Dance-o-pedia > Latin Dances


The authentic version of Tango, the Argentine Tango as it's called in the United States, is a dance that originated in the streets and brothels of Argentina, South America. The Argentine Tango is a very sexy and risqué dance that involves various flicks and legs movements while the dancers remain in a close dance hold.


The Bolero is a very romantic slow dance that borrows elements from the Rumba, Waltz and Tango. It's traditionally danced to romantic Spanish loves songs and can be a fantastic replacement for the simple slow dancing that most America's already know how to do. At the competitive level, the Bolero is characterized by long romantic movements and theatrical lifts and wraps.


Originally called the Triple Mambo, the Cha Cha is a fun and flirty Latin dance that is characterized by its quick chasse steps dancers often count as “cha cha cha”. Cha Cha is danced to medium tempo Latin music, but can also be danced to many pop or rock songs. The International and American versions are very similar, varying slightly in tempo and step configurations.


The spicy Mambo first appeared in the 1940s as a fast version of the Rumba. It moves like a Latin dance, but also has elements of the Swing, including turns and swiveling figures. Mambo is also the predecessor of the Cha Cha and the Salsa. Its unique blend of Swing, Jazz and Latin music combined with rhythmical body movements makes the Mambo and irresistible dance for beginner and advanced dancers alike!


The Paso Doble is a Latin partner dance where the dancers reenact the Spanish bull fight. During the dance, the man demonstrates his strength and confidence by resembling the matador, while the lady’s fluid yet quick movements mimic those of his cape. Fortunately for dancers, the bull is left out of the dance! The Paso Doble is not considered a social dance and is generally only danced on the competition dance floor in the International Latin division.


Originating in the 1940s, Rumba was one of the earliest Latin dances. Rumba is a sophisticated slow Latin dance that uses strong lines and dramatic hip movements to tell a story of romance. The International and American versions are similar; the latter being danced to faster Rumba tempos. The Rumba is the parent dance of the Mambo, Cha Cha, Bolero and Salsa.


The Samba originated in Rio de Janeiro, South America as a solo celebration dance. In the 1950s, the Samba came to the United States and was formed into a partner Latin dance. The Samba, along with the Paso Doble, are the only Latin dances that travel around the dance floor like the ballroom dances. Samba is characterized by fast pulses and bounce type movements danced to very energetic and lively music!

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