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International Latin American Dance

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  #1 Old 04-06-2008 Default International Latin American Dance

I am totally in love with Latin Dance...Anyone out there with the same interest as me?
Whether you are a professional dancer, a beginner or you don't even know what Latin Dance is... you are welcomed into the world of Latin Dance!
Let's spread the love!!!


It evolved in Havanna in the 19th century

This had its origin with the African Negro slaves imported into Cuba, in the 16th century. This dances emphasized the movements of the body rather than the feet.
The Latin melodies, combined with the African rythms sparked a dance full of exagerrated hip movement and sensual body motion.
The name 'Rumba' derives from the term 'rumboso orquestra' which was used for a dance band in 1807
In Spanish, the word 'rumbo' means 'route', 'rumba' means 'heap pile',

The maintenance of steady level shoulders while dancing was possibly derived from the way the slaves moved while carrying heavy burdens

The first serious attempt to introduce the rumba to the United States was by Lew Quinn and Joan Sawyer in 1913.
US interest in latin music picked up in about 1929, leading to their interest in knowing more of the dance.

In Europe, the introduction of Latin American dancing (Rumba in particular) owed much to the enthusiasm and interpretive ability of Monsieur Pierre (London's leading teacher in this dance form). In the 1930's with his partner, Doris Lavelle, he demonstrated and popularized Latin American dancing in London.

It wasn?t until 1955 that Cuban Rumba, introduced by Pierre and Lavelle, was recognized as the official version.

Rumba: it is originated from Cuba. In its present form many of the basic figures of the dance retain the age-old story of woman's attempt to dominate man by the use of her feminine charm. In a well choreographed dance there will always be an element of "tease and run"; the man being lured and then rejected.


Youngest of all Latin Dances
The name could have been derived from the fast and cheerful Cuban dance: the Guaracha.
In 1954, the dance was described as a "Mambo with a guiro rhythm"
GUIRO--- a musical instrument consisting of a dried gourd
It has been suggested that the name 'Cha Cha' is derived from the sound of the seeds in the guiro being shaken.

The Cha Cha had its origins in the religious ritual dances of West Africa.

ChaCha actually originates from the Mambo.
A combination of Mambo & Rhumba.
There are three forms of Mambo: single, double, and triple. The triple has five steps to a bar, and this is the version that evolved into the Cha Cha

A lively dance with quick moves.
Danced with a happy, careless and fierce mood.
No serious thoughts are needed during the cha cha cha.
Just fun, pleasure and most of all the naughty character of the dance must be visible on the floor.


The word "samba" comes from Angola,
the Kimbundu term "semba" refers to the umbigada navel-touching "invitation to dance" that was originally part of many African circle dances.
The Samba is a Brazilian folk dance.
It was popular in the northern part of Brazil.
The samba was brought to Rio De Janeiro by the Africans who came down at carnival time. (At carnival time costumed dancers perform the samba for the delight of all.)
About 1917 the ballroom version was born.
The dance was introduced to the United States, to movie viewers in 1933 when Fred Astaire and Dolores Del Rio danced the samba in the movie Flying Down to Rio

.Interest in samba came during the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York

Later, included in plays and musicals on Broadway and in the Theaters.

a dance that excites and brings people in a trance.

To achieve the real character of the Samba, the dancer has to try for a flirting, exaggeratedly happy interpretation.
Hip movements are important in interpreting this.


in Spanish 'Paso a Dos' which means 'Dance for two? or ?Two Steps?
is a Spanish folk dance based on the Bullfight (which was a very popular sport among the Spanish people of that time)
popular amongst the upper classes of Paris in the 1930's

Conjure up a bullfight.
the gentleman represents the "torero", the bullfighter , while the lady portrays the "cappa", the bullfighter's red cloth.


This dance originated with the Negroes in the South East of U.S.A., where it had an affinity with the war dances of the Seminole Indians in Florida.
The word "Jive" also has a similar meaning in Negro slang--- exaggerations
Known as jitterbug jive
Named after a 30's Mickey Mouse cartoon where Mickey and Minnie danced a country style jitterbug
American soldiers brought these dances to Europe around 1940,
1968 it was adopted as the fifth Latin dance in International competitions.
This dance enables contest participants to show that, after four dances, they are still not tired (the Jive is the last dance in a series of five) and that they still can go full steam.

So this is a brief intro to the 5 types of International Latin American Dance...if there are any information or questions, feel free to share them here!!!
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  #2 Old 04-06-2008 Default

Currently dancing Cha Cha and Jive. Extremely beginner level.
Need donations.
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  #3 Old 04-06-2008 Default

Some experience in Rumba, Cha Cha, Mambo, Tango and Merengue. Would take an advanced latin dance class soon if I have the time.

If my dance instructor didn't lie to me, merengue was created in the Dominican Republic when a highly respected soldier returned after being crippled in a war. The people decided to move like he did in order to not make him feel like an outcast and thus, merengue was born.

Tango and Merengue are my favourites. Tango cos its so dramatic (of cos ballroom tango is vastly different from Argentinian tango) and merengue cos its so fun.

Important stuff: Posture, posture, posture. Nothing looks worse than sloppy dancing.
Cuban Motion. Gives Latin Dance its oomph.
Spot turning. For extra pizzaz (mainly for girls).
Guys - be a good leader and always signal early, like tucking the hand one way, turning with the shoulders etc.
Girls - don't try to lead.
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  #4 Old 04-06-2008 Default

I am interested in those dance also.. But i have never learnt any dance like that before..
I only learn simple campfire dance.. haha..
So, where can i learn this type of dance? can recommend?
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  #5 Old 04-06-2008 Default

i like to see people dancing latin dance... they look beutiful... i would like to learn too... but i have no idea where i can learn...
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  #6 Old 12-06-2008 Default

It depends on where you stay...if you stay in big cities, it's easy to find studios teaching Latin Dance...but the price might be quite expensive, depending on the location, the environment, the qualification and popularity of the dance instructor etc...
In KL, prices range between RM100 to RM200 for a beginner course...(usually 8 classes per course)...that's kinda expensive. That's why though i study there, I don't take lessons in KL...
I have to wait till holidays to join classes back in my hometown. That's why progress is slow...sob...
I'd really wish to enter Latin Dance competitions someday...if only I can find a great partner first. And polishing up my dance skills is equally important. (sounds like it's gonna take me long)
Anyone here who had ever enter those dancesport competitions? Please share experiences etc... I would love to hear more about that.

Originally Posted by strikingstar View Post
Some experience in Rumba, Cha Cha, Mambo, Tango and Merengue. Would take an advanced latin dance class soon if I have the time.

If my dance instructor didn't lie to me, merengue was created in the Dominican Republic when a highly respected soldier returned after being crippled in a war. The people decided to move like he did in order to not make him feel like an outcast and thus, merengue was born.
Yup, I've heard somewhere that Merengue indeed was created by some soldier, even the name is somehow derived from him...^_^
How's the dance steps of Merengue like? is it fast-paced like the chacha or slower?
U ever entered competitions?
Rhumba, Chacha, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive>>> International Latin-American Dancesport...
My love, my passion!

Last edited by baby_ubake; 12-06-2008 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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