Each country has its typical dance, the result of the interaction of historical, political and cultural factors. The different peoples use the typical dances of each place as a form of expression of their people, conforming as one of the different artistic manifestations typical of a country .
Let’s see what are the best typical dances of some of the 10 countries that make up Latin America and that make it a unique region in the world.
Let’s take a look at some of the most relevant typical dances of some of the countries that make up Latin America, and let’s learn a little more about what they consist of and where their origins are:
10. Cueca (Chile)
The Chilean cueca is very reminiscent of the Peruvian zamacueca. It would not be fair to ignore that what is considered one of the best exponents of Chilean dance receives a strong influence from it: without going any further, both participants hold a white handkerchief, probably the most important feature of Peruvian dance. In the same way, in the Chilean cueca, the man moves around the woman, trying to get her to give in to her charms.
The Chilean cueca is considered the most representative typical dance of the country since 1979 , due to being the most widespread throughout the territory and with greater historical relevance, making it the best Chilean typical dance.
9. Paraguayan dance (Paraguay) Paraguayan
dance, considered cultural heritage of the region, receives, as in many cases already detailed,the influence of European traditions that one day settled in the territory, which was combined with the autochthonous.
The subtypes of Paraguayan dance are that of the Bottles, of the Galoperas, in pairs and of folkloric influence, each one with a series of steps and delimited choreography, which makes it one of the best dances in Latin America .
8. Joropo (Venezuela)
The friends of Venezuela have different typical dances that, depending on the area, day of the year and festivity that is commemorated.
The best typical dance of Venezuela is perhaps the “joropo” and, depending on the regions where it is danced, it can be: central, oriental, Andean, Larense and Llanero. Likewise, within each modality there are several variants.
It is a typical couple dance unique in Latin America, where the steps of the man are followed by those of the woman. At the beginning, both are holding hands, keeping their distance. Shortly after, he grabs her around the waist , keeping the woman’s right hand on his left. The beats or rhythms in which the joropo is divided are: counterpoint, passage, coup llanero, tune and copla.
7. Zamacueca (Peru)
Very similar to the courtship movements exerted by roosters on hens , the Peruvian zamacueca represents the courtship attempts of a man towards a woman.
It used to be danced a lot during the time of the Viceroyalty of Peru (the years in which it was under the Spanish yoke) and is characterized by the use of a white handkerchief that both men and women hold and shake fervently over their heads, while contour your hips.
The Peruvian zamacueca is a clear typical dance that makes Latin America a unique territory , thanks in part to the influence of Spanish customs.
6. Jarabe Tapatio (Mexico)
Jarabe Tapatio has always been considered the national popular dance of Mexico, since it is surely one of the most outstanding and makes that area of Latin America unique.
Emerged from Jalisco, the Tapatio Jarabe also receives the name of “Mexican hat dance” and is influenced by the contribution of the Gipsy Jarabes typical of the Spanish culture to the Mexican country, a dance that was mixed with the typical indigenous dances. The result was the Jarabe Tapatio, unique in its kind and in Latin America .
Both dancers stage through this typical dance a situation of romantic courtship. In it, the man approaches the woman and invites her to dance; she rejects these approach behaviors, but ends up giving in and surrendering to her charms. An important gesture that the man has is to leave his hat on the ground at the beginningof the dance After dancing around it, the hat will be picked up by her and the choreography
here receives the musical rhythm that accompanies it.
The Panamanian cumbia is born from the union of autochthonous beats with others from certain areas of Africa and Spain , the result of the years of Conquest. In each zone of Panama where it is danced, the cumbia varies according to the predominance of European, indigenous or African characteristics.
Whether in a couple or open (that is, in groups on the same dance floor), cumbia is made up of a series of basic steps:the seguidilla, hip contouring, strolling, brushing and tapping .
4. Merengue (Dominican Republic)
Recently, the Dominican merengue has been considered Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Merengue is, along with bachata, the best typical dance in the Dominican Republic; however, it goes far beyond being a dance, since it is widespread in all the daily areas of its people. So much so, that merengue has its own National Day (November 26).
Due to its characteristics, the meringue exudes sensuality and passion, with sensual choreographies that move to the sound of percussion instruments (drums and maracas), as well as wind instruments (saxophones or trumpets), being one of the dances that make Latin America unique.
3. Conga (Cuba)
On the island of Cuba they dance the conga, it is one of the best typical Latin American dances, which has African reminiscences. The marked rhythms of the conga come from percussion instruments, such as drums and bass drums , but also from more rustic ones, such as pans, bells or cowbells. As a complement, wind instruments were incorporated, such as the trumpet or the Chinese bugle.
In times, the Cuban conga was used as a propaganda tool during political events, but little by little it became popular to be danced by all the people, regardless of ideology. The conga is danced en masse, without partners, so it is about marching harmoniously to the beat of each beat of rhythm.
It is, without a doubt, one of the best typical dances that make Cuba unique.
2. Samba (Brazil)
Known worldwide for its colorful Rio de Janeiro Carnival, samba also has African origins. It is usually danced in a group , especially during the aforementioned festival, however there is a “salon” version that is danced in pairs, with similarities to other dances such as the rumba.
Samba has served Brazilians as an open window to the rest of the world, making it a symbol of the Carioca country and one of the best typical dances, in Latin America and beyond, for its carefree rhythms and positivism.
1. Tango (Argentina)
Tango is, without a doubt, the best typical dance of Argentina, unique in Latin America for being representative of the country and having been spread worldwide. Now consolidated as a full-fledged musical genre, tango is a dance in pairs that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century.
The steps in which this dance is composed are 4:the close embrace and the walk (with their determined movements); and the cut and the quebrada (with a more improvised component, which forces both participants to listen to the body language of their companion and act accordingly).