caribbean as a beautiful combination of Afro-Cuban and Spanish music; while the popular dance style was born in New York City during the 1960s. Salsa is performed in a four-beat combination of quick-quick-slow and a pause. It’s a more fundamental level of footwork; however, dancers add different turns and flairs to create a fun and impressive routine.
Originated in Cuba, the Mambo is a fun three-beat step routine that requires a back and forth motion between partners. It’s a dance of feeling, expression, and emotion, and although its typically a couples dance, it can also be performed solo or as part of a group. Mambo requires dancers to have great stamina as quick footwork is accompanied by rapid kicks, arm movements, spins, and hip twists; it’s another fun and exciting combination that’s also a fantastic workout.
The official dance of the Dominican Republic, Merengue is an excellent option for anyone looking to ease into the art of Latin dancing and like its counterpart, Salsa, can come in different variations and styles depending on the tempo. Merengue can be performed as a faster routine, with quick and sharp movements along to club-style music, or as a more ballroom-style dance with slower, more fluid movements.
Bachata dance originated in the Dominican Republic and got its name from Bachata guitar music. Its a dance that requires quick body movements, stemming from the hips, in a four-beat pattern. Bachata is a more intimate form of dance that involves sultry movements from both partners in a side to side step fashion. It’s less about the steps and more about the way your body moves. Generally, this a dance for more experienced dancers on an intermediate or advanced level.