The popularity of television shows like Dancing With The Stars may be behind a revival in Latin dance. Latin dance has a broad meaning. Indeed, it does not refer to a geographical place but rather an expression or style of movement. Most Latin dances have three influences, native, upper-class European and African. Natives of South and Central America came up with what is called Latin dance. As time passed, other influences were added to the dances.

Early Spanish explorers took stories home about natives performing complicated dances. Europeans brought their folk dances to America, and they were mixed into the Latin dance style. Europeans changed the native dances by introducing smaller steps and less forceful movements. It was not long before African rhythms affected the dance. African influences include:

1. isolated movements in different parts of the body

2. improvisation

3. immobilizing the top of the body and making movements with the hips

4. loosened up the formal upward focus of European folk dances

Today, Latin dances include salsa, mambo, rumba, cha-cha and jive. People can take Rumba Dance Lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Astaire Dance Studios offer private and group instruction. Students learn the basic steps behind all dance patterns. Many dances have Cuban roots including the Rumba. This dance includes two quick steps and a third slower step. Dancers tend to move in the shape of a box. Another Cuban import is the Mambo. The basic steps include rock steps and side steps with intermittent points and kicks of the feet. Further, Mambo has unique hip movement. Indeed, the word mambo means to shake it.

The cha-cha, another Cuban dance, is a lot like the mambo. Dancers move weight between their feet and then add three quick steps. Jive is heavily influenced by African-American dance. It is often called a more spirited form of the jitterbug. Jive was very loosely interpreted, but now it is a competitive dance. The jive’s pace is slowed down so the basic steps can be recognized by judges. Dance studios are full because many couples are taking Rumba Dance Lessons, as well as others. Dancing is a great hobby, social activity and you’ll burn some calories.

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