Salsa is a syncretic dance form with origins from Cuba, as the original meeting point of European and African cultures. Its movements originate in Cuban Son, with strong influences from Mambo, Guaguanco, and other Afro-Cuban music.
Salsa is normally a partner dance, although there are recognized solo forms, line dancing (suelta), and Rueda de Casino where groups of couples exchange partners in a circle. Salsa can be improvised or performed with a set routine.
Salsa is popular throughout Latin America, and also in the United States, Spain, Japan, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Israel and Eastern Europe.
The Tango consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras of Argentina as well as in other locations around the world. The dance developed in response to many cultural elements, such as the crowding of the venue and even the fashions in clothing. The styles are mostly danced in either open embrace, where lead and follow have space between their bodies, or close embrace, where the lead and follow connect either chest-to-chest (Argentine tango) or in the upper thigh, hip area (American and International tango).
In many scenes outside the United States the term "Swing dancing" is used to refer generically to one or all of the following swing era dances: Lindy Hop, Charleston (dance), Shag, and Balboa. This group is often extended to include West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Hand Dancing, Jive, Rock and Roll, Modern Jive, and other dances developing in the 1940s and later. A strong tradition of social and competitive boogie woogie and rock'n'roll in Europe add these dances to their local swing dance cultures.
This dance has wide application because cha cha music is popular in all music genres, including country, funk, and hip-hop. Popular mainstream artists such as Santana, Marc Anthony, and Jennifer Lopez are putting out great cha cha music. This is a party dance! Whereas the Rumba might have an intense expression, the interpretation of Cha Cha music should produce a happy, carefree, party-time-like dance expression.
The old saying is that if you can walk, you can dance the Merengue. With one step taken to each beat of music, dancing the Merengue is like marching, and it's just about as easy. Add "Cuban motion" hip action, and this easy dance also becomes sexy. Hundreds of dance figures are possible and just about anything goes in Merengue.
The rumba is a slow, sensuous, romantic dance with much flirtation. Many of the basic figures of the dance have a "tease and run" theme in which the lady first flirts with and then rejects her partner. The sexual overtures can be very aggressive. The Rumba spotlights the lady and in particular her rhythmic body action and her sexuality. The slow Latin beat, the rhythmic body and hip action, and the steamy tease and run figures result in routines that can be close to X-rated.
Hustle is the perfect dance for dance-beat, nightclub music. It's easy to learn and can be danced everywhere: ballrooms, nightclubs, Latin clubs, parties, wedding receptions.
The exact origin of the name of the dance is unclear, although one theory often cited is that took its name from its inventor, the vaudeville actor Harry Fox. The dance was premiered in 1914, quickly catching the eye of the talented husband and wife duo Vernon and Irene Castle, who lent the dance its signature grace and style.
The basic movement is a three-step sequence that consists of a step forward or backward, a step to the side, and then a step to close the feet together. The timing is the same for all steps, and the timing can be called out as Quick, Quick, Quick, or, using numbers, as 1,2,3. Waltz music is written in 3/4 time, and waltz music is recognized by listening for the three-beat-per-measure rhythm pattern. The music and the step timing may be counted 1,2,3; 1,2,3. The first beat of each measure is accented and this corresponds to the aggressive driving step that is taken on count one. Unlike jive and swing, the waltz is a progressive dance that moves around the dance floor following a line of dance. Progressive figures, turning figures, and poses are characteristic of the dance.
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