In Central America, Latin dance was already in motion many years before European influence turned it into the Latin American dance we know today. You might recognize some of the popular Latin dances such as, Samba, Cha Cha, Salsa, or Paso Doble. There are many different types of Latin dance derived from various places, though for this post, I will speak about two of my favorites: The Salsa and the Argentine Tango.
As one would guess, Salsa does have strong roots in Cuba, though it also has other influences. Salsa’s mixed origins come from places such as Puerto Rico, Africa, and Colombia, where Salsa dance went by a different name. The name “Salsa” actually started in New York and represented a variety of dances, usually of Hispanic origin. Other Latin dances like the Cha Cha and Rumba have contributed to what we know as Salsa dance. What I like about Salsa dancing is the fun atmosphere and upbeat rhythm. People Salsa dancing always look like they are having such a good time that, when added with the enticing rhythm of the music, I can’t help but join in!
Here is a video of a great Salsa dance from So You Think You Can Dance:
If you want to learn more, you can find a brief history of Salsa dance here.
Despite the name, the Argentine Tango actually has mixed origins, similar to Salsa. In fact, the exact origins of the Argentine Tango are unknown. Though the exact origins are unknown, it is true that the Argentine Tango did have its beginnings in Buenos Aires. In the 1880s, many people from Europe and Africa came to the ports of Buenos Aires to find freedom. Because of this, cultures mingled and the Argentine Tango was born. Even though the Argentine Tango used to be much different, I love what it has become. The Argentine Tango never fails to enthrall me with its dramatic and beautiful flair.
This is a video of a wonderful Argentine Tango, also from So You Think You Can Dance:
You can find a more thorough history of the Argentine Tango here.
Well, that’s it for my Latin dance post. As always, there is a lot more to Latin dance than I have mentioned. Feel free to check out more of the culture and beauty of Latin dance when you are able. Maybe even take a few dance classes? You won’t regret it!
Keep on dancing, my friends. Till next time!