Salsa & other latin dances
This word means sauce denoting a ‘hot’ flavor and is best distinguished from other Latin Music styles.
Salsa is defined as the Puerto Rican sound developed by musicians in New York.
The Salsa dance structure is largely associated with mambo patterns and has a particular feeling that is related mainly with the sound of the Clave and Montuno.
You learn with this dance to move with a great speed, and make compact dance figures to keep up with the rhythm of the music.
Cha cha cha
Cha cha cha is an spicy and explosive dance. It is performed with a strong sensual feeling.
In the Islands of the West Indies, there is a plant that produces seed pods called Cha Cha. These were used to make a small rattle that is used by the leader of a group of musicians as guide instrument or ‘metronome’ to set the time.
Its Latin-American influence in music and dance became evident during the 1940's in Havana Cuba and it was born out of two popular dances of the time: the mambo and the rumba.
Cha cha cha as a dance is characterized by being flirtatious, for the staccato movement of its combinations and incrementf of the student’s dance confidence.
The Rumba represents warmth, sensuality and romance. It is called ‘the dance of love’. "Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire."-George Bernard Shaw
Rumba was recorded as such since 1929 but has existed in Cuba for over a century. The true Rumba is originally from Africa.
The native Rumba folk dance is essentially extremely fast with exaggerated hip movements and with sensual but aggressive attitude from the man towards the defensive attitude of the woman. In this dance as well as other Latin dances the energy that provokes the movement comes from within the dancer.
Nowadays Rumba music style is inspired by African rhythms and Spanish melodies.
This style introduces for the first time ‘Cuban motion’, ‘Latin hips’, ‘Arm styling’, ‘turns’, ‘Latin rhythm’ and 'muscular control'.
Samba is a dynamic dance and is sometimes referred as Carioca, Baion or Batucado.
Samba dancing is derived from the rural ‘rocking samba’ . It is probably the most difficult of all dances because it has nine different rhythms.
Its history goes back as far as 1830's with strong african influences. It is the national dance from Brazil. Samba well known internationally with its first exhibition in Paris in 1905. Movie star and singer Carmen Miranda is credited by making the Samba dance and music popular in U.S. in the early 1940's.
The principal characteristic of Samba is the rapid cut or steps taken on a quarter of a beat and the pronounced rocking motion and sway of a dancing couple.
We learn with this dance the 'Brazilian caixo' what is the forward and backward movement of the hips, and to develop effervescence and spontaneity.
Paso doble is considered a hot dance style because is powerful, intoxicating and intense with fierce drama and captive energy.
It has been recorded in history since the early 1800's.
Paso Doble puts the audience under its majestic and magical spell. Paso Doble or doble step was originally a dance simply depicting the actions of the 'Matador' with the lady portraying the 'Cape', but now it has progressed with the dancers enacting the role of 'torero', 'picador', 'banderillero', or bull interchanging them at will.
The Matador with arrogant stance displays bravery and defiance in the face of the enemy. He is ruthlessly in control and always shows off the lady to her best advantage. The lady is not timid or obscure but sensual, all woman and proud of it. She is unafraid and her face portrays a degree of coldness, yet she dances with fire, passion and a controlled ease.
We learn with this dance flamenco expression and Spanish Style.
At the end of the 1950's Bossa Nova was born in 'Rio de Janeiro' by white kids of the middle class, but others said to have originated at Carnegie Hall in 1961.
The term ‘bossa’ in the Brazilian slang of the city has the meaning of a ‘special ability’, whereas the Portuguese translation of Bossa Nova is ‘new wave’.
The music was born of a marriage of Brazilian rhythms and American jazz.
The dance is base on the slower, more subtle Salon Samba and features either type of Clave Beat or a Jazz Samba in 4/4 time.
Merengue is a popular dance of Haiti and the Dominican Republic—a truly lively dance.
The story says that it started as a peasant dance in the Dominican Republic by African slaves who were chained together and, of necessity, were forced to drag one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of drums. Another version alleges that a great hero was injured in the leg during one of many revolutions; a party of villagers welcomed him home with victory celebration and, out of sympathy, everyone dancing felt obligated to limp and drag one foot.
We learn with this dance enjoyment, showmanship, Latin hip and coordination.
Mambo is a hot dance, which grew out of the Danzon (The National music of Cuba) and 'Cinquillo' an dance style from Haiti. The word Mambo means 'canto', 'cuento', 'historia', 'to talk with the gods' or 'chore of voices' , but this is also the name of the drum that was used for religious activities.
Mambo grasped the American imagination at the end of WWII.
In Haiti, ‘the mambo’ is a voodoo priestess who serves the villagers as counselor, healer, exorcist, soothsayer, spiritual adviser, and organizer of public entertainment.
Mambo dance style is the father of the Salsa. Different of salsa, because it brakes on the second beat. The steps are quite compact due to the speed of the music.
We learn to identify with this dance timing and tempo.
It is said that Sebastian Cerezo, a ballet dancer of court in 1789, used the Spanish folk Bolero as a base for his French ballet.
The music is extremely variable and full of cadences. This dance should be dance with a very slow type of rumba rhythm.
Dancers steps are sliding, beaten or retreating, being always as it were, clearly struck out. It is smooth, powerful, romantic, full of love and yearning.
Bolero is a modification of the Fandango, but all gracefulness is retained.
Fandango - Zamcueca
It is a lively, graceful & romantic couple-dance usually in triple time.
The Fandango dance is traditionally accompanied by guitars and castanets - hand-clapping , snapping of fingers, stomping of feet and some use handkerchiefs as props.
It tries to reenact the courting ritual of a rooster and a hen. The male displays a quite enthusiastic and at times even aggressive attitude while attempting to court the female, who is elusive, defensive and reserved.
The Fandango musical time is similar to that of the bolero and seguidilla. It was originally notated in 6/8 time, but later in 3/8 or 3/4. The speed gradually increases to a whirl of exhilaration.
The earliest fandango melody is found in 1705 and the earliest description of the dance itself is found in a 1712 by Martin Marti, a Spanish priest.