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Hispanic Heritage Month: History of Latin Dances

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

September 15 to October 15 , Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the Latino culture and heritage, as well as the contributions U.S. Hispanics have made to the nation.

Hispanic culture brought to the US many including: Spanish language, food, music, and dance. Hispanic culture dance is for social purposes that brings friends and family together in an emotional connection to the music and traditions of their ancestors.

To book Dancers/Musicians for any of the dance styles below Book Here. We have also added the presentation demo "History of Latin Dances" as a booking of option, great for educational entertainment.


Most of the Countries have traditional folk dances "folklorico" most recognizable is the Ballet Folklorico of Mexico which today is danced in special occasions and many times accompanying a mariachi.



Cumbia folkloric rhythm and dance is from Colombia in 1800s. It began as a courtship dance practiced among the Indigenous population on the Caribbean coasts of Colombia. It later mixed with African and European instruments, steps and musical characteristics. 1970s is when Mexican Cumbia music arrived and in 1980 when the famous Selena y Los Dinos which gave a youthful rhythm at the time that brought fame to the band and genre even after the murder of Selena in 1995 their music still plays today as the staple songs for Modern Cumbia.



Salsa evolved from earlier Cuban dance forms such as Son, Son Montuno, cha cha cha, Mambo and Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena which were popular in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Latino communities in New York since the 1940s. Salsa, like most music genres and dance styles, has gone through a lot of variation through the years and incorporated elements of other Afro-Caribbean dances such as Pachanga. Different regions of Latin America and the United States have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Cali Colombia, where the World master Dancers are in the best in the World. L.A. and New York styles.



Flamenco dance and the guitar music that accompanies it comes from southern Spain in the Andalusian region associated with the Roma or gypsy people. Flamenco dance is a highly-expressive, Spanish dance form. The flamenco is a solo dance characterized by hand clapping, percussive footwork, and intricate hand, arm, and body movements. The dance is usually accompanied by a singer and guitar player.



Bachata is a genre of Latin American music that originated in the Dominican Republic in the first half of the 20th century with African, European, and Indigenous musical elements. The first recorded compositions of Bachata were done by Jose Manuel Calderon from the Dominican Republic.



Though Brazil is not considered Hispanic because the country does speak Portuguese it is considered a Latin dance (geographically). Samba is a dance to black/African people in Brazil who brought much of their music and dance culture into Latin America with them upon arrival into many Latin American countries. Samba music is very similar to and has been influenced by many Angolan music genres. It has also been influenced by many other Latin American music genres and dances. The Samba music rhythm has been danced in Brazil since its inception in the late 16th century. There is actually a set of dances, rather than a single dance, that define the Samba dancing scene in Brazil; however, no one dance can be claimed with certainty as the "original" Samba style.

Another major stream of the Samba dance beside the Brazilian Samba dancing styles is Ballroom Samba, which differs significantly.



Tango is a partner dance which originated in the 1880s along the River Plate (Río de Plata), the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. The tango was frequently practiced in the brothels and bars of ports, where business owners employed bands to entertain their patrons with music. The tango then spread to the rest of the world. Many variations of this dance currently exist around the world.



The beauty of Latin dances, it can be found anywhere around the world, even in non-Spanish speaking countries like Korea, Japan, India, and all around Europe. Also became a mainstream attraction when ABC's Dancing with the Stars and other TV shows feature these dances. Next time, learn, watch or just join in to the Hispanic dance culture and enjoy the melting pot that made up the dances you see today.



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