Latin American dances

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Sergey and Viktoria Tatarenko from the Ahorn Club in the Berlin Police Sports Club (2010), German amateurs champions in Latin American dances

Latin American dances , also known as Latin for short , is a fixed collective term for these five social and tournament dances : Samba , Cha-Cha-Cha , Rumba , Paso Doble and Jive . Together with the standard dances, they form a large part of the world dance program .


Despite the name, it is not the origin of a dance that determines whether it belongs to the Latin American dances. The five Latin American dances are very similar in terms of their technical elements. The affiliation was determined by worldwide dance associations and is mainly based on the dance technique. Of the five Latin American dances, only three actually come from Latin America : the rumba, the samba and the cha-cha-cha. The jive originated in North America , the Paso Doble has its origin in Spain and France . In particular , the "Latin American dances" described here do not include the following dances from Latin America: Bachata , Mambo , Merengue , Salsa , Tango Argentino . These are commonly referred to as ballroom dances or fashion dances . Also in many ethnic groups in Latin America these dances are danced to traditional music (e.g. with the Mayas ).


The communication between the partners is characteristic of the Latin American dances. All Latin American dances address the couple relationship in different ways. Further characteristics are fast turns as well as the frequent change between driving and calm phases of movement, both temporally and from different parts of the body (separation). The body is not viewed as a whole. In contrast to the standard dances, in which the movement of the couple in the room primarily conveys the dance message, the focus here is on the coordinated movement of the individual dancers. The dancers do not have the goal of becoming one in their movement as a couple, but rather to communicate visibly for the audience through alternating actions and to involve them.


The Latin American dances are very similar in technique and dance figures. In contrast to the standard dances, which are danced in a close dance posture, the dance partners in the dance posture of the Latin American dances are further apart, which makes the movement in the body more easily visible for both the audience and the partner. Upper and lower body as well as arms and legs are separated, that is, move independently of each other. Except for the Paso Doble, all Latin American dances show significant hip movements. With the exception of Paso Doble, steps are almost always placed on the ball of the foot. But this technique is also used in other dances.

Tournament dance

In the tournament dance, which is divided into different age groups and performance classes, the five dances are always danced in the above order. Each couple starts in the D class, in which only Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba and Jive are danced. According to a fixed key, the couple acquire promotion and placement points and thus advance in their age group via the D, C, B and A class to the special class (S class), the highest amateur dance class. There are different, staggered by age starting groups .

The sporting organization is subject to the German Dance Sport Association and in Austria the Austrian Dance Sport Association (ÖTSV).

American rhythm

International Style describes the type of Latin American dances as they are danced in Europe. In contrast, American Style is the style of dancing that is cultivated in the United States (called American Rhythm ). The dances Cha-Cha-Cha , Rumba , East Coast Swing , Bolero and Mambo are danced .


Latin World Championships have been held regularly since 1959 . Some of the biggest tournaments in Germany are the German Open Championships in Stuttgart, "Hessen tanzt" in Frankfurt am Main, "Blaues Band der Spree" in Berlin and the "Dancecomp" in Wuppertal.

See also


Web links

Wikibooks: Dancing  - Learning and teaching materials

Individual evidence