Basic Information Sheet
1. Tango - Just as the samba is associated with Brazil, the tango is associated with Argentina, although the music and dance were influenced by the Cuban haba–era. This style of modern ballroom dancing was enjoyed both in Latin America and the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. Because the United States and other countries were then emerging from the influences of Victorian society, the tango was not accepted at first. As times changed, the tango’s popularity increased. This dance requires quite a large area for it includes a great variety of long steps and abrupt stops which help to accentuate the unique rhythm of the music.
2. Rumba - Following on the heels of the tango is the rumba which was internationally popular during the 1930s. It, too, has roots in Cuba, but it also has African folk origins as well. Homemade musical instruments, which may include such objects as bottles, pots, pans, and/or spoons, help to emphasize rumba’s grassroots character. Side to side hip movements accompany its basic quick, quick, slow basic rhythm.
3. Merengue - This is a fast, ballroom dance that originated in the Dominican Republic during the nineteenth century. The dancers keep one leg stiff while moving the hips and the other leg quite rapidly.
4. Mambo - This is a rhythmic musical form of Caribbean origin which is played in syncopated time and has a heavy accent on the second and fourth beats.
5. Cha-Cha - This is a modern, Latin American ballroom dance with a recurrent triple beat.
6. Conga Line - This is a Latin American dance with African origins. It has a repeated pattern of three steps followed by a kick. The dancers typically form a winding line.
7. Samba - This is a Brazilian dance that has international origins: Native Brazilian, European and African. It has a syncopated rhythm and is usually accompanied by percussion instruments and singing.
8. Salsa - This is a type of modern, Latin American dance music of Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican origin. It was influenced by jazz and rock, and is usually played at fast tempos.