Dances form an important part of any culture, and the Latin’s are not an exception. In a night of dancing in a Latin country, one is expected to encounter varied types of dances. Some of the most common dances in Latin includes; mambo, salsa, rumba, samba, tango, chacha, Macarena, conga and Cuenca just to mention a few. Nevertheless, most of these dances have their origin in Brazil and Cuba while others trace their roots to some European countries. All of these dances are danced in couples, and a dancing competition can last for several years. Most of the dancing in the Latin world is based on the original styles while music and costumes have drastically changed over the years (Drake-Boyt). For instance, a Latin dance will require high-hearted flashy upbeat music. There is a lot of power and passion in the Latin music and hence making dancing a joyful experience. Also, most of the Latin s are a hybrid of American, European, African and Iberian influences. This paper will look at different aspects and types of dance that makes the Latin culture.
To start with, salsa is the most common form of dance in Latin America. Although it is not precisely known its country of origin, it is believed that it originates from Cuba where it is considered the interactions involved in these dances come from the country. Apart from the Latin world, salsa culture is also being consumerized in other parts of the world thus making it of great significance to the rest of the world (Musmon). As aforementioned, the Latin dance has the principle of inclusiveness and salsa also embraces these characteristics. The dancing must be done in couples, and this has contributed immensely to the increased popularity of the dance. Once you are on the dance floor, there will always be a person to dance with you irrespective f your skill level (Thomas). There is also the willingness to train beginners the dance moves involved in the dance. It is prudent to note that the style of open dance floor has become very appealing to dancers as it takes off pressure off the dancers. A Latin will be ready and willing to participate in the dances even if they have little skills. Consequently, salsa dance can take place overnight.
Samba is another important dance in the Latin culture. This is a Brazilian dance that is recognized throughout the world as a Brazilian symbol. Unlike salsa that seems to be very complicated with its six steps, samba is quite simple. It has a distinct rhythm with an accent on beat thus making it attractive to many. Samba dance involves fast pace, energetic and varied steps and figures. It is also popular for its beautiful movements that make it suitable not only for competitions but also in clubs and occasional entertainment. Apart from the excellent way of dancing, samba dancers are also dressed in proper attires that carry the dancers. It is imperative to note that the costumes used in samba dances are colorful with lots of extras that emphasizes on the line of body dancers. It is the design of these clothes that enable representation of important body lines such as hips and thighs during the dances (Drake-Boyt). Samba forms a unique part of Latin dances as it entails lively themes that are expressed in an entirely different style of the traditional Latin dance.
Rumba is another essential dance in the Latin culture. It also traces its origin from Cuba and is a type of medium-to-fast afro-Cuban song and dance. Apart from the dance, rumba embraces use of drums, mostly 2-3 conga drums, which are played using sticks. The rumba style and dance has also penetrated to other parts of the world and hence increasing the popularity of the genre.
Tango is another popular dance amongst the Latin’s. It is, however, essential pointing out that there are two types of tango, the European, and the Argentine. Nevertheless, the two tangos are popular among the Latin population. Just like salsa and samba, tango is known to have passionate, dynamic and sensitive moves that attract dancers. It is mostly danced to represent the struggle of lovers, their argument, passion, and reconciliation. Tango is also danced by couples as a show of strength for their love. Tango is popular in joints and clubs where music involved must also embrace the use of instruments such as guitar, flute, and piano (Musmon). It is vital noting that tango requires strict correspondence with rhythm. Other Latin dances such as chacha, merengue and macarena are also popular in Latin America.
In a nutshell, throughout the course of human history, dance has been part of cultures around the world. The purpose and style of dance vary from culture to culture. Nevertheless, the culture of Latin dance has achieved tremendous growth over the years. Much of the traditional dances in the Latin America have remained popular over the years with only just slight changes in types of costumes and instruments used (Thomas). This explains the emergence of modern singers like Shakira and Jennifer Lopez whose songs are global hits and embraces salsa dance. The Latin dance has become a global culture as it offers an excellent way to express oneself while showing off the body. Latin dance is also known to enable the use of body language by dancers to express their feelings and tell a story. The distinctiveness and originality of the Latin dance have allowed the persistence and relevance of the dance today.
Drake-Boyt, Elizabeth. Latin Dance. 1st ed. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood, 2011. Print.
Musmon, Margaret. Latin And Caribbean Dance. 1st ed. New York: Chelsea House, 2010. Print.
Thomas, Isabel. Latin Dance. 1st ed. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications, 2012. Print.
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