The term Salsa was first used in New York to describe a variety of Latin music and dances. The dance salsa, as we now know it, is a combination of the Son, Mambo and American Hustle. The salsa is still evolving today with influences not only from the United States, Latin and South America, but it is also danced throughout the world in many countries.
The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic. Its origin is in Nigeria with the Ibo (Igbo people). The basic rhythms are divided into two categories, the marche (one step) and Ibo rhythms (one, two three, tap). It’s use of leg and hip action known as merengue action (delayed walk with the knee bent) is used world wide in many latin American dances and styles including International style of competitive dance. The man quite often uses a double handhold to create intricate patterns called pretzels. Merengue with its simple marching foot rhythm and interesting footwork is a fun dance and easy to learn.
The Bachata is an offshoot of the Merengue and uses the Ibo rhythm of Nigeria. In its basic stage, the steps are fun and easy to learn making it a great place to start your Latin club dance training.
Kizomba began in the the 1980’s in Angola combining influences such as tango, samba and merengue. Kizomba is similar in feel to the Brazilian Bosa Nova.
Many of its steps are danced in odd configurations such as 3,5 7 and has forward, backward and circular hip action.