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Salsa is a popular form of social dance. Its moves are a combination of Afro-cuban dance, Son, cha-cha-cha, mambo and other dance forms. Both salsa dance and salsa music saw an accelerated development in in New York, during the mid-1970s. Different regions in Latin America & US, formed different salsa styles. Some of the most known are Cuban, L.A. and New York styles. Salsa dance was something that in time brought people together, dancing at social gatherings and celebrations and the party still continues!
Bachata is a popular form of social dance. This dance has Dominican Republic origins, but it has grown to have many different styles. The basics of Bachata include Cuban hip motion achieved throughout three steps, following by a tap with hip movement. After every tap, there is a change of direction. Some of the most known bachata styles are ‘Bachata Sensual’ and ‘Moderna’.
An incredibly happy and energetic dance made of knee lifts, rocking of the hips, bends, twits, flicks and kicks! It has African American origins and it is a variation of the Jitterbug, another form of Swing dance. Influenced by Boogie, Lindyhop and Rock n Roll, jive now is now part of the 5 International Latin Dances. It was first demonstrated in 1934 by Cab Calloway. Although it is hard to tell, feet are very controlled in close proximity under a tight core and knees are closed
It is the Dominican Republic national dance. Although unproven, it is said that the Merengue dance was born by slaves who were chained together, dragging one leg to the drum’s beat while they were cutting sugar. It is now one of the standard Latin American dances. A very fun and simple to learn dance made by continuous hip movements, achieved by knee bends to the left and right.
Ballroom Samba originates from Brazilian samba and adopts some of its features, adding on some details from Maxixe (also known as Brazilian Tango). It is the dance of contrasting rhythms and many of the steps are defined by a bouncing action achieved by the bending and the straightening of knees and also a hip action and sway motion.
Contemporary Dance combines elements of several dance genres including modern, jazz, lyrical and ballet, but is less strict and structured and more versatile. Often danced in bare feet, it encompasses a lot of floorwork and its dynamic gravitates towards the floor. It can be performed to many different styles of music. Some names like Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham are very famous in the contemporary dance industry as they broke the rules of the strict forms of ballet.
Jazz dance first emerged in the US in the early twentieth century and may refer to vernacular jazz or to Broadway/theatrical jazz. Both genres came from African-American vernacular dance styles that had jazz music foundations. Nowadays, the term 'jazz dance' has little or nothing to do with jazz music, after years of being used in Hollywood movies and Broadway shows using various pop music styles.
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