American RhythmTeacher: Hugues Napoleon
CHA- CHA – is a fun, flirty dance that grew out of the Cuban Mambo and became immensely popular in the United States in the 1950's. It consists of triple chasse steps (cha cha cha's) and rock steps.
Cha Cha is a modified Cuban Motion hip action, because of the speed. This is an exuberant dance that will get your heart pumping and put a smile on your face.
Rumba – is universally recognized as the dance of love. It is danced to slow, sensual music with a Latin beat and features a hip action known an 'Cuban Motion.' Rumba is derived from the Afro-Caribbean dance 'Son' and has been popular in this country as a ballroom dance since the 1930's.
Rumba is sometimes known as the ‘Latin Waltz’, because many of the figures in Waltz can also be danced in the Rumba, using Rumba timing and Cuban hip action. Rumba is danced to music in 4/4 time and the count of the steps is slow-quick-quick.
Internationally, Rumba and Cha Cha feature entirely different steps (no box steps in this Rumba!) and figures, many done in open position.Mambo
Mambo evolved from a fusion of danzon, son and American jazz. Danzon has its origins from Europe (chamber music) and African/Haitian drum rhythms.
Mambo arrived in New York around 1947, quickly becoming the new dance craze. Mambo was taught at dance schools, resorts and nightclubs, reaching it’s height of popularity by the mid 1950’s. The fad waned with the birth of Cha Cha, a dance developed from mambo. Recently, it has regained its popularity, due in large part to a New York dancer named Eddie Torres, as well as popular Mambo songs and movies.
“Swing dance” is most commonly known as a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1950s, although the earliest of these dances predate “swing era” music. The best known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, a popular partner dance that originated in Harlem in 1927 and is still danced today. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. East Coast Swing is a fast, exuberant, non-progressive dance which works well on any crowded floor. Swing is carefree, relaxed, and fun with spins and intricate patterns.
Bolero is a genre of slow-tempo Latin music and its associated dance. It is one of the most beautiful, graceful, romantic dances ever created, danced to very slow Rumba music and counted Slow Quick Quick. Bolero became a part of the American dance scene in the 1930’s, partially due to Maurice Ravel’s very popular composition of the same name. It is also, like rumba, danced in a “box” style, with a slow sweeping glide to the side on the first two beats and then two forward steps – one short, one of medium distance – done after to complete the basic step. It is a dance of universal human emotions, and there’s something in it for everyone.