(Photo of the Tropical Gem Dance Company, Milan, Italy, YouTube)
Club Latin Dancing (Salsa)
The Club Latin dance genres include merengue, bachata, cha cha and the salsa dance genres. Salsa is one of the most populuar dance styles in the world. It was developed in the late 1970’s from older Latin style dances like cha cha and mambo.
There are many different styles of salsa by region across the United States and around the world.
Salsa Dance Performances by Tropical Gem
(Tropical Gem Dance Company’s “Diablo Rojo” @ Step in Dance 3, 2013)
(New Show Tropical Gem at Berlin Salsa congress 2014)
There are distinctive style variations in places like New York, Miami, Cuba, Colombia, Los Angeles and Puerto Rican. Each style has its distinctive flavor.
Differences include dancing circular or in a slot, more or less footwork, larger or smaller steps and the complexity of the arm movements.
The salsa is probably the most popular partner dance in the world currently but the bachata is also very popular in the Latin nightclubs. Many hotels and nightclubs around the world feature Latin club music which includes plenty of salsa and bachata.
Why are the Latin dances so popular?
In the late 1970’s, there was the Disco Hustle dance craze but it only lasted about half a decade. It was soon replaced by the emergence of the salsa in the late seventies. The salsa evolved from older Latin dances like mambo, cha cha and was influenced by the Latin Hustle dancers too. Eventually, Latin nightclubs sprung up everywhere offering a club Latin music mix that included: salsa, merengue and cha cha. The Latin dances continued the Latin flavor of the New York hustle and brought Latin music to the forefront. Many new dancers embraced the new Latin beats and learned to dance the salsa, merengue and cha cha. In the last decade, the bachata swept the Latin dance clubs around the world too. It is quickly becoming as popular as salsa. In the last few years, another dance has joined the dance craze, the kizomba. It is a dance that originated in West Africa and is sometimes called the African tango. It is a blend of rhythms including Latin rhythms, so many club Latin dancers are becoming interested in the kizomba.
Latin Dance Articles
Read more about the different forms of Latin dancing including the rising popularity of the bachata, the history of the cha cha and a biography of the current world and United States national Latin dance champions: Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko!