I’d Rather Be Dancing Latin Dances


Back in the 1970s, I lived and taught in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, which had a large Puerto Rican community. Salsa dancing was all the rage. One of the teachers in our district taught a salsa class in the adult continuing education program, so of course I had to learn.

If you’d like to learn the basic salsa moves, watch this:

A few years ago, I used to do the Zumba classes at the gym, and a lot of the moves were taken from the merengue, a dance from the Dominican Republic.

Here’s how to do the basic merengue step:

Cumbia originated in Colombia with the African slaves during the Spanish colonialization. Watch the machetes.

Our Phoenix International Folk Dancers do a version called cumbia semana, choreographed by the American Ira Weisburd (well, we’re not doing it now, because we haven’t resumed gathering yet):

Paso doble actually came from France, but it is inspired by the bullfighters of Spain and Portugal, with maybe a touch of flamenco. Generally, it’s only seen in dance competitions.

Here’s more explanation about paso doble:

The tango from Argentina is characterized by leg extensions and can include intertwining of legs and deep dips. I’m showing you a G-rated version:

Without a doubt, Latin dances are among the most sensuous in the world.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

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