Adult Dance Classes You'll Want to Try in 2020
We live in a world that's full of leisure. People are now realizing that they have more free time than ever before. And there are many people who are feeling a call to learn things they always wanted to try but never had the time to do.
One hobby that's really picked up over the years is Latin dancing. Latin dancing is one of the sexiest most exciting types of dance around. And as adult dance lessons are becoming more popular, there's never been a better time to learn.
Interested in learning more? Continue reading and we'll walk you through some of the best adult dance classes to try in 2020!
Although salsa is a Latin-style dance, it actually originated in New York City in the 1960s. The dance is a combination of different Cuban dances that were popular in dance clubs and ballrooms in Havana in the 1950s. It also has elements of American jazz dances.
Puerto Ricans living in New York helped to develop the dance and now there are distinct salsa styles in regions all over the United States and Latin America. Salsa dance socials are quite popular even today and are held at bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and ballrooms.
One of the key characteristics of salsa dancing is that, as a dancer shifts their weight while they step, their upper body remains level and appears to be almost completely unaffected by the stepping. The steps cause the hips to move and shoulder and arm movements are also used.
The music used for salsa dances tends to range from 150 bpm (beats per minute) to around 250 bpm.
History of Salsa
The true origins of Salsa go back to the early 1900s in Eastern Cuba. Here, Afro-Cuban rumba and Cuban son, two styles of music, would mesh together and later became known as salsa. It wasn't until the 1950s when this style of music made it all the way to Havana.
Unfortunately, the Cuban Revolution soon followed and many musicians fled to the United States, mainly New York City, to seek refuge. In the New York Hispanic community, this kind of music flourished. And it was especially popular in Spanish Harlem, also known as "El Barrio."
The craze really took off thanks to a newly created record label by the name of Fania Records. They released hit after hit of records from popular local musicians. But the executives of the label needed a name that was as spicy as the music they were selling, and they landed on salsa.
Salsa Dancing Characteristics
In salsa, as a dancer shifts their weight with their steps, their upper body stays level. However, the Cuban Casino salsa style involves significant movement from all parts of the body, including a moving rib cage and shoulders.
Generally, in salsa, the lead dancer uses their arms to signal to the follower, either in a closed or open position. An open position means that the dancers need to hold hands. With a closed position, the lead dancer puts their right hand on their partner's back while the partner puts their left hand on the lead's shoulder.
In the New York salsa style, the two dancers mainly remain in front of one another. In Latin American styles, the dancers circle around each other. This circular style comes from the Cuban Son of the 1920s.
With all that said, salsa is a constantly evolving dance, and when mastered, is open to interpretation and improvisation.
Traits that may identify the regional salsa style include basic steps, body movement, attitude, timing, foot patterns, turns and figures, dance influences, and also the way that partners interact with each other.
Bachata is a beautiful dance that comes primarily from the Dominican Republic, starting in the early 1900s. It derived from bolero, which originated in Cuba. Bachata has very similar instrumentation to bolero, but instead of maracas, they use the güira.
Bachata was first called Bolero Campesino, which essentially means peasant bolero. As time went on, more people in rural towns started to play it and it started to grow.
The music itself is very straightforward while the actual words tend to deal with heartbreak, bitterness, and lost love. But dancing the Bachata is a great way to let off steam and let go of these negative feelings.
Bachata uses a four-step timing. Traditionally, bachata was just danced in the center and the dancers moved back and forth. Today, bachata has fused into a variety of styles including sensual bachata, salsa bachata, and tango bachata.
History of Bachata Dancing
Although bachata started in the early 20th century, it really took off in the 1960s. The basic steps were inspired by bolero but the dance evolved over the years. It would eventually begin to include syncopations and a tap which helped the dancers be more expressive and dynamic.
Unfortunately, the 1970s weren't the best time for bachata. The music was rarely played on the radio and hardly ever mentioned in print or TV. Bachata dancers were also usually not allowed to perform in high society venues - they instead had to stick mainly to bars and derelict clubs.
This only added to the passion and despair that was inherent in bachata music and dance, however. Despite its unofficial censorship, bachata was still extremely popular with all kinds of people and thrived in the underground.
In the 1980s, bachata was too popular to be stopped. Due to the ceaseless demand, bachata started to pop up more and more on the radio. Bachata dancers soon found themselves even dancing at televised events.
During this time, bachata also took on a more dance-hall sound. This means increased tempos, punchier guitars, and more call and response singing. Guitar merengues also became more prominent in the music.
