About Afro Latin

Salsa

Afro latin

Salsa is a Latin dance associated with the music genre of the same name which was first popularized in the United States in the 1960s in New York City. Salsa is an amalgamation of Cuban dances such mambo, pachanga, and rumba as well as American dances such as swing and tap.

It was primarily developed by Puerto Ricans and Cubans living in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Different regions of Latin America and the United States (including countries in the Caribbean) have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian, and New York styles. Salsa dance socials are commonly held in nightclubs, bars, ballrooms, restaurants, and outside, especially when part of an outdoor festival.

Salsa dancing evolved as a dance to accompany salsa music which was popularized in the 1960s. Many of the movements found in salsa dancing originated from earlier forms of Latin dance such as mambo, cha cha cha, and pachanga as well as other dances popular at the time such as swing dance.

Originally a street dance, salsa dance steps came to be more formalized once schools began opening up teaching students how to dance salsa with a set curriculum. One of the early influential instructors in salsa was Eddie Torres who helped to formalize the timing for New York-style salsa, and popularized the style around the world.

There is some debate surrounding the exact origins of the name “salsa”. Some claim that it originated from something musicians shouted while they were playing their music to generate excitement. The term was popularized by the record label Fania Records to better market their music, and Fania founder Johnny Pacheco says he chose the word “salsa” because of its spicy and hot connotations. Whatever its origin, the term is fitting because salsa dancing and music is a mixture of different styles, just like salsa or “sauce” in Latin American countries is a mixture of different ingredients.

Salsa basics

Bachata

In partnering, the lead can decide whether to perform in open, semi-closed or closed position. Dance moves or step variety strongly depend on the music (such as the rhythms played by the different instruments), setting, mood, and interpretation. Unlike salsa, bachata dance does not usually include many turn patterns.

Bachata is a social dance from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. The basic dance sequence is performed in a full 8-count moving within a square, consisting of three steps and then a tap or various forms of step syncopations (such as the “double step”). The tap is done on the opposite foot of the last step, while the next step is taken on the same foot as the tap. The dance direction may change after the tap or fourth step. Bachata can be danced on any beat of the musical phrase as long as the basic dance sequence (three steps and then a tap \ syncopation) is maintained (for example, one may start on the 1st beat of the musical phrase, with the tap landing on the 4th beat).

From the late 1990s and onward, dancers in the Western world started creating novel dance forms inspired by bachata music. The most well known example of this is the made up basic step commonly referred to as the “side to side step”, which is sometimes accompanied by an exaggerated “pop” of the hips during the tap. These novel western dance forms were mostly created copying dance moves from other partner dances of various origins, Latin and non Latin alike. Many such dances exist today, with the first of these often referred to as “Western side basic step”.

Often referred to in the West as “authentic / Dominican” bachata, the original social dance was created in the Dominican Republic during the 1960s and was danced only in closed position, like the bolero, often in close embrace.[2] Bachata basic steps are performed by moving within a small square (side, side, forward and then tap with your toes, then side, side, back and tap). This step was inspired by the bolero basic step, but evolved over time to include a tap and syncopations (steps in between the beats), helping dancers express the more dynamic music being commonly played. The hand placement can vary according to the position of the dances, which can range from very close to open to completely open.

Bachata is still danced today in the Caribbean and all over the world, and has been evolving for several decades. It is increasingly danced to faster music, adding more footwork, simple turns and rhythmic free-styling with alternation between close (romantic) and open position. Bachata is danced with soft hip movements and a tap or syncopation (1, 2, 3, tap/syncopation). It can also be danced with or without bouncing (moving the body up on the beats and down again in between the beats by adding slight spring to ones leg

Bachata basics

Kizomba is a genre of dance and a musical genre originating in Angola in 1984.

Kizomba means “party” in Kimbundu, a Bantu language spoken by Ambundu in Angola. The word kizomba is also used as an umbrella-expression to include several other dance styles that derived from the original dance (s.a. Urban Kiz, Kizomba Fusion).

Music genre
The origins of kizomba can be traced to late-1970s Africa, with influences variably attributed to Angola. Kizomba is characterised by a slower, romantic, more sensuous rhythm[5] than the traditional Angolan semba music. Kizomba music emerged as a fusion of Semba, Angolan Merengue, Kilapanga and further Angolan music influences: It slowed down the cadence of songs and added a stronger bass line to the composition of instruments. Eduardo Paim is internationally recognised as the “father/creator of Kizomba music”, as he and his band were taking a major role in the development of the music style creation.[7] Most kizomba songs are sung in Portuguese or a dialect from the various Portuguese speaking, African cultures.

Dance genre
A couple dances kizomba
Semba has been danced in the 1950s in Angola. In the 1990s, when the actual kizomba music got more and more popular, Angolan semba dancers started to adapt their semba steps according to the tempo and flavour of the Kizomba beats. The Kizomba dance is a couple dance, in which the torso and right arm of the leader will guide the follower across the dance floor. It is the goal to synchronize perfectly as a couple with the music and express it through elegant footwork, smooth body movement and attitude, called Ginga (for women) and Banga (for men). Across the world Kizomba dance got mixed with other dancestyles such as Tango, HipHop, Latin Dances, Lambazouk, Acrobatics and more and created several major subcategories such as Kizomba Fusion and Urban Kiz.

Kizomba

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