As a dancer, I always think about dance classes if I find myself staying somewhere for awhile. The first and only dance I have learned at its original place was hula during my Habitat for Humanity volunteer experience. It was an amazing class, learning from someone who knows the culture very well. It’s always interesting to see how teachers guide their students depending on the culture of the dance. Our hula dancer was very nurturing, remembering our names right away. It was also enjoyable to hula to her own drum beats and singing! It can’t get any more authentic than that.
I recently took a ballroom class with Ray and I am more interested in Buenos Aires because of it. It made me wonder how the different ballroom dances are viewed at its country of origin. How do the teachers there treat their students? Here are three ballroom dances I wanna learn if I ever find myself at that country.
Salsa – Cuba – The salsa movements originated from the Cuban Son and Afro-cuban dance. The salsa sound, as the name suggests, is influenced by a variety of music like the Cumbia, Guaracha, and Merengue. A mixture of these is enough to make anybody wanna get up and dance. It sure works on me! I wanna learn this because of the upbeat music and the hip movements. I can’t help but smile when I salsa, and I’ll smile even bigger when I actually know how.
Swing – United States – Originated in the southeast, swing came from African-American dances like the Charleston. It has then evolved to East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, and the Lindy Hop. The younger crowd embraces what people saw as an indecent dance, and swing was one of them. What attracts me to this dance are the lifts where the boy picks up the girl and does any kind of swinging, turning, pulling, etc. It just looks like all kinds of fun! The thought of Ray swinging me around makes me feel like a little girl! Teehee!
Argentine Tango – Argentina – This dance was developed in the 19th century by immigrants who came to Argentina. Men traveled to bars, dance halls, and brothels where Argentine milonga music blended with African rhythms and new steps were invented to create tango. When I took ballroom classes, I felt that tango was the sexiest with its close embrace and flirty leg movements. I feel very feminine next to Ray when we dance tango, and I would love take a class in Buenos Aires with him. We both love the tease, and I bet it will be one romantically sexy night!
Ray and I took Argentine Tango with an amazing teacher who was very entertaining to learn from. You could tell that an interaction between two people really interests her as she made jokes about masculinity and its purpose in leading women to tango. As countries have culture, different types of dance have theirs, too. I can only imagine what it would be like to dance among other dancers who have a collective love and understanding of this type of music as well as this type of dance. I assume that the vibe of the dance is most alive at the country where it came from.
Which ballroom dances would you wanna learn at its country of origin?