So, picture this: a lively circle of dancers moving and grooving in sync to the infectious beats of salsa music. That's the essence of the Cuban "rueda de casino" dance, and trust me, it's a whole lot of fun wrapped up in rhythmic elegance.
What's the Scoop on Rueda de Casino?
Rueda de casino, or simply "rueda," is a group dance that originated in Cuba. It's a joyful and dynamic social dance that involves a circle of couples, or sometimes more, engaging in synchronized dance moves. The charm of rueda lies in the fact that the dance partners switch frequently, creating a dynamic and interactive experience.
Getting into the Groove
Now, let's break it down. In a typical rueda de casino, one person, often referred to as the "caller" or "cantante," shouts out the dance moves. These calls are usually a mix of traditional salsa steps and specific moves unique to rueda. The beauty is that everyone in the circle executes the called move simultaneously, creating a visually stunning and coordinated spectacle.
The Wheel of Fun
The term "rueda" itself means "wheel" in Spanish, and that's precisely what this dance is – a spinning wheel of energy and enjoyment. The circular formation is not just for show; it serves a practical purpose. As dancers rotate within the circle, they get a chance to dance with multiple partners, making it a highly social and inclusive dance form.
Dance, Laugh, Repeat
What sets rueda de casino apart is not just the intricate footwork or the rhythmic synchrony but also the infectious joy that radiates from the participants. Laughter is often part of the mix as dancers navigate the calls, adding an extra layer of camaraderie to the experience. It's like a salsa-flavoured party on the dance floor.
A Dance for All
One of the most fantastic aspects of rueda de casino is its accessibility. Whether you're a seasoned salsa dancer or a complete novice, rueda welcomes all levels of expertise. The sense of community and collaboration is central to this dance, making it a fantastic way to connect with others while enjoying the vibrant rhythms of Cuban music.
In the world of dance, rueda de casino stands out as a celebration of rhythm, connection, and pure joy. It's a dance where everyone gets a turn in the spotlight, and the collective energy of the group elevates the experience to something truly special. So, if you're looking for a dance that combines the thrill of salsa with the social dynamics of a close-knit community, rueda de casino might just be your new favourite dance floor adventure. Grab a partner, join the circle, and let the good times roll!
If dance is the language of the soul, then ballroom tango is a conversation that speaks volumes in every step. With its fiery passion, dramatic flair, and intricate footwork, the tango is a dance that transcends the boundaries of time and captivates hearts across the globe.
The Origins of the Tango
Let's take a trip back in time to the bustling streets of 19th-century Buenos Aires, where the tango first emerged. Born from the melting pot of cultural influences in the city, the dance reflects the diversity of its origins, blending European, African, and indigenous rhythms into a mesmerizing and seductive art form.
The tango waltzed into the world of ballroom dancing in the early 20th century. It officially became one of the five standard ballroom dances, alongside the slow waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz. The inclusion of the tango in the ballroom dance repertoire brought a touch of passion, drama, and intensity to the dance floor.
The Heartbeat of Tango: The Music
At the core of the tango is its heartbeat – the music. The haunting melodies and rhythmic beats create an irresistible allure, drawing dancers into a passionate embrace. From the soulful notes of the bandoneón to the rhythmic pulse of the double bass, tango music sets the stage for an emotional journey like no other.
Embracing the Dance: Connection and Chemistry
Ballroom tango is not just about fancy footwork; it's a dance of connection and chemistry between partners. The iconic close embrace allows dancers to feel the subtle nuances of their partner's movements, creating an intimate and intense connection that is the hallmark of the tango experience.
The Art of Expression: Dramatic Choreography
One cannot talk about tango without mentioning its dramatic choreography. From sharp staccato movements to slow, sensuous sweeps across the dance floor, tango is a dance of contrasts that allows for self-expression and storytelling. Each step, dip, and twirl is a brushstroke on the canvas of the dance floor, painting a picture of passion and intensity.
Tango in the Modern Era
While rooted in tradition, the tango has gracefully evolved with the times. Today, ballroom tango is a popular dance in competitive circuits and social dance scenes worldwide. Its timeless appeal continues to attract dancers of all ages, proving that the allure of the tango is as potent as ever.
