Latina Dancing

Tina Lutz

Introduction

Latin ballroom dances are executed to different types of Latin music. According to the website DanceDanceDance.com, "The Latin music we hear today has its origins in Cuba where the blending of African drum rhythms and Spanish guitar evolved into a variety of Latin American music: Son, Danzón, the rhythms of Carnival, Cha cha cha, Mambo, Salsa.....even Tango came out of Cuba." U.S. (1)

Types of Dancing

Some Latina Dances are as follows:


  • Tango
  • Mambo
  • Salsa
  • Merengue
  • Macarena
  • Samba
  • Rumba
  • Cha Cha
  • Paso Doble
  • Jive

Purpose

Many people participate in Latin ballroom dance to exercise and socialize, others compete. Competitions are divided into professional and amateur categories. Important competitions are the World Dance Council and the Elsa Wells International Dance Championships.

Clothes

Many people dress specifically for Latin dancing whether they dance socially or in competition. Women wear tight shirts and short skirts while men wear tight shirts and pants. The tight clothes allow both partners to show off the lines of their bodies while they dance. Both men and women wear special dance shoes. Women wear dance shoes with a heel and open toe and men wear flat shoes. Both have special soles that make dancing and turning easier.

Time Signatures

Dance Name Time Signature

Tango 2/4

Mambo 4/4

Salsa 4/4

Merengue 2/4

Macarena 4/4

Samba 4/2

Rumba 4/4

Cha Cha 4/4

Paso Doble 2/4

Jive 4/4

(Dance Central 9-19)

Also note that the time signatures can change based on the learning level and composer.

History

There are many types of dances.The history of dance may be as long as the history of human kind. In the early 16th century, many Africans were brought as slaves to various Latin and European countries. The Africans brought their culture, especially their native rhythmic dancing with them. For recreation the African slaves would make drums out of whatever was available. They would tap their hands and feet, making rhythms no one had ever heard before. The Africans would then bring those rhythms alive with the native dancing! Europeans already had their own unique type of music and dance. Eventually, the natives of other Spanish countries immediately fell in love with the beautiful african dancing, and began to copy it, and fuse it into their own native latin dance.

Works Cited


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