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SALSA ON 1 & ON2
Salsa refers to a fusion of informal dance styles having roots in the Caribbean (especially in Cuba and Puerto Rico), Latin and North America. The dance originated through the mixture of Mambo, Danzón, Guaguancó, Cuban Son and other typical Cuban dance forms. Salsa is danced to Salsa music. There is a strong African influence in the music as well as the dance.
Salsa is usually a partner dance, although there are recognized solo steps and some forms are danced in groups of couples, with frequent exchanges of partner (Rueda de Casino). Improvisation and social dancing are important elements of Salsa but it appears as a performance dance too.
The name “Salsa” is the Spanish word for sauce, connoting (in American Spanish) a spicy flavor. The Salsa aesthetic is more flirtatious and sensuous than its ancestor, Cuban Son. Salsa also suggests a “mixture” of ingredients, though this meaning is not found in most stories of the term’s origin.
A Conversation with GOD
Mambo is a Latin dance of Cuban origin that corresponds to Mambo music. Arsenio Rodriguez invented
Mambo in 1942. Although many think that Cachao came up with it, they are dead wrong.
Arsenio Rodriguez (El Siego Maravilloso) came up with the rhythm in a section of a song. Back in those days they played many rhythms in one number of music. Rhythms like Montuno, Son Montuno, Guajira, Danzon, and yes, even Mambo
Not to take anything away from Cachao, but it’s important to have the facts. What Cachao did was just as important. He had the great idea to stretch out the Mambo and take out all the other rhythms. He popularized Mambo.
In the late 1940s, a musician named Perez Prado (el rey de el mambo) came up with the dance for the mambo music. So they say
The basic footwork is a series of simple steps that produce a back and forth or sideways motion. A schematic footwork would be as follows: starting with the right foot make a chasse to the right on counts 1,2. On 3, touch the left toe beside your right foot (alternatively, tapping the left toe in place, i.e., apart from the right foot, make an upwards jerk with the left hip). Then do the same from your left foot. The character of the dance is achieved through sensual hip and body movements. You can also add turns to spice it up a little or dance closer together or far apart depending on how comfortable you are with your dance partner. The more you dance with someone the more likely you will be able to lead them or be led. Usually the male leads and the female follows.
Rumba is a dance term with two quite different meanings.
In some contexts, “rumba” is used as shorthand for Afro-Cuban rumba, a group of dances related to the rumba genre of Afro-Cuban music. The most common Afro-Cuban rumba is the guaguancó. The other Afro-Cuban rumbas are Yambu and Columbia.
In other contexts, “rumba” refers to ballroom-rumba, one of the ballroom dances which occurs in social dance and in international competitions. In this sense, rumba is the slowest of the five competitive International Latin dances: the paso doble, the samba, the cha-cha-cha and the jive being the others. This ballroom rumba was derived from a Cuban rhythm and dance called the bolero-son; the international style was derived from studies of dance in Cuba in the pre-revolutionary period
Bolero is a 3/4 dance that originated in Spain in the late 18th century, a combination of the contradanza and the sevillana. Dancer Sebastiano Carezo is credited for inventing the dance in 1780. It is danced by either a soloist or a couple. It is in a moderately slow tempo and is performed to music which is sung and accompanied by castanets and guitars with lyrics of five to seven syllables in each of four lines per verse. It is in triple time and usually has a triplet on the second beat of each bar. A number of classical composers have written works based on this dance: Frédéric Chopin wrote a bolero for solo piano, and Maurice Ravel’s Boléro is one of his most famous works, originally written as a ballet score but now usually played as a concert piece. It is the slowest Latin dance.
Kizomba not just a dance and music, it is also a way of life. The term derives from “Kimbundo,” a language of Angola, which means “Party”. The music is the result of fusion between Semba music and Zouk music (1980’s). The dance steps come from Semba with a new twist to fit the interpretation of the Kizomba music. Songs are sung generally in Portuguese, although with its popularity in Europe, more songs are being interpreted in English and even Spanish. Kizomba dancing is known for having a slow, insistent, somewhat harsh, yet sensuous rhythm; the result of electronic percussion combined with African rhythms.
