Latin dance is a broad and relatively all encompassing term that includes a significant number of dances. Typically, Latin dance involves two partners dancing ballroom or folk dances that have roots in Latin America. There are competitions for Latin dancing all over the world that go far beyond Latin America and Spanish speaking countries.
Latin dance comes from three predominant styles of dance including Native American, European as well as African. These romantic and passionate dances date back as far as the fifteenth century and therefore have deep cultural roots. The dances are culturally rich and even now are integral parts of the Latin culture in dance.
There are several types of Latin dance, some of the most popular including:
- Salsa; This dance originated in the Caribbean, the Salsa is a dance that is incredibly fun to watch and upbeat for dancers and the audience alike. It is one of the most practiced dances in the entire world. There are several sub genres within the world of Salsa that one can explore.
- Merengue; This dance has roots in the Dominican Republic. There are several easy and basic steps, but the music is always upbeat and fast paced.
- Bachata; Another dance from the Dominican Republic, this dance is in large contrast to the Merengue and to Salsa as it is a slower paced dance with more sensual moves and a more sensual feel. The body is isolated, and the dance requires strong hip movements.
- Cha Cha Cha; This is a Cuban dance that looks and largely resembles the mambo. The name demonstrates the sound of shoes while dancing to the upbeat music.