Latin music is increasingly more popular and has an ever-growing worldwide audience. From sensual ballroom dancing to rumba and salsa at events, parties, and even in the street, these are improvised dances, a spontaneous moment that is all about having fun…which is why dancing is also often used as a way to mentally and physically unwind.
When it comes to the clothes worn at dance competitions, woman usually wear short, tight-fitting dresses that highlight the figure, while men wear a matching dress pants and shirt.
Salsa, merengue, bachata, tango and other Latin rhythms, especially those from the Dominican Republic, Panama, Cuba and Puerto Rico, can now be heard around the world.
Perhaps because this music was originally influenced by a mix of Spanish, Indian, African and Asian sounds, many resorts offer dance lessons that help tourists dive into the spirit of the region.
Are you familiar with the types of music we’re talking about?
Salsa has gained worldwide popularity thanks to artists like Celia Cruz and drummers like Tito Puente. Modern salsa evolved from the “son cubano (Cuban sound)” and other Latin rhythms in New York. Can’t-miss events on the global salsa calendar are celebrated in Cali every September with the World Salsa Festival and in San Juan, Puerto Rico in March during the National Salsa Day. Both festivals draw in thousands of salsa fans.
Merengue and Bachata
To be a good merengue dancer you need confidence and fast feet; the bachata, however, which is inspired by the bolero, is more romantic. Both are Dominican in origin and have become tremendously popular worldwide, with contagious beats that make it impossible to stay in your seat. The largest and most iconic festivals for this genre are celebrated in the Dominican Republic.
This beautiful Argentine dance has made UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. While a number of tango festivals are held around the world, the genre’s most internationally popular event is the World Dance Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina, celebrated in La Boca neighborhood’s Teatro de la Ribera. Thousands of tango fans, from tourists to dancers, visit the city in August to experience this incredible event.
The National Cumbia Festival has been declared a Cultural Heritage event in Colombia. The dance is the result of African, Indian and Spanish influences. While there are different styles of cumbia that change depending on the context and venue, the dance is based on a man’s courtship of a women. Some of the most popular Colombian cumbia songs are La Pollera Colorá, La Piragua and La Cumbia Cienaguera.
Olá, Olá! Samba is considered one of the most popular Brazilian cultural expressions and is an icon of national identity. With its upbeat drums and rhythm, it is almost impossible to hear the word “samba” and not think of the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the beach, tan bodies and beautiful women. “Pelo Telefone” (1917), by Donga and Mauro Almeida, is generally considered the first samba record.
What about you? Do you know how to dance?
If you don’t, what are you waiting for? Take a trip to the Dominican Republic with Hello and learn!