International Latin is a dance genre made up of International Cha Cha, International Samba, International Rumba, International Paso Doble, and International Jive. Read below to learn more about each of these dance styles.
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International 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. Cha Cha is considered to be one of the faster Latin dances and is characterized by sharp leg actions and body movements.
We teach Samba only in the International style, and here is a dance both famed for its incredible music, which most people claim as their favorite of all dances, and for its difficulty, as it is one of the harder dances to learn. We think learning Samba is worth it. Hailing from Brazil, the dance is derived from the Carnival dance of the same name done by single dancers during the festival. The music is rhythmically textured, and the dance is famous for its rolls, Samba “bounce”, and unusual steps. We don’t think it will be long before you claim Samba as your favorite too!
Derived from a Cuban dance known as the “Bolero-son”, our modern day International Rumba was developed and codified for the most part by an Englishman named Walter Laird, who is also the author of the book “Technique of Latin Dancing”. This dance is striking for its use of slow and very quick rhythms at the highest level, and is a favorite of many dancers. Rumba is considered the most sensual of the latin dances and is frequently referred to as “the dance of love.” Its body rhythm and leg action is very developed, making it a very stylized dance as well.
International Paso Doble
Done only in the International syle, the Paso Doble is a unique dance representing the spanish Matador (leader) and his Cape (follower). Generally learned only for competitive purposes, the Paso Doble is danced to music played during the entrance of the matadors into the ring at the beginning of a bullfight. It is a highly stylized dance, with specific choreography containing typical Spanish arm styling as well as Flamenco elements. Paso Doble is a very entertaining dance to watch, and is taught in the more advanced levels at Dance with Joy Studios.
Taught in the International Latin style, the Jive originated in the United States from African Americans in the early 1940s. It is a lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of Swing. Many of its basic patterns are similar to those of the East Coast Swing with the major difference being a higher speed and a greater use of kick sequences. The Jive is the fastest dance we teach, has fabulous Swing or Rockabilly music, and is fun to dance.