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An exotic dance from a Caribbean country named the Dominican Republic and has made its way to the Latin Clubs throughout the world. With movements rooted from the Cuban Bolero and Son, the Bachata dance has evolved into different dance styles but has universally recognized characteristics such as keeping a close connection with your dance partner as well as rhythmical hip motions. The Bachata music includes a combination of various guitars and percussion and is danced a very passionate dance.  Lyrics generally tell stories of “UNLOVE”, abandonment, resentment and bitterness. More recent dance styles include syncopated footwork and tangling arm patterns.

A fusion of the Dominican Bachata with Argentine Tango moves. Ganchos and Ochos Galore and extra torso movement make this modern version of Bachata a favorite.

Casino Rueda (Rueda de Casino in Spanish)
This is a group dance consisting of Cuban Style Salsa moves that are executed by responding to calls and changing partners, with the aim of synchronizing the moves so that all dancers move as one. Building from simple to ever more complex Salsa moves and sequences, Rueda is a great way to build knowledge and a full understanding of Cuban Salsa.

Cuban Cha Cha Chá
Another Cuban dance popularized across Europe and America in the 1950s. The band Orquesta America is acknowledged as the creator of this enduring dance form. Their violinist Enrique Jorrín apparently composed the first Cha Cha Chá “La Engañadora” after he watched Americans struggle with the complex Cuban dance rhythms. With syncopated steps and flirty patterns, this dance remains one of the favorites. 

Cumbia comes from the Caribbean coast of Colombia with music played with accordians, brass instruments, guitars and deep sounding drums.  The dance is danced with side to side steps of two partners mirroring each other's steps.  This style became very popular during the big band era and continues to be very popular in Colombian nightclubs today as well as those in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.  The style taught at TSC includes influences from the Colombian style and the more recent genre of Cumbia Sonidera from Mexico.

Guaguancó (Cuban Rumba)
The authentic Rumba from Cuba is a fused genre of Congolese African and Spanish flamenco influences, and one of the primary ancestors of popular music in Cuba.  “Rumba” comes from the verb "rumbear" which means going to parties, dancing, and having a good time.  Afro-Cuban rumba is entirely different than ballroom rumba.  Although there are three main styles of Cuban rumba: the Yambú, the Guaguancó and the Columbia: Guaguancó remains the most popular and is recognized by the tumbadoras (conga drums), along with the claves, the palitos and the maruga in a rhythmic, tag style adventure that  tends to be spontaneous and often improvised. Guaguancó is rhythmically fast and involves flirtatious movements between a man and a woman in the roles of "Rooster" and "Hen".  It is still danced in Havana, Matanzas and other Cuban cities as well as rural areas, and recently infused with jazz and hip hop influences.

Cuban Mambo
Arsenio Rodriguez was the first to introduce the Mambo music by integrating Danzón into elements from Son Montuno. Yet, Perez Prado was the one who made the Mambo dance popular and is recognized as the “King of Mambo.”  The complicated rhythms of mambo have an upbeat and quick tempo full of piano, trumpets, and congas. The original mambo dance is different than the more commonly known ballroom mambo which imitates the patterns of salsa with different timing. The authentic steps of Mambo are generally easy to learn for a beginner and have lively movements.

The lambada was inspired by the Carimbó electrified folk dance of Pará, came in Belém do Pará in the 70's. Lambada was influenced by various rhythms such as Zouk (typical dance of the French West Indies), Salsa,Merengue, and other Caribbean rhythms.
The main characteristic of Lambada is the balance of the hip, always moved to the side. This dance is a registered trademark. It is full of frantic gyrations, and the woman is often conducted by hand, as in rock and roll. Most famous singers: Beto Barbosa, Marcia Ferreira, Manny's Sax, group Kaoma.

Just like Bachata, the Merengue visits us from the Dominican Republic and is considered the national dance of the Dominican. Its melodic characteristics are accompanied by the tambora, the güiro and the accordion.  The rhythm is very easy to follow simply by counting 1-2, 1-2, etc.  The character of the dance mimics a limping motion with the legs while the upper body does all the tangling patterns.