The sensuality of dance and music of Kizomba is very strongly making it’s entrance into the US. Join this new dance style and be part of a movement that is turning heads and winning hearts among couple in different dance venues! The dance is elegant, sophisticated, and simply looks Great!
was made the official music and dance of the Dominican Republic by Rafael Trujillo. Partners hold each other in a closed position. The man holds the woman’s waist with his right hand while keeping his left hand/her right hand at the woman’s eye level. The merengue is a two-step beat requiring both partners to bend their knees slightly left and right. This in turn makes the hips move left and right. When danced correctly, the hips of the man and woman will move in the same direction throughout the song. Partners may walk sideways or circle each other, in small steps. They can further switch to a double handhold position and do separate turns without letting go of each other’s hands or momentarily releasing one hand. During these turns they may twist and tie their handhold into intricate pretzels. Other choreography is possible.
Some say it was derived from the “paso de la empalizada” (pole-fence step). There are also legends about a limping war hero (or El Presidente of a banana republic himself, in some versions) who had to step in this way while dancing because of wounds, and polite (or clueless) public imitated him.
Although the tempo of the music may be frantic, the upper body is kept majestic and turns are slow, typically four beats/steps per complete turn.
In the social dancing of the United States the “empalizada” style is replaced by exaggerated Cuban motion, taught in chain ballroom studios for dances of Latin American origin (Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, Mambo, Salsa)
CHA CHA CHA
The inventor of the musical genre cha-cha-chá was a violinist and composer named Enrique Jorrín, whose song La Engañadora (1951) is considered to be the first cha-cha-chá ever composed (Orovio 1981:130-1).
From the beginning (that is to say, the later stages of development of the danzón-mambo), the composers and interpreters of cha-cha-chás had a symbiotic relationship with the dancing public:
“What Jorrín composed, by his own admission, were nothing but creatively modified danzones. The well-known name came into being with the help of the dancers [of the Silver Star Club in Havana], when, in inventing the dance that was coupled to the rhythm, it was discovered that their feet were making a peculiar sound as they grazed the floor on three successive beats: cha-cha-chá, and from this sound was born, by onomatopeia, the name that caused people all around the world to want to move their feet…” (Sanchez-Coll 2006)
The “three successive beats” are the “1-2-3” steps, as counted in Cuba (see below).
The cha-cha-chá begins on the fourth beat of a measure of 4/4. Cuban dancers count it “1-2-3, 1-2.”
Cumbia is a music genre popular throughout Hispanic America. The Cumbia originated in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal region, from the musical and cultural fusion of Native Colombians, slaves brought from Africa, and the Spanish during colonial times in the old country of Pocabuy, which is located in Colombia’s Momposina Depression.
Cumbia began as a courtship dance practiced among the African population, which was later mixed with Amerindian steps and European instruments and musical characteristics. Cumbia is very popular in the Andean region and the Southern Cone, and is for example more popular than the salsa in many parts of these regions.
Samba is characterized by a syncopated 2/4 rhythm with a muted beat and a main beat, usually played by a surdo (bass drum) or tan-tan. Another important element is the cavaquinho, also known as cavaco (a small, four-stringed instrument of the guitar family, brought by the Portuguese; Hawaiian ukulele is a derivative). The cavaquinho is the connection between the harmony section and the rhythm section; its presence usually differentiates real samba from softer variations such as Bossa Nova (although some samba recordings do not use the cavaquinho, including many by Chico Buarque). The pandeiro (tamborine drum) is the most present percussive instrument, the one whose beat is the most “complete”. A violão (acoustic guitar) is usually present, and its presence in samba popularized the 7-string variation, because of the highly sophisticated counterpoint lines used in the genre in the lower pitched strings. Samba lyrics range from love songs, through futebol (soccer), to politics and many other subjects. This subgenre supersets all others.
Famous artists who play “common samba” include Beth Carvalho, Paulinho da Viola, Zeca Pagodinho, Wilson Moreira, Teresa Cristina & Grupo Semente.
Is a social dance and a musical genre that originated in Argentina and moved to Uruguay and to the rest of the world later on. In the US,
Ballroom tango steps were standardized by dance studios. The steps have been relatively fixed in style for decades.
However, Argentine tango has been an evolving dance and musical form, with continual changes occurring every day on the social dance floor in Argentina and in major tango centers elsewhere in the world.
Argentine Tango is still based heavily on improvisation. While there are patterns or sequences of steps that are used by instructors to teach the dance, even in a sequence every movement is led not only in direction but also speed and quality (a step can be smooth, pulsing, sharp, … etc.).
is a catchall name for several disco dances which were extremely popular in the 1970s. Today it mostly refers to a unique partner dance done in ballrooms and nightclubs. It has some features in common with swing dance. In the 1970s there was also a line dance called the Hustle–which is regaining popularity as people throw ’70s theme parties or schools have ’70s dance performances.
