The American Rhythm dance genre consists of the cha-cha, rumba, swing, bolero and mambo. Learn more about each sub-genre of American Rhythm below.
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American Cha Cha
A dance of Cuban origin, the Cha Cha is one of the most fun and versatile of all the Latin dances. Danced to authentic Cuban Cha Cha music or more modern Latin rock, the Cha Cha takes it’s name from the syncopated (stressing a normally weak) beat in the music and also the sound the dancers feet make while dancing during this syncopation. A lively and flirtatious dance, the American Cha Cha tends to be slightly slower than its International counterpart and has different figures, or patterns.
American Rumba is a popular dance with all skill levels. Small steps are taken in this dance, with the dancers producing a tilting of the hips by alternately bending and straightening the knees. The American Rumba is a modified version of an older Cuban dance, the “Son”. The tempo of the American Rumba is faster than that of the International style, its patterns are different and its action through the legs is more soft and less straight. It is a fun and easy first dance to learn.
American East Coast Swing
This dance evolved from the Lindy Hop with the work of the Arthur Murray dance studios in the 1940s. The name East Coast Swing was coined to initially to distinguish the dance from the street form (as well as separating the dance from West Coast Swing which was developed in California). While based on Lindy Hop, it does have clear distinctions. East Coast Swing is a fun and versatile dance that can be used in all formats of dance: weddings, social dances and competitions. It is fairly easy to learn and is done to medium tempo music and for these reasons it’s very popular with beginners.
Done only in the American Rhythm style, the Bolero was originally a Spanish dance in 3/4 (Waltz) time. It has since changed to a more common timing and is danced to music that is a very slow type of Rumba. The dreamy music gives Bolero a very slow, smooth, powerful romantic look and feeling. The foot patterns are similar to Rumba but have a very different technique. It is a challenging dance to learn but has a great deal of style and finesse to it.
The Palladium style is the original style of Mambo danced in the United States beginning in the 1950s at the Palladium Ballroom in New York. The Mambo dance that was invented by Perez Prado and was popular in the 1940s and 50s Cuba, Mexico City, and New York is completely different to the modern dance that New Yorkers now call ‘Mambo’ .
The Mambo is a faster dance done to Cuban music and stylized with quick movements and small “freezes” which give a sharp look to it. It is a fun and sassy dance with music that is known across the world as some of the most rhythmically sophisticated and pleasurable music to listen to.