The Bolero, originating in Spain, is danced to a very slow type of Rumba rhythm. With its slip pivot and body rise danced to dreamy music usually accompanied by vocals, the Bolero has a very romantic and soft feel to it. The Bolero is all about being one with your partner in a slow, sweeping motion.
The mid-tempo Cha-Cha is a spin-off of the Rumba and the Mambo. With its two slow steps followed by three quick ones (rock step, cha-cha-cha), this sensual, energetic dance is extraordinarily popular with old and young alike.
The tempo is slow and staccato, making it easy for dancers to inject their own personality into the patterns. The Cha-Cha-Cha rhythm can still be heard in the music of contemporary performers like Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and Gloria Estefan.
East Coast Swing
Back in the good old days of Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, the East Coast Swing originated as a simplified 6-count triple step dance.
The East Coast Swing dance pattern moves smoothly either forward/back or side to side while circling freely around the floor. The basic step is triple step, triple step, rock step. Danced to a wide variety of music, you can “swing” to almost anything!
It all started at the Savoy…or so the story goes. While “Shorty George” Snowden, a dance enthusiast, watched some couples dancing at New York City’s famous Savoy Ballroom in the late 1920s, someone asked him what dance they were doing. George glanced down at a newspaper opened up to an article about Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the ocean, titled “Lindy Hops The Atlantic,” and quickly answered: “The Lindy Hop.” A dance was born! The Lindy Hop, always fun to dance, is wild, spontaneous, jumpy, and jazzy!
A Cuban bandleader named Perez Prado is credited with starting the Mambo dance craze in the mid-1950s. The Mambo is a Rumba with a break on 2 and 4 in 4/4 time, danced according to the individual dancer’s temperament.
While conservative dancers can maintain a closed position, daring dancers can perform breakaway steps and completely separate themselves from each other.
Steamy! The most famous Latin American dance to gain popularity in North America and Europe is, without doubt, the rumba. Slow and romantic, the Rumba is the most sensual of the Latin dances. Motion is produced through a transfer of body weight and not from direct movement of the hips.
Couples dance very closely together, using their body language to express emotion between them. The Rumba is sometimes referred to as the “Dance Of Love” because couples stare deeply into each other’s eyes while they dance.
The spirited Samba always gets feet tapping! Originally from Brazil, the festive Samba was popularized in the movies of Carmen Miranda. The Samba is characterized by a steady bounce in 2/4 meter achieved by flexing and straightening the knees while weight is transferred from the ball to the flat of the foot. This happy and bouncy dance is always fun!