This HOT SEXY Latin dance (Salsa "On 2") is the current rising fad and is one of the most popular social dances in New York nowadays, as there are plenty of Latin clubs, and plenty of great salsa dancers!  Don't get it confused with "ballroom" salsa!

Salsa/Mambo is the dance that came to popular attention in the '40s, as Americans became fascinated with the exciting rhythms emanating from Latin countries, like Cuba. For the mood of Mambo, just think Havana in its heyday, and the famous Palladium dancers of NYC in the '40s, '50s and '60s. Shines refer to the fancy steps that partners do when they break away from each other to dance separately. Our Shine classes offer a great opportunity to students to really familiarize themselves with the rhythm of the music, and learn how to move creatively, or "play" with steps within the rhythm of the music.

Bachata is a form of music and dance that originated in the countryside and rural marginal neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic. Its subjects are usually romantic; especially prevalent are tales of heartbreak and sadness. Since originating in the Dominican Republic, Bachata dance has gone through many phases and several sensual versions of Bachata have also developed: Dominican/Original Bachata, Traditional Bachata, Bachata Moderna, Urban Bachata, etc.

Originally, the Rumba was a lively, peppy dance similar to Mambo in its feel. Over the years it has changed, and is now the name of a slow and romantic Latin dance. Inspired by African rhythms and Latin melodies, the Americanized version of the Cuban Rumba is the basis for the Mambo and Cha Cha. The Rumba is a pre-requisite for good Latin dancing, and helps sharpen your sense of rhythm, timing and muscle control.

Originally an offshoot of the Mambo, the Cha Cha was the rage in the 50's and is probably the most popular social Latin dance in America. It has an infectious rhythm that has been used by many musicians, even those who are not traditionally thought of as Latin -- even some Beatles songs, and a lot of disco music! The rhythmical "split beat" of the Cha Cha and the many open movements add surety and poise to your dancing style.

Merengue is a simple, fun dance with origins in the Dominican Republic. The simple march tempo is easy to hear and feel, and lends itself to a spontaneous, improvisational style of dance. The music is charming and happy, and often contains clever jokes or puns in Spanish. Learning the Merengue is a good way to start familiarizing yourself with Cuban Motion, which is the way that your body moves in all the Latin dances.

Samba is a Latin dance with origins in Brazil. In Brazil, there are many different types of Samba, including more elegant Salon dancing, and the wild, uninhibited popular dancing associated with Carnival. Carmen Miranda is generally credited with bringing Brazilian rhythms to the United States and Europe, and since then the Samba has undergone a metamorphosis, as the steps became stylized and standardized. Samba has very distinctive and varied rhythms occurring simultaneously within every song, which helps to build richness in the music and excitement in the listening. It is often called the "South American Waltz", as it features a "rise and fall" type of motion which is associated with Waltz.

There are many forms of swing. East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Lindy, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, etc. All of them originated in the 1920's with the Black community dancing Charleston and Lindy Hop to Jazz music.

East Coast Swing (Triple Time): This is the most commonly danced swing dance that evolved from the jitterbug, which was the most popular dance of the 40's during the big band era. Today it is still the most commonly danced swing.

West Coast Swing is similar to East Coast Swing but to slower swing music which allows dancers to execute embellishments such as swivels, syncopation, and body rolls. This dance also works well to blues and slow country western music.

Remember the '70's? John Travolta in the white polyester suit in Saturday Night Fever? Well, that was the Hustle, but just like a lot of other things have changed in the last 20 years, the Hustle has changed a lot, too. The Hustle was born in New York's Latin community. Young Latinos were born in a culture where dancing together was the norm, but they wanted to dance to more contemporary music than the Mambo of their parents. Slowly the Latin Hustle was developed and emerged as a club style. The mainstream young people caught on to the music, and the dance style, and Hustle quickly became hugely popular, all over America and Europe, fueled in part by the movie. As hustle developed, many different styles emerged.

In the late '70's, with the emergence of punk rock and the anti-disco movement, the hustle faded in popular culture -- but it never died! The hustle fanatics of the '70's never gave up on the dance, and it retained a cult popularity at underground clubs through the '80's. During this time, hustle kept developing and changing, and the hustle that is danced today bears little resemblance to the hustle of the '70's. Hustle is danced to the contemporary pop dance music of the last 20 years. It is a fast, smooth dance, with the lady spinning almost constantly, while her partner draws her close and sends her away. It is a challenging dance, with a rhythmic pattern which plays with the timing of the music, rather that following it exactly.

The Foxtrot is a great social dance: it's fun, not hard to learn, and easy to lead and follow. Traditionally danced to Big Band music, it is smooth and sexy. Its basic timing is slow-slow-quick-quick. The Foxtrot originated in 1914 in New York City by Harry Fox. It is one of the most versatile of all the ballroom dances as it can be danced to a wide variety of music with varying tempos. Foxtrot shares many of the same steps with the Waltz.

Waltz is the traditional Wedding Dance. Originating in the suburbs of Vienna and the Alpine region of Austria, by the 17th Century Waltz was danced in the Ballrooms of the Hapsburg Court in Germany. The character is elegant, regal, graceful, and has a lovely swooping rise and fall. The timing is ONE - two - three with the "one" being the downbeat. The basic Waltz step is the box step, a sequence of six steps which, if you were to draw a line connecting all six, would form a box.

Viennese Waltz is about twice the speed of Waltz, and features simple footwork with lots of twirls and arm expression. Viennese Waltz is the dance most often seen in movies depicting Ballroom Dancing.

Tango is passionate, with dramatic poses. Its story is of a love affair that is sometimes amorous, sometimes angry, but always intense! The basic timing is slow-slow-quick-quick-slow, spelling out its name: T-A-N-G-O.

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