10 Worldwide Latin American Traditional Dances
Dance is a body movement that is rhythmic and performed at a certain place and time for the purpose of socializing or expressing feelings and thoughts. Dance is usually part of a culture that also serves as entertainment, performance, ceremony or educational media. Each country generally has its own distinctive dance and becomes the identity or characteristic of that country. For example, like Latin America. This area does consist of several countries whose people are known to be very fond of dancing. It’s no wonder that traditional Latin American dances are very famous in several countries. So, here are the traditional Latin American dances that are interesting to watch.
Pasillo is one of the traditional Latin American dances which is also quite interesting and distinctive. Although this dance is very popular in the regions of Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela, the Pasillo is considered the most iconic Ecuadorian folk dance.
The dance was originally adapted from the European waltz, but the Pasillo is slower than the average South American dance rhythm. This makes it unique because the way to dance is unique, which varies according to the city and region.
Another traditional Latin dance that you need to know is Candombe. This dance comes from Uruguay which is very distinctive.
The Candombe dance was originally brought by African slaves in the 18th century and has dances with different rhythms which incidentally are characterized by feelings of melancholy as well as longing.
Cueca from Chile is also one of the most interesting traditional Latin American dances. Cueca is a dance that dates back to colonial times and is a fusion of criollo with elements of Spanish fandango.
This dance is performed by two dancers, namely a man and a woman where the man tries to seduce the woman with an enthusiastic look and stomps hard. They then dance by linking arms and walking around the dance floor, before facing each other and dancing, contactless while waving white handkerchiefs. This dance has a fairly cheerful rhythm and often uses handclaps or tambourines to maintain tempo.
The last traditional Latin American dance is Joropo. This Joropo comes from Venezuela who borrows a lot of rhythm from Spain which was very popular during the colonial period. Joropo has very enthusiastic movements and stomping, hand and foot claps.
This Joropo dance is usually performed at the celebration of dancers among Venezuelan people and one of its famous songs is “Alma Llanera” which is considered the national anthem of the two countries because the song is always sung at the end of parties and celebrations.
The first traditional Latin American dance was Salsa. This dance is indeed quite familiar to our ears because Salsa is indeed one of the world’s most popular dances.
Salsa is a typical dance of the Caribbean Islands and originates from Cuba. In Cuba, if you want to look cool you have to be able to dance Salsa and that’s not easy. The reason is you have to practice several times until proficient. Usually Salsa is shown in bars that have a dance floor. But you don’t need to be surprised if Caribbean people like to dance Salsa on the roadside because this dance is ingrained there.
The next traditional Latin American dance is Tango. Similar to Salsa, Tango is also quite familiar because this dance is quite popular in the world.
Tango comes from Argentina, where its origins are a mixture of European and African cultures. Tango dance is considered romantic and is one of the traditional Argentine dances which is also a proud culture. Not only Argentina, Uruguay also helped preserve this dance. It’s no wonder that Tango is getting more and more popular, even in America and Europe.
Brazil is also known as a country in South America, which has one of the most interesting traditional Latin American dances. This dance is called Samba and similar to Tango and Salsa, Samba is also quite popular throughout the world.
This Samba dance is commonly enjoyed by all groups in Brazil and is often performed at certain festivals or celebrations. Samba is famous for its uniqueness, namely its sparkling, extravagant, colorful and sexy costumes. Not only that, the music that accompanies this dance makes the Samba dance even more attractive.
The Samba dance is actually an Afro-Brazilian dance popularized in parts of Latin America. It’s no wonder that Samba is not only popular in Brazil, but also in various parts of the world.
La Marinera, Peru
The next Latin American traditional dance is La Marinera. La Marinera is known as an elegant dance and represents the feeling of love which is danced by two dancers, male and female.
The two dancers danced with each other, moving in and out, back and forth in swooping motions and playing with the handkerchiefs that floated above them like birds. La Marinera originates from the Peruvian Coast and has slight variations throughout the country, in fact it is considered a traditional dance in Peru. There, you will find young children dancing the La Marinera dance in dance classes all over the city of Lima and other cities in Peru.
Colombia also contributes one of Latin America’s traditional dances which is no less interesting than other countries. This dance is known as Cumbia. Cumbia is a dance of native African and European rhythms with free movements and circular movements.
Sometimes, the female dancer carries a burning candle in her right hand and holds one end of her skirt with her left hand. While the male dancers step around the female dancers with their right heel raised and their knees slightly tilted. He also took off his straw hat and put his head back while keeping his arms outstretched. This Cumbia dance was originally a burial ritual because it used candles and was usually performed at night.
Danza de la Botella, Paraguay
The following traditional Latin American dance originates from Paraguay and is known as the Danza de la Botella. Danza de la Botella means “The Bottle Dance” and is a Paraguayan traditional dance that is quite popular.
This Danza de la Botella features female dancers balancing a bottle on their heads while dancing. This dance certainly requires extraordinary balance and strength, considering that usually, the professional Danza de la Botella dancers use four to five bottles on their heads at one time.
It is still unclear about the history of this dance. However, there are those who say that this dance originated from the colonial era where women often carried water bottles on their heads when going to farming.