Based on older dances such as the mambo, the Hustle originated in Hispanic communities in New York City and Florida in the 1970s. This was originally a line dance with a Salsa-like foot rhythm, that after some fusion with swing and eventual shortening of the count to “&1 2 3”, became the present “New York” Hustle.
The Hustle is a catchall name for some disco dances which were extremely popular in the 1970s. Today it mostly refers to the unique partner dance done in ballrooms and nightclubs to disco music. It has some features in common with swing dance. Its basic steps are somewhat similar to the Discofox, which emerged at about the same time and is more familiar in various European countries. In the 1970s there was also a line dance called the Hustle. Modern partner hustle is sometimes referred to as New York Hustle. People still do this dance today.
“Swing dance” is most commonly known as a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1950s, although the earliest of these dances predate “swing era” music. The best known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, a popular partner dance that originated in Harlem in 1927 and is still danced today. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, some swing era dances, such as the Foxtrot and the Balboa, developed in white communities. Swing dance was not always used as a general blanket term for a group of dances. Historically, the term Swing applied with no connection to the Swing era, or its Swing music. The Texas Tommy Swing dance first appeared in print in 1910 in San Francisco (Barbary Coast). Into the 1920s
and 1930s every major city had their own way to dance, based on regional roots, and influences.
Los Angeles had its own form of what they called “Swing dance” which came from Charleston, Fox Trot, and Jig Trot influenced footwork. In Chicago and in the south they had their own style of Swing, which was more two-step based, and most of these regional swing dances gave way to various influences, such as other dance forms of dance but also the decline of dance bands and partner dancing after WW2.
Swing jazz features the syncopated timing associated with African American and West African music and dance — a combination of crotchets and quavers (quarter notes and eighth notes) that many swing dancers interpret as ‘triple steps’ and ‘steps’ — yet also introduces changes in the way these rhythms were played — as a distinct delay or ‘relaxed’ approach to timing.
Today there are swing-dance scenes in many countries. Lindy Hop is often the most popular, though each city and country prefers various dances to different degrees. Each local swing-dance community has a distinct local culture and defines “swing dance”, and the “appropriate” music to accompany it, in different ways.
The foxtrot or fox trot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band (usually vocal) music, and the feeling is one of elegance and sophistication. The dance is similar in its look to waltz, although the rhythm is in a 4
4 time signature instead of 3
4. Developed in the 1910s, the foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930s, and remains practiced today.
In the 19th and early 20th century, numerous different forms of waltz existed, including versions done in 2/4 or 6/8 (sauteuse), and 5/4 time (5/4 waltz, half and half).
In the 1910s, a form called the “Hesitation Waltz” was introduced by Vernon and Irene Castle. It incorporated Hesitations and was danced to fast music. A Hesitation is basically a halt on the standing foot during the full waltz measure, with the moving foot suspended in the air or slowly dragged. Similar figures (Hesitation Change, Drag Hesitation, Cross Hesitation) are incorporated in the International Standard Waltz syllabus
In contemporary ballroom dance, the fast versions of the waltz are called Viennese Waltz.
International Standard Waltz has only closed figures; that is, the couple never leaves closed position.
The American Style Waltz, in contrast to the International Standard Waltz, involves breaking contact almost entirely in some figures. For example, the Syncopated Side-by-Side with Spin includes a free spin for both partners. Open rolls are another good example of an open dance figure, in which the follower alternates between the lead’s left and right sides, with the lead’s left or right arm (alone) providing the lead. Waltzes were the staple of many American musicals and films, including “Waltz in Swing Time” sung by Fred Astaire.
The Cross Step Waltz is a newer style of waltz where the first step is a cross-step into the line of direction. This was popularized in classes at Stanford University and allows for a much richer assortment of variations.
The Peruvian Waltz (Called and recognized in Peru as vals criollo).
The Mexican Waltz (vals mexicano) follows the same basic rhythmic pattern as the standard waltz, but the melodies reflect a strong Spanish influence.
Tango vals allows the dancers to dance one, two, three, or no steps to any four beats of waltz music; and to vary the number of steps per bar throughout the song.
The Venezuelan waltz
Country Western Waltz is 99% progressive, moving counter clock wise around the dance floor. Both the posture and frame are relaxed, with posture bordering on a slouch. The exaggerated hand and arm gestures of some ballroom styles are not part of this style. Couples may frequently dance in the promenade position, depending on local preferences.