Get to know the different Latin Dances

Get to know the different Latin dance styles we will learn!

International Ballroom LatinStreet Latin
International Ballroom Latin are made up of five Latin dances which are usually danced in competitive dancesport. These styles can also be danced socially. In our classes, we learn the figures based on the medalist syllabus, and the dance technique we learn is simplified from the competitive technique.Street Latin is a wide range of Latin styles that are usually danced socially. It is common for Street Latin dancers to dance with strangers, even if they are beginners, as the dancers are very inclusive.
There is no universally official syllabus. The dance technique is more rhythmic, and allow for more expression and creativity from the dancers. There are many more street Latin dance styles than the following! We are only listing those that are covered in our classes.
ChachaSalsa On1
RumbaSalsa On2
Paso DobleMerengue


Chacha is characterised by the “cha-cha-cha” rhythm. It is not only used in Latin American songs; it is also a popular rhythm found in many contemporary and pop songs due to its cheeky beat. The Chacha originated from Cuba, and was developed from Mambo, which is a popular Latin dance style in the 1940s.

There are several types of Chacha dances, including Ballroom Chacha (International Chacha), American Chacha (Rhythm Chacha), Cuban Chacha, and Fusion Chacha.

The Chacha dance is on2, which means that the “break” step is on the 2nd beat. Chacha is danced to 4/4 music tempo, and the rhythm is counted as “2-3-4&1” where the cha-cha-cha steps are danced on the 4&1.

In our classes, we learn the International Chacha and the Fusion Chacha.


Rumba is the Latin American dance of love, distinguished by the romantic feel in love songs. Like the Chacha, the Rumba also originated from Cuba. There are several types of Rumba dances, including Ballroom Rumba (International Rumba), American Rumba (Rhythm Rumba), Bolero Rumba, adn more.

The Rumba dance is characterised with its passionate movements.

In our classes, we learn the International Rumba, which is on2, using the quick-quick-slow counts on “2-3-4-1” dance to 4/4 music tempo.


The jive originated in United States, with influence from the Boogie, Rock & Roll, African/American Swing, and Lindy hop. The jive is one of the International Ballroom Latin dances, but is also considered as one of the dances under the swing dance umbrella.

Danced to lively music with 4/4 tempo, the jive has a variety of rhythms, including “1-2-3-4” as well as “1-2-3a4-5a6”.

In our classes, we learn the International Jive.


The Samba dance originated in Brazil, with a complex mix influences from West African slave trade as well as African religious traditions. It is typically danced to Brazilian music with 2/4 time signature.

There are many types of Samba dances, including International Ballroom Samba, Samba no pe, Samba de Gafieira, Samba Pagode and Samba Reggae.

In our classes, we learn the International Samba. The International Samba which also has influences from tango, is typically danced following a line of dance (LOD), which is along the edge of the floor in a counter-clockwise fashion, as opposed to being danced in the middle of the dance floor. There are 9 rhythms in Samba. One of the basic Samba rhythms which beginners must first learn is to count “1a2”.

Paso Doble

Paso Doble is the dance of the Spanish bullfight, with dramatic armwork and body movements. Typically in a partner dance, the man (lead) represents the matador while the lady (follow) represents the cape, and their choreography mimics the way a matador uses the cape in a bullfight.

Similar to ballroom dancing, Paso Doble follows a line of dance (LOD) that goes counter-clockwise around the dance floor. Also, similar to ballroom dancing and unlike the other Latin dances, the Paso Doble is danced with heel lead as opposed to toe lead.

Paso Doble is usually used in competitive dancing and performances, and rarely danced on the social dance floor.


Salsa originated in the 1900s in Cuba, developed from the Mambo dance. The rhythms from two main existing styles of music in the region (Cuban Son and Afro-Cuban rumba) were combined, and then fused with American jazz, and was popularised in New York by Cuban musicians.

There are many different types of Salsa styles, including Salsa On1, Salsa On2, Cuban Salsa, and more. They are usually danced to the same type of salsa music with 4/4 tempo, although some songs are more suitable for certain salsa styles.

In our classes, we primary learn Salsa On1.

Salsa On1 (LA Salsa)

In Salsa On1, the “break” step is on the first beat, and is danced to the rhythm of “1-2-3, 5-6-7”. Salsa On1 tends to be more staccato, and is very showy, allowing for dancers to display their power and elegance.

Salsa On2 (New York Salsa)

In Salsa On2, the “break” step is on the second beat, and is danced to the rhythm of “1-2-3, 5-6-7”. Salsa On2 is more laidback and smooth, and is tend to be danced to jazzier salsa music.


Bachata is a dance style which originates from Dominican Republic, and is danced to bachata music with 4/4 tempo. Bachata is a highly sensual dance, which uses a lot of intimate moves with the hips for a more passionate connection between the partner dancers.

There are many types of Bachata dance as well, including Dominican Bachata, Bachata Moderna, Sensual Bachata, and Bachata Fusion.

In our classes, we learn Bachata Fusion.


Kizomba is a dance and musical genre that originated in Angola in 1984, and is danced to kizomba music 4/4 tempo. Kizomba is intimate and sensuous, with a very smooth feel, similar to tango.

There are several types of Kizomba, with the main types being Kizomba, Kiz Fusion and Urban Kiz.

In our classes, we learn Kiz Fusion.


Merengue is the national music and dance of Dominican Republic, and is one of the most accessible dance styles of all time. The basic merengue is the “march”, which is just shifting weight – so if you can walk, you can merengue! It is danced to 2/4 or 4/4 music tempo.

There are also several types of Merengue, and in our class we learn a fusion of the various Merengue.