Latin dance styles

Posted in Bachata, Salsa

Different styles of dance belong to Latin genre. Latin dances are all about fun, but the level of difficulty for each style of dance can be quite high.

Latin dance includes all styles of dance from Latin America. Latin dances can be put together, because even if each Latin dance steps differ to a certain extent, they all have common elements of speed, intensity and vigorous physical movements between the two dance partners, in most cases.

dans-latinoLatin dance styles

Here are some of the most common styles of Latin dance and specific dance moves which dancers interpret them.


Probably the most famous Latin dance style is salsa. Salsa is known worldwide as a dance style that incorporates elements of African and Caribbean movement. Like most Latin dances, you need two people for this dance. Those who practice salsa definitely notice the fancy moves that are involved and a lot of amazing figures this dance style carries. Salsa is danced on a base of 4 base steps with two quick steps, a pause and then a slow step.

Cha Cha Cha

Cha Cha Cha is one of the styles of Latin dance originating from Cuba. Cha Cha Cha is also widely practiced by couples, with a movement in 3 steps. In the beginning of the dance one partner moves three steps forward while the other makes 3 steps back. This is followed by three steps sideways and all the time counted by the words “Cha Cha Cha”.


Samba word comes from the word associated with the originating country name “Brazil”. Samba runs in 2/4 or 4/4 steps, focusing more on how the steps are executed than the movement of hands and feet. All styles of Latin dance are graceful and Samba is definitely on the top of the list. In Samba is essential that dancers display vigorous movements, and not mechanical.


Bachata is another famous Latin dance style. This comes from the Dominican Republic. Bachata resemble to those 3 steps in Cha Cha Cha sideways, but there is a pronounced pause at the end of the movement. This dance is performed on the music with the same name in the background.


Mambo dance style popularity spread worldwide is due to famous song of Lou Bega “Mambo No. 5”. There are plenty of trumpets in the background of mambo steps, which is mainly on jazz dance. Mambo originated in Cuba, specifically in casinos in Havana. Complicated and fast steps are based on this style of dance. As in Cha Cha Cha, partners headed toward each other by performing three steps forward and three back.


Merengue is one of the most beautiful Latin dance styles being performed in pairs. Partners are close to each other in a position called “closed position.” In merengue, there is always a leader and a follower, regardless of gender. The leader is catching the waist of the follower with his right hand and guides the dance steps. Merengue is danced in 2 steps, the partners dance in a lateral dancing position, and they let go of the one hand, they move in a circle and pirouette. The merengue dance and the specific music, known also under the same name, come officially from Dominican Republic.


Cumbia is the symbol dance of Columbia. Cumbia is a dance with a rhythm given by three different cultural aspects: the indigenous, African and Spanish one. The African drums, native flutes and Spanish songs created this dance with sensual movements, gallant and seductive characteristics of African dances. The clothing has clear Spanish characteristics: for women – long skirts with lace, sequins, floral; for men -shirt, white pants and a red handkerchief tied around the neck and hat. This ethno musical mixture gave rise to a style and rhythm dance called Cumbia in the colonial period, in the Colombian coast of Caribbean Sea which expanded, then, along the river Tucurinca (now Magdalena). On April 16, 1877 La Cumbia Soledeña formed one of the most remarkable groups of traditional Cumbia dance, and in 2006 the Ministry of Culture nominated Cumbia as a symbol of Columbia. Annually a National Festival of Cumbia is held in El Banco, Magdalena.

Cumbia has spread to other Latin American countries such as Panama, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, where over time famous orchestras had numerous contributions to the creation of new styles of dance.

What all styles of Latin dance share is the coefficient of passion, grace is needed more than most dances from around the world.


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