The Hispanic dances are innumerable.
Tango, salsa and merengue are the ones which had the strongest cultural impact inside and outside the Hispanic world.
Why the Argentinian tango is such an aggressive and sensual dance?
When Argentina was a country of immigrants, there was a disproportion between men and women. In Buenos Aires there were less than two women every three men.
A woman was a precious “object”, from there comes the possessiveness of the masculine role in the tango. In addition, the women amorous betrayals are a common theme of the tango lyrics.
It was a dance common in the houses of prostitution (brothels), that’s the reason why there has been many attempts to forbid it. But during the 20’s, the composer Carlos Gardel converted it into an object that the bourgeoisie could accept.
The sensuality of salsa, instead, is warmer and more cheerful.
That’s the reason why salsa is less solemn than tango. Its rhythm, based on the African percussions, is a challenge for the most athletics.
The speed of its movements and its elaborated figures require a great flexibility and a good understanding between the dancing partners.
Its origins are very disputed: the majority say that it appeared in the Spanish Harlem in the 60’s, and that it developed parallel to the New York Latin jazz. Other say that the salsa was already danced amongst the working-class neighbourhoods of Cuba before the Revolution.
Merengue is a two-step dance, far easier than salsa and tango. For this reason, merengue is more pleasant for the beginner than the others.
It is so rooted into the Dominican Republic that many inhabitants consider it their national dance. The simple, likeable and contagious rhythm of merengue popularised so much during the last years that loads of non Hispanic people confuse it with the salsa.
Another famous Hispanic dance is of course flamenco, the traditional Spanish dance, influenced by the gipsy, the Jewish and the Arabs that lived and governed the country. There are many different styles of flamenco (around 50), and they are classified according to musicality, rhythm and tonality.
Mambo and bachata are other Latin American dances.
The first one was born in Cuba, and it is characterised by percussion instruments such as congas, bongos and maracas.
The second one is from the Dominican Republic and it has a melodic and sweet sound; the lyrics are always about love, sometimes idyllic and other times dramatic.
Bachata is a well-known music all over the Hispanic population overseas and between the South Americans worldwide, since it is common even among the teenagers to listen and dance it also in the Latin discos, and that brought to a new generation of young “poets” which became very famous by singing playing this kind of music.
Another new musical style, very famous between the young generations of South Americans, is the reggaeton: it is a mixture between Jamaican music, reggae, dancehall, and other Hispanic music type, with a sound similar to the hip hop.
So which one do you prefer dancing?