In the world of dance, the tango stands as a testament to the power of passion, connection, and expression. As dancers glide across the floor, lost in the embrace of the music, the spirit of the tango lives on, a timeless dance that transcends generations and continues to enchant all who dare to step into its embrace.
So, whether you're a seasoned dancer or a curious novice, step onto the dance floor, feel the music, and let the magic of the ballroom tango sweep you off your feet. It's a dance that speaks the language of the heart and invites everyone to join in the rhythmic celebration of life and love.
Samba is a lively and rhythmic dance with a fascinating history that can be traced back to its Brazilian ancestor, the original samba. The original Brazilian samba is a melting pot of various dance and music styles, rich with the spirit of celebration. Let's take a journey through time to discover the evolution of ballroom samba.
The word "samba" is believed to have African origins, particularly from the Kimbundu language spoken by the Bantu people who were brought to Brazil as slaves during the colonial period. "Samba" is thought to be derived from "semba," an Angolan term that signified an "invitation to dance" – a rhythmic, dancing motion and was associated with dance parties held in rural areas of Rio.
The Bantu people, had various musical and dance traditions that influenced the development of samba in Brazil. These rhythms, dances, and melodies mixed with indigenous Brazilian music and European influences, created a unique and captivating fusion.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, samba started gaining recognition and popularity in the streets and neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro. It was associated with lively celebrations, especially during Carnival, the grandest party in Brazil. In the 1920s, the concept of "samba schools" emerged. These were not traditional educational institutions but rather neighbourhood groups that practiced and performed samba during Carnival. Each school had its own distinct style, music, and costumes, creating a beautiful mosaic of samba traditions.
In the early 20th century, samba made its way to the dance floors of Europe and the United States. However, it underwent some changes to suit the tastes and preferences of the Western world. It adopted a slower tempo and a more structured form. This transformation marked the birth of what we now know as ballroom samba. Dancers and choreographers were looking for ways to spice up their routines, and samba's lively and energetic nature made it a natural choice.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, played a significant role in popularizing samba worldwide. The dazzling costumes, infectious rhythms, and lively parades introduced the world to the spirit of samba. Ballroom samba incorporates some of these elements, making it a thrilling dance that's both a feast for the eyes and a great workout.
Characteristics of Ballroom Samba
Samba is one of the five dances that make up the dynamic Latin group, which also includes cha-cha-cha, rumba, paso doble, and jive. Ballroom samba has a distinct character. It's known for its energetic and playful movements, featuring quick footwork, hip action, and a unique bounce – “samba bounce”. This dance retains the essence of the original Brazilian samba but adapts it to a more formal ballroom setting, which is structured and precise.
So, when you're happily bouncing to your favourite samba song on the dance floor in Oslo, you're also sharing the captivating history of ballroom samba :)
The beginning was rough.
Dominican bachata is a captivating and rhythmic music and dance genre that is an integral part of Dominican Republic's culture. We believe that the bachata we know today was born nearly a century ago and was popular in the villages and rural areas of the Dominican Republic. Initially, bachata was a local form of music through which people could share their struggles, joys, and heartaches. Essentially, it was the music of ordinary people, and they sang about love, loss, and everyday life.
An interesting fact is that early bachata was very different from the music we know today. Not only were the instruments different—such as maracas, bongo drums, and acoustic guitar—but the lyrics were often quite harsh and, at times, even vulgar, lacking lyrical or sentimental context. In simple terms, bachata was initially stigmatized and not considered high-quality or valuable music.
How it all Turned Around:
In the 1980s, bachata underwent a transformation. Artists like Juan Luis Guerra infused elements of merengue and pop into the genre, giving it a more polished sound and making it appealing to a broader audience.
Native artists like Juan Luis Guerra and Juan Soriano also began to write more lyrical and sentimental lyrics, giving the music a much more refined and beautiful meaning. Great examples of songs like these are "Bendita Tu Luz" by Juan Luis Guerra and "Que Pasará Mañana" by Juan Soriano, which have truly captivating lyrics that beautifully express the feeling of being in love with someone. This modernization helped bachata move away from its negative associations and gain people's acceptance.
Want to hear how bachata sounded at the time? Try listening to artists like Juan Soriano, Juan Luis Guerra, Hector Acosta El Torito and Kiko Rodriguez.
