Friday, February 06, 2009

The Latin Dances

There are also 5 Latin dances which make up the international standard for competitive (and therefore social) dancing.


Rumba

Cha Cha Cha

Samba

Jive

Paso Doble

The Rumba is the slowest of the Latin dances, often referred to as the dance of love. It involves controlled movement of the legs and hips and is seen to be the base of many of the other movements commonly used in the other Latin dances.


The Cha Cha Cha (often just called the Cha Cha) is very similar to the Rumba in terms of its set of steps, with the addition of a Cha Cha Chasse to fill the extra rhythms involved in the quicker Cha Cha music. It originates from Cuban rhythms and backgrounds and is often one of the first to be taught.

Samba is one of the Latin dances that does move around the floor like the ballroom dances and has its roots in the Brazilian Carnival.It has a distinctive 'bounce action' that is characteristic of the dance (and when done properly is great for the stomach muscles).


If you were looking purely at origins, Jive would likely be more at home in the Ballroom Dances, but like the Tango is placed with the Ballroom dances, Jive has been placed in this category because of its similarities to the other dances within it. Like them, it is done in a more relaxed hold than Ballroom and it does not travel around the room. Usually done to 'rock and roll' style music it is the formalized version of dances such as swing and lindy hop.


Though not done often socially, the Paso Doble is a Latin dance based around the depiction of the bullfight: focusing on the matador and his cape or the matador and the bull. Though a visually exciting dance it is very difficult to dance without a set routine.

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