Types of Latin Dance

By | April 4, 2021


There is some argument about which dances qualify as Latin dances, but most agree that Latin American and Caribbean dances, such as Samba, Mambo, Salsa, Cha Cha, Danza, Tumba, Cumbia, Bolero, Rumba, Merengue and Bachata, fits into the genre. Tango and Argentine tango are sometimes considered Latin dances in the ballroom dance class. Other challengers for the Latin dance category are Gato, Chacarera, Zamba and Escondido. Bolivia has its own dance traditions, such as Kullawada, Morenada, Caporales, Llamerada and the trendy Tinku.


Several Latin dances share a common story that develops from African slave dances and the folk dances of poor Europeans. The richer Europeans regarded domestic dances as sinful and tried to clamp on public and ritual displays with dance, with little success. In the 16th century, Velasco decided public dancing was illegal, except on Sundays or public holidays and only in the afternoon.


While Latin dances are different, there are some defining characteristics. Many types of Latin dance are rhythmic, playful and sensual. Couple dances are common, although partners can be pressed close or may only touch one hand. The pace is fast, sometimes almost breathless, and the result is an athletic but hungry style. It is possible to learn some basic steps and apply them to several types of Latin dance.


The official guidelines for different types of Latin dance are much stricter than the styles considered Latin dance at a nightclub. Called International Style Ballroom Dance or International Latin, these dances consist of only five possibilities: Rumba, Paso Doble, Cha Cha, Samba and Jive. What’s interesting about this list is that Jive is not even of Latin American descent.

Fun facts h2> One of the latest permutations of Latin dance is Zumba, an international dance park that is seen more on the aerobics floor than the dance floor. Alberto Beto Perez invented the dance by accident when he forgot his usual mix bands for workouts and improvised with some salsa and meringue sounds he had with him. Zumba takes basic Latin dance steps and strengthens the cardiovascular element while strengthening the stylistic emphasis, making Latin dance accessible to the masses in search of a good workout. Thanks to films such as ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Strictly Ballroom’ and TV’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’, the public has been introduced to some of the most common types of Latin dance. Although ballroom dancing has its Latin standards, there is a world of Latin dance that continues to evolve beyond the classics thanks to changing trends in music and dance.