South and Central America are the sources of most Latin dances that the world knows today. Some dances are influenced by areas that go beyond this region and are very easy to learn. However, there are dance steps that only the experts are able to perform with a flare.
Cha Cha Cha
This dance originated from Cuba and is very much similar to the Mambo. The only difference is that the Cha Cha Cha adds a quick set of three steps right after the basic step of moving forward and backward and shifting weight between feet. That’s where it got its name because the dancers count out their steps and go ‘cha cha cha’.
This is a Dominican dance that is recognized as the country’s official dance. Some say that it is very easy to learn which makes it the most popular choice of dancers especially beginners. The steps involve moving to the front, back and side as the couple performs the Merengue movements together.
This dance can be traced back to the Cuban son. It basically consists of two basic steps and a third one that’s performed a bit slower – takes 2 beats to complete. Rumba dancers usually use a box-like pattern to guide them with the steps. Originally, the Rumba is danced with quick steps but today it has been emphasized with slow and dramatic movements.
The Salsa is a famous dance in the Caribbean with a strong African influence. It is usually performed by a couple, which centers on a four-beat combination that is composed of two quick steps and one slow step that has a pause or tap. Dancers have been adding flourished to the basic movements of Salsa to make it more fun and impressive.
This dance is Brazilian in origin and is performed to the music that has the same name. Samba has many different forms that all originated in Brazil. Some movements are made to be performed by partners while others are just for individuals. Through the years, this dance has been performed with varying musical styles and movements. This is one of the most popular Latin dances that is performed during festivals.
This dance was developed in Cuba with a signature movement of three-beat step moving forward and backward and is very similar to the Cha Cha. One thing that makes it unique is the hip-swaying movement that accompanies the weigh-shifting step. This is performed by partners but some of the steps are used in aerobic classes and other activities that call for individual performance.