Cultural/ Ethnic Dances

These are different types of dances from around the world.


Tango originated in the 1890's. It was originated along the River Plate, the border between Argentina and Uruguay. The Tango was only the third dance in history to be performed with a man. The dance and music styling of the tango began in the working class port neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. The development of tango came from the cultures from many people who came together, this is why tango is often referred to as the music of the immigrant. Around 1913, tango started to move from the dark side of town to more elegant places."Just close your eyes in a tango class, and you are in couples therapy."


The waltz is a smooth ballroom dance and folk dance. The waltz originated in Austria and Germany in the mid 18th century, the waltz is the oldest ballroom dance. At the end of the 19th century, there were a couple modifications to the waltz in the United States. The first was the "Boston", It was a slower version with long gliding steps. The "Boston" soon became the style which continues today all over the world. Another version was the "Hesitation", which is were you take one step to three beats of measure. Even thought the "Hesitation" is no longer danced, the steps are sometimes still used today. The "Country Western" is more progressive, turning counter clock wise, both the posture and frame are relaxed almost like a slouch. To dance the waltz, you need to have good posture, attitude and the time to learn the dance.


Capoeira is a Brazilian martial arts dance. Capoeira consists of dance, acrobatics and music, it is sometimes referred to as a game. Capoeira was thought to have originated in the 16th century in Brazil. It was first created by slaves that were taken from West Africa to Brazil by the Portuguese colonies. Capoeira came to life as a survival tool, not only as self defense but also of cultural identity. Using capoeira, many slaves escaped there masters. The end of slavery in Brazil, brought a dark era for capoeira. Crime exploded through out Brazil and capoeira was one of the main criminal elements used. Today capoeira is a cultural icon of Brazil.

Some techniques that are needed to know to perform Capoeira are;

  • Kicks
  • Head Butts
  • Take Downs
  • Defense Movements