Developed in Brazil during the 19th century, the Samba is considered the dance of celebration and joy at Carnival celebrations in Rio. In DanceSport, Samba is unique to other dances in that it has a natural bounce to it that comes from within. The Samba Bounce Action is a gentle, rhythmic action felt through the knees and ankles. Samba has very distinctive and varied rhythms occurring simultaneously, which helps to build richness in the music and excitement in the dancing!
Cha Cha Cha
The Cha Cha is one of the most popular of the Latin-American dances. Lively and flirtatious, it is full of passion and energy. Originating in Cuba in the 1940s, the Cha Cha was developed as a variant of the Mambo and Rumba. It’s emphasis is on quick hip movements and fast tempo gives it a unique, vibrant and playful style of dance.
The Rumba is a dance that tells a story of love and passion. Full of sensual movements, the Rumba is considered by many to be the sexiest of the ballroom dances. The rumba is often referred to as the “grandfather of the Latin dances.” Originating in Cuba, it first came to the United States in the early 1920s. The Rumba is the slowest of the five competitive Latin dances. Its slow, sensuous, flirtatious movements make a very enticing performance.
The Paso Doble is a theatrical Spanish dance. Traditionally, the man is characterized as the matador (bullfighter) and the lady as his cape in the drama of a Spanish bullfight. The dancers may choose to enact the role of the torero, picador, banderillero, bull, or Spanish dancer, and may change roles throughout the dance. One of the most dramatic of all the Latin dances, the Paso Doble is a progressive dance. In the Paso Doble, dancers take strong steps forward with the heels, and incorporate artistic hand movements. Based on Flamenco dancing, the Paso Doble is both arrogant and passionate.
Originating in the United States in the 1940s, Jive was influenced by the Boogie, Rock & Roll, African/American Swing and Lindyhop. Similar to the East Coast Swing, the Jive basic steps consist of two triple steps and a rock step. Jive is a very happy, boppy, energetic dance, with plenty of knee-lifting, bending, and rocking of the hips. The fastest of the Latin dances, Jive incorporates lots of kicks and flicks, and is very fun to watch.