Tango, salsa and 7 other Latin American dance styles

The cliché that music is a universal language is a cliché for a reason, because music really connects people while telling the story of a culture. Many Latin American countries use music and dance to keep their traditions alive and the different styles have been recognized around the world. There is salsa, rumba and samba which are heavily influenced by African roots while tango has its roots in Argentine brothels hence its infamous sexually charged nature. These different dance styles are a celebration of the countries and cultures they represent and many have been popularized by artists such as Celia Cruz (salsa), Juan Luis Guerra (merengue) and Carlos Gardel (tango). We’ve compiled some of the most famous LATAM dance styles paired with TikToks with the signature moves.

Folk

@matisseazul

sinaloaaaaa #folklorico #balletfolklorico #bailefolklorico #mexico #culture #cultura #dancer #dance #baile

♬ Hispanic version – 🌻Ashley Camarena🌻

Video: TikTok / @ matisseazul

Folklorico dates back to the indigenous peoples of Mexico and footwork (zapateado) is the basis of this style of percussive dance. In 1952, Amalia Hernandez created the Ballet Folklórico de México to dance the Folklorico at the Pan American Games and she was the first to mix it with modern dance and ballet. Folklorico shows the life and spirit of people through its movements and is celebrated throughout Mexico and the United States.

Argentine Tango

@emilianocavallini

Lapiz Tango Lesson #tango #tangoydanza #tangodance #tangoargentino #dancetutorial

♬ original suono – Emiliano Cavallini Dancer

Video: TikTok / @ emilianocavallini

Argentine tango originated in Buenos Aires in the brothels of working-class communities and is believed to have influences from Cuban habanera and African candombe. In the 1900s, the church actually banned dancing because the music was “immoral.” The most popular Argentine tango dancer would undoubtedly be El Chachafaz, who actually performed in brothels.

salsa

@ lucia.baila4

Basic steps of salsa💃 #tutorial #basicsalsasteps #salsatutorial #baila #dance #latinos #lagozadera #fiesta #latina #fyp #foryou #dance #latingirl #happy

♬ La Gozadera (feat. Marc Anthony) (Salsa Version) – Gente de Zona

Video: TikTok/@lucia.baila4

Salsa originated in rural eastern Cuba and quickly became popular in Havana in the 20th century. It started with the guitar and African rhythms, not quite like the salsa we know today with horns and trumpets. The dance has gained popularity around the world thanks to Puerto Ricans in New York and modern singers like Puerto Rican artist Marc Anthony. Of course, the most popular salsa singer of all time is Celia Cruz with Ismael Rivera and Hector Lavoe.

Bachata

@ julia.hector

Lo conseguist? ♥ ️ #bachata #bachatatutorial #dancetutorial #dancing #baile #learn #aprende #parati #foryou #fyp #international #pareja #couplegoals

Carita de Inocente – Prince Royce

Video: TikTok/@julia.hector

Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s and due to its sultry nature and lyrical content, it was banned by dictator Rafael Trujillo. Juan Luis Guerra, famous for merengue, is also credited with the popularization of bachata by winning a Grammy for “Bachata Rosa” in 1992. It has continued to gain popularity thanks to Latin artists like Romeo Santos and Prince Royce. Dancing has also taken over the fitness world with Zumba instructors often choreographing bachata routines known for their footwork and hip movements.

Samba

@ dairana94

Don’t give up, it sounds hard but it isn’t💃🏻 #Brazil #samba #tutorialsamba #dancing #dance #dancelover #colombian #australia #baile #bailebasico

Magalenha – La Banda Latina

Video: TikTok / @ dairana94

Samba is a Brazilian dance style with African rhythms, created in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the late 1920s. This style is very powerful and has become popular in parades and even protest marches across the country. world. Many samba dancers participate in the annual carnival parade in Brazil: Viviane Araujo, Sabrina Sato and Renata Santos.

Perreo

@alessandra_xsx

Hope you like it 💖✨ #fy #tutorial #freestyle #dance #dc #foryou #viral #reggaeton

original sonido – Jose Rios

Video: TikTok / @ alessandra_xsx

El perreo, aka Sandunguero, is the popular dance style associated with reggaeton music that originated in Panama in the 1970s and eventually made its way to Puerto Rico in the 1990s. Reggaeton music is a mixture of Jamaican sounds / LATAM with hip hop and electro rhythms. The perrero can be danced in a number of ways, including face to face or with a guy behind the girl, but it’s basically like the twerk and is known as a sexually charged dance. The style is generally attributed to DJ Blass in the 1980s after its release. Sandunguero albums. He continues to enjoy worldwide fame thanks to artists such as Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee and J Balvin.

Merengue

@ikellymarcelino

Respond to @spooksssss Merengue’s request! This dance is very simple, but there is so much you can do #merengue #merenguetutorial #parati #foryourpage

La Duena del Swing – Merengues

Video: TikTok / @ ikellymarcelino

Merengue is native to the Dominican Republic (it is the national dance) and Haiti with its rhythms influenced by different Venezuelan and Afro-Cuban roots. It is based on a repeating five-beat rhythmic pattern called a quintillo with common instruments used alongside dancing being the accordion and drums. Dominican artist Wilfrido Vargas is considered one of the pioneers of modern merengue while that of Elvis Crespo
“Suavemente” is one of the most famous merengue songs in history.

Cha cha cha

@ kristina.androsenko

Dance figures of cha cha cha 💃🕺 #chacha #chachacha #latindance #dancelessons #ballroomdance #dancetutorial #latina

♬ hisoka owns this audio uwu – ✧ ・ ゚: * ✧ ・ ゚ 𝙠𝙖𝙧𝙤𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙖

Video: TikTok/@kristina.androsenko

The cha-cha-cha is a Cuban dance resulting from the kicking of the dancers’ feet. Enrique Jorrin, Cuban composer and violinist, introduced the cha-cha-cha in 1948. The actual choreography of the dance was taken from two other dances – the mambo and the Cuban danzón.

Rumba

@ dancewitholeg.com

Beginner Rumba – DanceWithOleg.com #rumba #dancetutorial #ballroom

original sound – Oleg Astakhov

Video: TikTok/@dancewitholeg.com

Rumba was born in the 19th century in the slums of eastern Cuba, music historian Maya Roy describes it as “a Spanish heritage Africanized in the Cuban melting pot”. It combines both African and Spanish rhythms and was popular among Afro-Cubans at the time. The word “Rumba” actually means “party”, which is why it is such a lively dance. Over time, various dance styles have been associated with rumba, including predominantly male colombia, yambú, and guaguancó, considered Cuba’s most popular style.

Colleen D. Ervin