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Latin American Dance

Latin American dance stems from the Eighteenth Century, with countries like Cuba, Mexico and Brazil leading the way. Offering an outlet for rhythmic expression and flowing, sensual movements, Latin dance incorporates a number of spicy styles, including rumba, samba, meringue and even bolero. Latin dance is typically a partner activity but can also feature groups of couples dancing together and regularly changing partners. Improvisation is a keystone of the genre, although a basic knowledge of certain formal steps can prove a great help in the early days of learning it. Latin American dance covers everything from the cha cha cha through to mambo and salsa. Latin dance offers a great way of getting your body fit and healthy through fast-paced and enjoyable dance.

fitness through Latin American dancing

Cha cha cha - Emerging from Cuban origins, the cha cha cha is named after the shuffling of its dancers feet as they move across the floor. It can either be danced to authentic Latin music pop or rock. Ballroom cha cha cha is danced to steady and energetic beats. In contrast, the sensual and flowing traditional form of cha cha is controlled by alternate bending and straightening of the dancers knees.

Mambo - Mambo stems from 1940s Cuban and Mexican origins, with its complex step patterns set to the uplifting rhythms of saxophone and other brass melodies. Mambo often sees its dancers exercise to the speed of 188bpm and, like salsa, it requires grinding hip action to really offer a great workout.

Samba - A Brazilian form of dance, samba offers a fun and energetic path towards fitness, with an emphasis on hip and knee movements that build up lower body strength. Set to a carnival beat, samba is certainly not a dance style for the faint hearted, with rhythmic grooves shaking the whole body.

Latin American dancing has many key health and fitness benefits, in addition to those already associated with dance exercise. Benefits of Latin dancing include the following:

Latin American dance features a range of unique twists and turns that help work out different muscle groups. It's great for toning varied areas of the body, such as the abs, hips, thighs and buttocks. Because, Latin dance requires a large degree of movement and flexibility, it encourages participants to work harder towards leading a healthier and more active lifestyle. As a result, it advocates dancers who drink and smoke less, and munch on healthier food. Latin American dance is brilliant for developing the body's self-awareness, with participants becoming more in tune with their exercise needs. If you sometimes feel that your body is working against you, this could be the activity to set you straight. Corny though it sounds, Latin American dance really is a fantastic way of channelling your emotions into a form of artistic expression. Latin dance is fuelled by passionate feelings, with the movements of the body expressing the dancer's deepest feelings.

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