The term "Latin dance" may be used in two different ways: to denote dances that originated in Latin America and to name a category of International style ballroom dances.
Many popular dances originated in Latin America, and so are referred to as Latin dances. International Latin is the name of a category of International style ballroom dances. International Latin consists of the following five dances: Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble and Jive. These dances are now performed all over the world as Latin-American dances in international DanceSport competitions, as well as being danced socially.
International Latin Dances
Ballroom Cha Cha - Fun, flirty, playful Cuban dance
Ballroom Jive - Variation of the Jitterbug, consisting of dance steps derived from country dancing
Ballroom Paso Doble - Marching to a Spanish bull fight
Ballroom Rumba - Slow and sensuous Latin American dance
Ballroom Samba - A lively Brazilian dance consisting of many jumps and turns
Street Latin Dances
Bachata - Hips on Fire
Bolero - Slow-tempo Latin dance
Cha Cha - Vibrant, flamboyant and playful dance from Cuba
Cuban Salsa - Type of round dancing of Salsa
Cumbia - The courtship dance
Mambo - Little bit of Mambo passion
Merengue - Stylized limping step, known as the pole-fence step
Rumba - Fascinating rhythms and mesmerizing body movements
Salsa - Sensual and tantalizing
Samba - Brazilian dance associated with street festivals and celebrations
Samba de Gafieira - A partner dance done to the Brazilian samba musical rhythms
Zouk - Sexy, sensual, free flowing dance from Brazil
Zumba - Fitness program inspired by Latin dance
Compared to other ballroom dances, Latin dances are generally faster-paced, more sensual, and have more rhythmic expression. The latin dances are usually for couples. Partners sometimes dance in a closed, tight position, and sometimes hold only one hand. Latin dancing, as Latin music, is sultry and physical. Quick paced rhythms and playful movements make the various Latin dances endlessly entertaining, sometimes even breathtaking.
The Latin dances are derived from the music to which they are danced. The component of the music that most differentiates the dances is their fast or slow tempo.