Latin American

Cha Cha

The Cha Cha originated in Cuba in the 1950s, and the name is onamatopoeic, derived from the sound of the g├╝iro and the dancers' feet. The competitive steps were developed by Walter Laird and other championship dancers in the 1960s.

Tempo: 30-32 measures per minute
Taught in: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): All levels

Samba

The ballroom Samba takes elements of the Brazilian carnival dance, and weaves them into a partner dance that travels around the floor. The samba also uses several different rhythmical patterns, including cross-rhythms, to add interest.

Tempo: 50-52 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Rumba

The Rumba evolved from a pre-revolutionary Cuban dance, the bolero-son, to fit the fusion of big band music and Afro-Cuban rhythms popular in the 1930s. With it's slow rhythm and exaggerated hip movements, the rumba depicts falling in love.

Tempo: 25-27 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Paso Doble

Developed in southern France, the Paso Doble is the only competitive Latin dance to originate in Europe. Danced to a 2/4 march tempo, drawing heavily from the music played in the bullring, the dance tells the story of a Spanish bullfight.

Tempo: 60-62 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Jive

Adopted as the fifth competitive Latin dance in 1968, the Jive evolved from the jitterbug and other swing dances. It is danced with a double bounce action that gives it a crisp, energetic look and a great sense of fun.

Tempo: 42-44 measures per minute
Taught in: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): All levels