10 Things You Didn't Know About Latin Dancing

10 Things You Didn't Know About Latin Dancing

10 Things You Didn't Know About Latin Dancing

For decades now, Latin dances have captured the imagination of artists, movie directors, and fashion designers alike. There’s something so pure and otherworldly about Latin dance forms like the salsa, the Argentinian tango, and the fiery paso doble, that makes them hard to look away from. Most of these dance forms have an interesting history, and there’s so much interesting trivia about them that would interest people entranced by Latin dances. Here are some fascinating things you (probably) don’t know about Latin dancing.

Latin Dancing Is Mostly Inclusive Of All Ages

While not all forms of Latin dances are suitable for all age groups, there’s some kind of Latin dance for everyone, regardless of their age. Kids as young as five can learn these dance forms, as can people of age 80 or above. The important thing is to have a good instructor teach you the dance. Although trying it yourself may seem easy, most Latin dance forms require the right posture, footwork, rhythm, and eye contact, all of which are best learned under professional guidance.

Not All Latin Dances Are Fast-Paced

Contrary to popular belief, not all kinds of Latin dances are swift and require quick footwork. Bolero, which is a form of slow Latin dancing, is best performed to unhurried romantic music. There are two kinds of the dance, one was invented in Spain, and the other, in Cuba. It was originally developed as a dance for couples, which explains the smooth, gentle moves involved. Later, with the influx of influences from other forms like Italian ballet, Bolero was developed to be performed in a theater setting.

Rueda De Casino Is One Of The Most Fun Forms Of Latin Dance

Do you remember those movie scenes where an entire group of dancers moves in tandem and switch partners as they dance their hearts out? They were probably performing Rueda de Casino. This is salsa that’s designed for a large gathering of people, as opposed to a solo dancer or a couple. Pairs of dancers form a circle at the start of a Rueda De Casino performance, and upon receiving the cue from the caller, they move around the circle, swap partners, and dance with a new dancer after each exchange.

There Are Many Styles Of Salsa

The origins of salsa dancing can be traced back to Cuba, toward the end of the 19th century. However, over the decades the dance form has been modified to adapt to different cultural segments. There’s Colombian salsa, known popularly as Cali-style salsa, where dancers perform tight spins and complicated quick-paced steps in between dare devil tricks. Instructor Eddie Torres developed the New York style of salsa in the late 1970's. LA style salsa became known for its high energy and flashy moves. West African salsa, also called Salsa Mbalax, has elements of African dances.

Tango Was Insanely Popular

During the early 1910's, Tango was the rage that was ruling the world. Everybody even remotely aware of the dance form was talking about the tango, learning it, or doing it. The sudden craze began in Paris in 1912 when tango tea parties became popular. These parties involved serving tea as a refreshment between dances. The trend quickly swept past Paris into the rest of Europe and beyond. Soon, everyone was taken in by this new wave of interest in tango, which was arguably the most sought-after Latin dance back then.

Bruce Lee Started Off As A Latin Dancer

Everyone remembers Bruce Lee as the greatest martial artist who ever lived. But few know how great of a dancer he was. He studied Cha-cha as earnestly as he learned Kung Fu, he even had a notebook where he noted down over a hundred Cha-cha steps. On his passage to San Francisco, young Lee was put up in the lower decks of the ship but, he was soon invited up to teach the Latin dance to the passengers in the first-class lodgings. Also, Bruce Lee’s first job in America was a dance instructor, before he left it all behind for the martial arts.

Latin Dancing Is All Over The World

tsIn 1997 a man names Eli Irizarry introduced the concept of a Salsa Congress. This is a multi-day music and dance festival where attendees can take workshops, see performances, social dance and hear live bands. Since then these events have popped up in almost every country around the world. You can pretty much find an event going on any weekend of the year.

The Shoes Matter The Most

Most Latin dances, if not all of them, focus largely on footwork. Naturally, what you slip your feet into matters a great deal when you’re getting on the dance floor. The most commonly used kind of footwear always includes high heels, but it's designed in a manner that is comfortable to dance in. Take a peek into the online collection of Burju shoes, and you’ll get what we mean. High heels can be comfortable, especially if your shoes are custom-made for your requirements.

Latin Music Instruments Have Evolved Greatly

Music forms the backbone of Latin dancing. Traditional Latin music has its origins in Cuba. The Cuban genre of dance music is known as Timba, and the instruments initially used to provide musical accompaniment to dance include the maracas, bongos, marimba and conga drums. Today, the range of instruments used to create Latin music has expanded to include modern instruments like a piano, trumpets, flutes, violins, cellos, guitars, and percussion instruments like a complete set of drums.

Latin Dancing Has Several Benefits

There’s no denying Latin dancing is an enjoyable pastime. However, Latin dancing also has several beneficial effects on the dancer. For one thing, it helps shy people open up and mingle. Also, Latin dancing helps improve balance and keeps your body young because it targets different body parts in isolation, and requires the dancer to move each part in rhythm with the music. Latin dances also improve the flexibility of the joints and keep the bones healthy.

Now that you’re aware of some interesting trivia about Latin dancing, you might want to check out a salsa party at your local dance club and see how you like it. And while you’re there, remember that good dance shoes matter a lot when you’re Latin dancing!

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