There are many types of Cuban dances like salsa and it has spread all over the world. Its origin is in Cuban popular music. The dynamic way of dancing and some very visual and attractive figures have spread through the academies and dance floors.

It's quite likely, if you're a dance lover, that on more than one occasion you've danced salsa, or even go to dance classes to learn salsa dancing. But do you know how salsa came about? Do you know the different types of Cuban dances?


Image source: Huelva buenas noticias


A little bit of salsa history... The origins

These Cuban dances are linked to the history of Cuba. In the seventeenth century, a kind of mestizo dances arrived in Spain, joyful and with movements not adapted to the modesty of the time.

Around 1776, a dance called "chuchumbé", with mischievous and malicious touches that spread rapidly, would come from Cuban culture.

Since the 1920s (1920s) and especially since 1960, Cuban salsa and timba dancing in Cuba has been a sign of identity, and these Cuban rhythms and dances have become increasingly popular internationally, thanks to important names such as Desi Arnaz, Marcelino Guerra, Fajardo, Xavier Cugat, Mario Bauza, José Curbelo, Chano Pozo, and many others.


Styles and dances with Cuban rhythms

How many Cuban dances do you know? I'm sure you're thinking of salsa, and there are others you're not sure are from Cuba. Let's go over the most important ones. Ahh..."and don't forget to share this article. I'm sure many other people around you will be interested in learning more about Cuban music.

  • The rumba. This Cuban dance was considered immoral in its beginnings (like other dances), has been having with time a high popularity. It has been called the "Afrolatino" genre and has been integrated like few others in all that surrounds the world of entertainment and song.
  • Among rumba types, guaguancó has been one of the most influential off-islanders, not least because of its rapid movements of hips, shoulders and pelvis. Highlights in the guaguancó the touch of seduction of the woman.
  • Cuban son is the basis for many other dances, while it is the basic foundation of salsa, mambo and virtually all Latin rhythms.
  • The mambo with its highly expressive movements and some acrobatic figures has made its way through the nightclubs and shows. Over time this Cuban dance has been gaining in structure and orderly technique.
  • Chachacha has influences on mambo and rumba.
  • Danzón is not a well-known dance in the West, but it is the most popular social dance in Cuba. With a fusion of European and African styles, there is great physical contact between men and women.
  • Bolero has established itself in our Spanish culture as one of the great romantic dances. From the 1930s onwards, bolero had a great boom in Cuba and began to be exported outside the island.
  • The Cuban salsa. It is also based on Cuban son. From the 80's onwards, Cuban salsa evolved towards gentler, more harmonious figures and more melodic music. This evolution does not prevent that the initial intense sounds and currents with strong dance steps are still maintained.

Here's 41 steps of Cuban sauce:

Some important names

  • Pérez Prado is considered the "king of mambo". Known for his contributions to the organ, and for his scream... maaaaaaambo!".
  • Silvio Rodríguez is one of the most important voices in Cuba and throughout Latin America. His work with Cuban dance goes beyond the world of music and enters the anti-Castro social movements, Pinochet's Chile, etc.
  • "Snowball." With a voice with high-pitched, almost feminine tones, Ignacio Jacinto Villa was first a pianist and then a singer of Cuban music.
  • Celia Cruz. One of the most important figures. Indispensable in the Cuban sauce with its peculiar way of dressing, its movements of hips and that cry of "Sugar!", which we all remember.
  • Pablo Milanés. The great poet of the so-called New Cuban Trova. Social and loving themes, with a very personal style and a penetrating voice that suggests. Its theme "Yolanda" stands out.

Cuban dances, like salsa, invite us to enjoy, forget our daily problems, meet new people, laugh and improve our self-esteem.

If you liked this article, we invite you to share it and tell us what kind of dance do you dance?

  • Or if you haven't danced yet, book a free trial lesson now.