Influences on Dominican Bachata:
Dominican bachata, while having its unique roots and characteristics, has been influenced by several other dance forms and musical styles over the years. Some of the key influences include bolero and merengue. The bolero, a slow-tempo Latin dance and music style, has had a significant impact on the development of bachata. Bachata's early roots show similarities to bolero music, particularly in its romantic themes and melodies. The Dominican Republic's national dance, merengue, has influenced bachata's rhythm and musical structure. This influence can be heard in the lively beat and syncopation of bachata music.
Bachata as We Know It Today:
Since the 1980s, bachata has gone through its most significant evolution! It became a global sensation in the 1990s and 2000s, leaving its homeland, the Dominican Republic, to influence the worldwide dancing and music scene. Many modern artists began creating bachata songs with electronic elements and often featuring romantic and highly danceable tunes.
One of the most memorable contributions to this era was Aventura's hit "Obsession." Another song with a very similar sound and closer to modern bachata, "Te Extrano" by Xtreme, was released around the same time.
To add to the global interest, a couple of now-famous dancers, Ataca and Alemana, recorded a bachata dance to “Obsession”. The video was published on YouTube in 2009—over 15 years ago—and became a worldwide sensation. Today, this dance has been viewed more than 101 million times! Ataca and Alemana are now world-renowned bachata choreographers and performers, credited with shaping the basic bachata step as we know it today: 1-2-3-tap.
In the following years, bachata dance continued to be influenced by many other great dancers and choreographers, such as Korke and Judith, the creators of Bachata Sensual.
Today, bachata is not only celebrated in the Dominican Republic but has become an international phenomenon. It's an essential part of Latin dance culture, with enthusiasts and dancers from all around the world embracing its sultry rhythms and lively dance steps. The history of Dominican bachata is a testament to its resilience and its ability to bridge cultures, bringing people together through its entrancing melodies and inviting dance beats.
Ballroom dancing is a wonderful world of rhythm, elegance, and connection between dancers. If you're new to it, don't worry – it's not as intimidating as it might seem. So, what is ballroom dancing, you ask?
What is Ballroom Dancing?
At its core, ballroom dancing is a partner dance style that originated in the 16th century and has since evolved into a diverse range of dance styles. The essence of ballroom dancing lies in the grace and harmony of movement, as well as the communication and chemistry between partners on the dance floor.
The beauty of ballroom dancing lies in its ability to make you feel like a star on the dance floor, whether you're waltzing your heart out or doing a sizzling samba.
Styles of Ballroom Dancing.
In ballroom dancing, couples perform synchronized steps and movements to music. The choice of dance style determines the tempo, mood, and specific steps used.
Ballroom dance refers most often to the ten dances of Standard and Latin. Standard contains slow waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, foxtrot and quickstep. In Latin style we have cha cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive.
Basic Rules of Ballroom Dancing
The key to successful ballroom dancing is maintaining a strong connection with your partner, precise timing, and smooth transitions between movements. It's not just about the steps; it's about creating a beautiful and expressive performance together.
Now, let's talk about some basic rules to get you started on your ballroom journey:
1. Frame is Everything: Maintain a good frame – that means a strong, yet comfortable connection with your partner. It helps with communication and makes your dancing look amazing.
2. Timing Matters: Each style has its own rhythm and timing. Make sure to sync your steps with the music. Feel the beat, and let it guide you.
3. Smooth Transitions: Transitions between moves should be seamless. Think of it as telling a story with your dance – one move flows into the next.
4. Respect Your Partner: Ballroom is a team sport. Respect your partner's space, listen to their cues, and communicate on the dance floor.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice: Like anything, practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the more confident and skilled you'll become.
So, there you have it! Ballroom dancing is a captivating world of grace, passion, and rhythm. It is not only a delightful form of artistic expression but also a fantastic way to stay active and social. It fosters physical fitness, coordination, and mental agility, all while providing the joy of dancing with a partner. Whether you're dancing for fun, exercise, or performing in a competitive setting, ballroom dancing offers a wonderful experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. So, put on your dancing shoes and let the magic of ballroom dancing sweep you off your feet! 💃🕺🌟
Dance is my passion.