At the start of the next decade, bachata was modernized even more. Pop stars started using bachata in their music and bachata truly hit the mainstream. The dance also became a kind of international symbol of Hispanic dance clubs.
Today, bachata is can be found in the Caribbean as well as all over the world. It continues to be danced to faster and faster music and more footwork has been added as well.
Bachata Dancing Characteristics
In bachata, the lead can decide whether to dance in a closed, semi-closed, or open position. Step variety or dance moves depend greatly on the music (such as what rhythms are being played by the different instruments as well as interpretation, mood, and setting). Bachata doesn't use a lot of turn patterns, which is unlike salsa.
Bachata consists of three steps followed by a tap. This tap is done with the opposite foot of the previous step. The next step is followed by the same foot that just tapped.
The direction of the dance might change after the fourth step or tap. Bachata can be danced on any beat as long as the basic dance sequence is maintained.
Starting at the end of the 1990s, Western dancers started creating new dance styles inspired by bachata music. The side-to-side step is the most well-known of these styles.
Sensual Bachata Dancing
Sensual bachata first became popular in Spain. It's a mix of theater and dance and has strict follow and lead principles. The dance really tries to interpret and physicalize the music.
It uses body waves and circular movement, although there are also dips and isolations when the music has stronger beats.
Although many people are first introduced to kizomba at salsa and bachata dance festivals, this dance style actually comes from the African country of Angola. Kizomba means party and is one of the most popular African dances around. It derives from Semba and is generally sung in Portuguese.
Kizomba's music has a catchy melody and romantic flow. The dancing style has been described as both beautiful and sensual. It's a very smooth way of dancing with influences of tango steps.
A defining characteristic of kizomba is that the lower body - especially the hips - goes forward, backward, and in circular movements. People dance on the tempo as well as playing on the offbeat.
Cha Cha Dance
Cha Cha gets its name from the sound of shuffling feet that occurs when people dance in two consecutive quick steps. Jorrin composed songs where the rhythm was less syncopated and the melody was marked strongly on the first downbeat so that it would more appeal to dancers.
Two of Jorrin's songs, "Silver Star" and "La Engañadora", were released on a record in Cuba in 1953. These were the first Cha Cha songs ever to be recorded. The songs became huge hits throughout the country, and especially in Havana.
Soon enough, Cuban orchestras all over were copying the Cha Cha sound. A Cha Cha dance craze soon followed in Cuban dance clubs. The Cha Cha then found its way into Mexico City and, by 1955, it was heard and seen all over Latin America, the United States, and Europe.
The Cha Cha filled the void that was recently left from the fading mambo craze.
The standard footwork pattern of the dance goes one, two, three, Cha-Cha. It's also found in many Afro-Cuban dances from the Santería religion. Those Afro-Cuban dances predate the Cha Cha and were already known to many Cuban dancers by the time the Cha Cha came around.
Reasons to Learn How to Dance
It's never too late to learn how to dance. And as you get older, learning how to dance can actually help you stay healthy.
1. Physical Exercise
Dance itself is an exercise. So the physical benefits of it are similar to those from doing other cardio activities. Dancing can actually improve your cardiovascular health.
Dancing also helps you improve your strength and balance. It incorporates a variety of motions and keeps you moving in all directions. Sticking to just a treadmill severely limits your planes of motion while dancing can help you move all kinds of unused muscles and joints.
2. Improves Mental Functioning
Dancing can help boost cognitive performance as it requires you to use your memory and planning skills. Plus, it forces you to keep a rhythm. It also commands focus and pattern recognition which helps to keep you sharp.
3. Emotionally Beneficial
Dancing is inclusive. Anyone can join in, no matter how limited your ability to move is. This is partly what's helped dancing become so popular among vastly diverse groups of people.
It can also be a great social activity. Whether you're dancing with friends, at a competition, or in an organized class, dancing helps you feel connected with people around you in ways that you normally wouldn't.
And it can even help boost your mood. Dancing is extremely expressive and it allows you to let loose and enjoy yourself. The more you get into dancing, the more you can reduce stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety, all while helping your self-esteem.
Which of These Adult Dance Classes Will You Try?
Taking adult dance classes is a great way to stay in shape, learn a skill, and meet new friends. Whether you've never stepped foot on a dance floor before, or you're just looking to hone your moves, everyone can enjoy and benefit from dance classes. Just make sure to review the different dances and see which one most interests you.
Are you interested in learning how to dance in Toronto? If so, contact us today and see how we can help you!