Salsa is a syncretic dance form with origins from Cuba, as the original meeting point of European and African cultures. Its movements originate in Cuban Son, with strong influences from Mambo, Guaguanco, and other Afro-Cuban music. Salsa is normally a partner dance, although there are recognized solo forms, line dancing (suelta), and Rueda de Casino where groups of couples exchange partners in a circle. Salsa can be improvised or performed with a set routine. Salsa is popular throughout Latin America, and also in the United States, Spain, Japan, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Israel and Eastern Europe.
Cumbia is a Latin American musical style that originated in Colombia's Caribbean region. Traditional cumbia and its associated dance is considered to be representative of Colombia, along with Vallenato, Bambuco and Pasillo. Cumbia originated from the Caribbean coast of eastern Colombia, with folkloric variants in Panama from where it spread gaining particular popularity in Mexico, Argentina, and the Andean region. Cumbia began as a courtship dance practiced among the African slave population that was later mixed with European instruments and musical characteristics.
West Coast Swing
West Coast Swing (WCS) is a partner dance derived from Lindy Hop. It is characterised by a distinctive elastic look that results from its basic extension-compression technique of partner connection, and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor. The dance allows for both partners to improvise steps while dancing together.
Club Style Chacha
The Cha-cha-cha is the name of a Latin American dance of Cuban origin. It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in 1953. This rhythm was developed from the danzón by a syncopation of the fourth beat. The name is onomatopoeic, derived from the rhythm of the güiro (scraper) and the shuffling of the dancers' feet.
Argentine tango dancing consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras, and in response to the crowding of the venue and even the fashions in clothing. Even though the present forms developed in Argentina and Uruguay, they were also exposed to influences re-imported from Europe and North America. There are records of 18th and early 19th century tango styles in Cuba and Spain, while there is a flamenco tangos dance that may share a common ancestor in a minuet-style European dance. Consequently there is a good deal of confusion and overlap between the styles as they are now danced - and fusions continue to evolve.
Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. It was created by black Caribbeans who spoke creole languages. It is sung mostly in Antillean creole. Zouk has means "party" or "festival" in the local Antillean Creole of French, although the word originally referred to, and is still used to refer to, a popular dance, based on the Polish dance, the mazurka, that was introduced to the French Caribbean in the 19th Century.In Africa, it is popular in franco- and lusophone countries. In Europe it is particularly popular in France, and in North America the Canadian province of Quebec.
Bachata is a dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is a rural romantic dance that was started in the country side, and its sound is defined by the "requinto" a small acoustic guitar. Diego teaches Dominican & European style Bachata, and in the Vancouver area Bachata has grown to become the second most popular Latin dance next to Salsa.
Our very own Diego has the most watched BACHATA video on youtube with over 6 million hits: Watch Now!
A fast ballroom dance of Caribbean origin, popularized in Cuba in the 1940's rhythmically similar to the rumba and cha-cha but having a more complex pattern of steps. Diego will teach New York style Mambo and Puerto Rican style Mambo that is danced on 2, which means breaking on the second beat, plus he will explain the musicality of the dance.