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Latin Dances


Cha Cha
Cha Cha music has it’s own distinctive sound that can be identified by distinct percussion instruments, giving it a unique staccato sound. It has a similar tempo to West Coast Swing, and as a result, it is not uncommon to see people dancing swing to some Cha Cha music. Five steps are taken to four beats of music, with a break step on the 2nd beat.
Cha Cha Music:       
-        Pata Pata by Thalia
-        Smooth by Santana
-        Oye Como Va by Santana
-        Cuban Pete by Tito Puente
A very energetic Latin dance that’s easy to learn. The name “Salsa” is the Spanish word for sauce, connoting a spicy flavor. Lots of fun, complete with spins, sharp movements, and crisp turns. Salsa is similar to Mambo in that both have a pattern of six steps danced over 8 counts of music. Salsa generally breaks on count 1 and holds on count 4.
Salsa Music: 
-        Bla Bla Bla by Anthony Cruz
-        La Soledad by Johnny Bosch
-        Lloraras by Oscar D’Leon
Mambo is danced to upbeat Latin music, and features many swivels and turns. It is a fast and spicy dance characterized by strong Cuban motion, staccato movement, and expression of rhythm through the body. The dancer holds on count 1 and breaks on count 2. Mambo follows a step pattern of step-step-step-pause, then repeat, and to a step timing of quick-quick-quick-hold.
Mambo Music:         
-        Papa Loves Mambo by Perry Como
-        Mambo # 5 by Lou Bega
Rumba is traditionally danced to rhythmic Latin music which includes some distinctive percussion instruments. Rumba is a very slow, romantic dance with plenty of wraps, under arm turns, and flirtation between the partners. The Latin style hip movement is combined with smooth steps to create a sensual dance that’s great for proms, weddings, and other social settings.
Rumba Music:          
-        Beautiful Maria Of My Soul from Mambo Kings soundtrack
-        I Do by Paul Brandt
-        Blue Bayou by Roy Orbison
-        She Will Be Loved by Buena Vista Social Club
Merengue is a very fun and easy dance for beginners. It doesn’t move around the dance floor so it is ideally suited to small, crowded dance floors. Merengue has simple steps, so it is easy to learn quickly. The basic is danced as a walking step with a step taken on each beat of music.
Merengue Music:     
-        La Bilirubina by Juan Luis Guerra
-        El Costa De La Vida by Juan Luis Guerra
Samba is a complex and distinctive dance from Brazil. Although the music is only around 100 bpm, dancing three steps in two beats of music makes the dance feel much faster. A trickier dance to dance on rhythm, as Samba compresses the middle step closer to the second beat in the triple count portion of the dance. 
Samba Music:         
-        Oyeme by Enrique Iglasias
-        Ain’t It Funny by Jennifer Lopez
-        La Isla Bonita by Madonna
-        The Girl From Ipanima by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Tango is called “close embrace”, and gives an immediate intimacy that other dances do not have. Controlled smooth movements allow for intricate footwork so often associated with this dance. Tango is a sensual dance, danced to slower, moodier music. The basic rhythm is an 8-count slow-slow-quick-quick-slow. It is a dance that is showy, yet very intimate.
Tango Music:           
-        Por Una Cabeza by Tango Project
-        Habanera from Carmen
-        Hernando’s Hideaway by Tango Orchestra Alfred Hause
-        Tango Del Amor by Carioca Band

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