Latin dancing is not just confined to Latin-America and Miami – it’s universal, so as a traveler who wants to make the most of your clubbing experiences, you should at least know the basic moves.  

In light of the new indie comedy flick Tony Tango (think Anchorman meets ballroom dancing), which follows the desperately hopeless and not-so-sexy Tony as he becomes a Latin-dance superstar, NN is going to give you a lesson in sexy Latin dance. With videos that feature Tony and 2 very hot sidekicks showing you the basic steps, learning to shake your bon-bon is going to be fun….and funny.

 

MERENGUE

Maybe it’s the horns or the drums but you can’t help but to start moving when you hear merengue. This upbeat, two step dance is popularized by the the locals of Dominican Republic.

 

The Moves

If you can walk and march, you can dance merengue. The moves are a 1-2 step between your left and right foot on each beat of the music. The hips drop with each step and the arms and shoulders follow your stepping leg. You can move side to side and freely around the dance floor as long as your second step follows your first and you keep time with the music. With merengue you can do turn combinations throughout the song and because the steps are so easy you’ll see dancers slide and get creative with their arms and hips.

 

Songs to Know

Wilfrido Vargas- Abusadora

Fulanito- El Cepillo

Oro Solido- Nalgadita, Ta’ Encendio

Los Hermanos Rosario- Rompecintura

Tono Rosario- Kulikitaka

 

 

 

SALSA

One of the best known of the latin dances, salsa’s Afro-Cuban rhythms are echoed through various styles of the basic, tradition dance.

 

The Moves

The basic movements are three steps followed by the hip with each step. The top part of your body can stay relatively still compared to your legs and feet or you can sway your arms and shoulders back and forth with the rhythm. You can dip, break and slide but what’s appealing about salsa is the communication between the lead and the dancer following. Dominance and a little strength are needed for the pulls and pushes necessary to get around the curves.

 

Songs to Know

Marc Anthony- Aguanile, Tu Amor Me Hace Bien

Tito Puente- Ran Kan Kan

Celia Cruz- La Vida es un Carnaval

Lalo Rodriguez- Devorame Otra Vez

Rey Ruiz- Mi Media Mitad

 

 

 

Tango

Although this sensual dance from Argentina is traditionally reserved for the ballroom, the slick moves are no longer just for the pros. Next time you’re in Argentina look for venues that host milongas or all-night tango parties that come with tango lesson.

 

The Moves

The fascinating 8-count dance is performed in a circular counter-clockwise motion around the room. The steps are a combination of two slow walks and a closeup with your partner. Although tango is dominated by walking movements and not so much hip, the dance can get very intense. The movements can be sharp and quick, and at other times slithery and dramatic. You’ll see feet flick back and heads snap to the rhythm.

 

Songs to Know

Armik- Tango Flamenco

Carlos Gardél- Volver

Chitarra Romana- La Guitarra Romana

Gotan Project- Epoca

Vito Disalvo- Tango in the Park