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Cuban dance and music|A little history and interesting resources to discover! Party!

Photo: Soy de Cuba website

Long live the dance and music of Cuba!

If you are like me, you love listening to Cuban music and you never get tired of seeing Cubans dancing. Attending a salsa or rumba is a real treat! Beauty, sensuality, freedom of the body, and I would even say, total happiness!

And who could resist the urge to sway a little to Cuban music? ;-)

I therefore invite you to learn more about these two Cuban arts.

“They have rhythm in their blood”

This is often what we say to ourselves when we have the chance to see Cuban dancers and musicians perform. And it starts from a very young age! Just search “Cuban baby dancing” on a search engine for proof.


But probably the most impressive video I've seen is this one

which has been viewed by more than 1.3 million people over the past year:

And after a few years, this is what it looks like:

A little history

Before going any further, here is a brief summary of the history of dance in Cuba.

Cuban culture encompasses a wide range of dance forms. The island's natives performed rituals known as areíto, which included dancing, although little information is available about such ceremonies. After the colonization of Cuba by the Spanish kingdom, European dance forms were introduced, such as the French contradance, which gave rise to the Cuban contradanza.

The contradanza itself gave rise to a series of ballroom dances between the 19th and 20th centuries, including the danzón, mambo and cha-cha-cha. Rural dances of European origin, such as zapateo and styles associated with punto guajiro, also became established in the 19th century, and in the 20th century son became very popular.

Additionally, many dance traditions were brought by black slaves from West Africa and the Congo Basin, giving rise to religious dances such as Santería, yuka and abakuá, as well as secular forms such than the rumba. Many of these dance elements from European dance and religious dances were merged to form the basis of técnica cubana.

Cuban music also contributed to the emergence of Latin dance styles in the United States, including rhumba (ballroom rumba) and salsa.

Regarding music: “Cuban music is the result of a complex mix between indigenous music and others from Europe, Africa, Asia and the American continent.”

This report produced by the UN is also very interesting:

To learn even more

Did you know that rumba is an art classified as a UNESCO world heritage site? Well yes !

Another very interesting article! From the rumba to the Buena Vista Social Club:

The basic steps of Cuban salsa:

And yes, there is also a ballet tradition in Cuba:

And to fill your ears, tune in to Passion Varadero Radio! ;-)

Places to learn salsa in Quebec and Varadero suggested by our members

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