Salsa dance is the most popular Latin social dance recognized globally.  Although its origin roots from Cuba, the dance has influences from Puerto Rico, Colombia and other Latin American countries that have contributed to the evolution of Salsa today. Salsa dancing consists of dancing with a partner in patterns, with intertwining arms, and using total body involvement. The word can also be considered to define the blend of Latin dances such as Merengue, Bachata, Cha Cha Chá, Mambo and Son.

Salsa Caleña (Colombian Style Salsa from Cali)
The Colombian style of Salsa emphasizes fancy footwork with a still upper body.  Along with the Cuban and L.A. Style, the Colombian style is an "On One Style."  Salsa Colombian style has four beats where a flourish of the feet or other styled body movement. This style of salsa takes dedication and mastery of many Latin rhythms including the Cuban Mambo and Cuban Cha Cha Chá.  

Salsa Cubana (Cuban Style Salsa)
Style of Salsa with dance movements originating from the Cuban Son dance of the 1920's. Influences from the dances Danzon, Mambo, Guaguancó and other Cuban folkloric dancing. Also called "Casino".

Salsa Linear On 1
Salsa danced "on 1" with patterns created for couple's to dance in a line or mostly between 2 points of a slot.  Influences from Puerto Rican style of salsa and also Cuban Mambo.

Salsa Linear On 2
Salsa danced in clean lines with a New York Styling a.k.a. Modern Mambo.  The basic step begins with two back steps for the leader and two forward steps for the follower. Salsa On 2 Shines (solo footwork) have many similar elements of jazz dance.

Samba de Gafieira
A partner dance to the Brazilian Samba musical rhythms.  Samba de Gafieira being different from the Ballroom Samba, and commonly fusing solo variations, including steps of Samba No Pé. The word "Gafieira" can also refer to the traditional samba music orchestra, as well as the dance hall where it is performed. The term gafieira was Brazilian Portuguese slang meaning "low dancing resort, gaff, honky-tonk." The style originated from samba dancing in cabarets and gafieiras (hence the name, literally meaning "Samba of gafieira"), primarily in districts of Botafogo, Catete and Centro of Rio de Janeiro. The term gained recognition in 1940s. Over time the style significantly evolved away from the style 1940s under significant influence of Argentine Tango and incorporating many acrobatic elements.

Samba No Pé
Samba No Pé a.k.a. Carnival Style Samba.  This style of samba is learned in solo steps and is seen in the streets of Brazil during festival times.

Son (Cuban Son)
Before Salsa there was Son. Cuban Son being the mother and father of many more recent rhythms and dances. Dating back to the early 1900’s and centered on the clave rhythm. An elegant dance style using different timing and body movement than Salsa yet can be danced to Salsa, Rumba and Cha Cha Chá rhythms.  This traditional dance is danced contratempo and with much controlled upper body and torso movement while keeping the rhythm on your feet.  A great dance to learn for couples!

The Cuban music and dance craze.  Most popular timba bands being Los Van Van, Irakere, and NG La Banda were influential in setting new standards for Cuban musicians.  The dance reflects the polyrhythmic and agressive music form with constant body movement and energy while you dance. The dance steps derived from Salsa Cubana Salsa which also includes components of more traditional Cuban dances.

Zouk is a creole word for "party."  A style of dance originating from the French Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The caribbean zouk dance is very similar to Merengue and became popularized in 1979 with the formation of its biggest proponent, the band Kassav.  The sound being a unique blend of kompa, funk, calypso and even reggae, zouk has easy steps with lots of hip sabor (flavor).

Kizomba is one of the most popular genres of dance and music originating in Angola.
It is a mix of traditional Angolan semba with kilapanda and merengue sung generally in Portuguese, wrongly confused with Zouk, because the pace is very similar. In Europe the word "kizomba" is used for any type of music derived from zouk, even if not of Angolan origin.

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