6 Dances that Come from Cuba
The number of dances that originated in Cuba seems endless. From Mambo to Tango to Salsa to Bolero to Rumba... The point is, even if you don't love dance, you need to see at least one performance while you're in Cuba. And if you do love dance, be sure to soak it all in. See as many performances as you can and take some lessons with local professionals (our travel planners can hook you up). Here are just six of the Cuban dances you can enjoy on your trip to Cuba.
Once you give the article a read feel free to message us any questions you still have about Cuba's dreamy dances.
Before your trip, make sure to check out:
- Connect With a Local to Plan Your Trip
- Cuba FAQ
- You Can Still Travel to Cuba: 2018 Update
- Cuban Tourist Cards and Visas
- Cuba Info for Americans
- Contact Us
Born in the ballrooms of Havana and Matanzas, Cuba's national dance is the root of many other Cuban dances. Traditional danzon is an elegant and delicate ballroom dance for couples, but over time it has become a more exuberant version of itself. Modern, up-tempo versions are known as danzonete and danzon-cha. Danzon songs are all made up of two sections: a four-bar paseo and sixteen-bar melody. During the paseo, dancers do not dance. They stroll about the dance floor, chat, flirt, drink...whatever, but on that first beat of the melody, they're all dancing again.
Rumba has roots in the rhythmic drumming of the Santeria religion. Ex-slaves began dancing the Rumba in the 1890s when they would spend Sunday (the day of rest) playing familiar rhythms from home and sometimes adding vocals. Rumba is informal and spontaneous. Listen to the congas, claves,
This is another early Cuban dance. At first, all son bands were a sextet made up of two singers (who also play maracas and claves), a
The first worldwide Cuban dance craze is a direct descendent of
Salsa is a new dance that emerged from New York City in the 1960s and 1970s as a fun blend of son, rumba, and jazz. Over the years, salsa has continued to evolve, adding elements of reggaeton, rap, and hip-hop. Although a popular Cuban dance, Salsa is popular all over the world and there is a strong salsa culture throughout Latin America.
Hip-Hop and Rap
Rap first made its way to Cuba in the 1980s from Miami radio stations whose signals reached the island. These broadcasts exposed the Cuban youth to American