“Dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt. Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
More and more people are choosing to learn how to dance. How someone dances can say a lot about the kind of person they are and can be useful for finding partners.
In this article, we’re having a look at the different types of dance, such as Puerto Rican salsa, Kizomba, Argentine tango, that you can do as a couple. While there are a lot of dance styles for an aspiring dancer to learn about, we’re going to focus mainly on Latin dance, contemporary dance, and modern dance rather than classical ballet and ballroom dance, for example.
While you can find a good dance class for some of the latter styles, we’ve picked styles of dance that are good for couples who want to learn to dance together or for those looking to find a new hobby where they can meet people in a dance studio.
Want to move like a Latino?
Salsa is arguably the most sensual dance for couples and it’s also one of the most popular styles. It’s quite easy to find salsa lessons up and down the country and there are also plenty of private tutors offering salsa tutorials.
Salsa, like its name suggests, is rather saucy. (Source: habanera)
There are also some free salsa lessons that you can attend. However, be careful! If you decide to go along with your partner, you won’t spend the whole session dancing with them. During a typical salsa lesson, you’ll be expected to change partner from time to time.
You won’t get to dance with your soulmate the whole time. On the other hand, you do get to go home with them after the class.
Salsa originated in Cuba. While the word “salsa” means “sauce” in Spanish, it also means “sensual” in Cuban Spanish. Someone who dances salsa is known as a “salsero” or a salsera”.
It’s dynamic and in a triple meter which means that the steps are in threes. There are plenty of songs to dance along to. You’re almost guaranteed to find at least one you like.
During a salsa evening, it’s quite common to find others dancing Bachata. This style of dancing originated in the Dominican Republic and was often looked down upon by the upper classes. Usually, it was the poorer classes who danced Bachata. However, bachata became more and more popular in the Dominican Republic. Nowadays, you can find it being taught in salsa lessons.
Bachata includes taking alternating steps forwards and backwards. The music is a blend of Latin American influences applied to a Dominican style. Guitar, drums, and bass are commonly used to make some of the most beautiful bachata songs.
Bachata is often considered to be more sensual than salsa. In fact, the dancers are often closer to one another and there are a lot of hip movements. It’s a great way to spend a romantic evening with your partner or just find somebody.
Now we’re heading back to Cuba to the home of rumba. Often called a “dance of love”, rumba is a slow and sensual dance. In fact, the rumba involves a lot of flirting with your partner. It’s a game of seduction.
Just like salsa, rumba is also from Cuba. (Source: 12019)
It was inspired by Cuban dances such as the habanera and the guajira. The name comes from the word rumbiar, which means “dance” in colloquial Cuban. The song Guantanamera will give you a taste of what to expect in terms of music.
To learn the rumba, you can always take your partner along to a dance school that specialises in Latin dancing. You can learn the basics and start practising in a very short amount of time. You can also learn in bars.
So why not give rumba a go?
Not to be confused with the genre of music of the same name, Kizomba is an Angolese style of dancing which arrived in Europe in the 00s. After several transformations, it became the style as we know it today.
Kizomba (which means “party” in Kimbundu) is a dance which alternates between fast and slow steps. Dancers dance together moving their hips in rhythm to the music. Without a doubt, Kizomba should get your motor running. Of course, you mightn’t want to watch your partner dance with others as you’ll get jealous…
This style was born in Angola before spreading through West Africa to Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. Kizomba varies depending on its geography.
There are Latin American influences (notably from Merengue, Bachata, and tango) which have defined the style as we know it today. You’ll see this by watching a performance. If you want to learn Kizomba, you need to be aware that there are several different styles of it.
Couples generally dance closely to one another though they can separate for more dynamic moves. It’s the perfect style for blending Latin dancing with an African sound.
The tango was born in Argentina in the 19th century and is famous for how sensual it is. There’s a lot of improvisation and the man usually guides the woman as she positions her legs in time with the music.
This is a difficult style to follow since the rules aren’t set in stone and you need to feel the music and also communicate with your partner. This is why tango is the perfect style of dance for lovers.
When you dance as a couple, you need to listen to one another. (Source: pixelia)
That said, it used to be just men who danced the tango. It was freed slaves and poor European immigrants living in La Boca neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.
When it first started, it was mostly performed by men as there were very few women living there at the time. Tango can trace its roots to parties.
Today, people dance the tango in milongas. You can find places like them in some of the UK’s bigger cities and dance along to the bandoneon with your partner.
Merengue is a dance related to salsa and bachata. Partners make small steps as they turn clockwise. The style also includes moves from salsa. Merengue originated in the Dominican Republic at the start of the 20th century. However, Merengue music is from Caribbean islands.
It differs from the other styles of Latin dance we’ve mentioned since the hip movements are more distinct. In some ways, it bears some resemblance to a march.
While it’s not very common in the UK, you might have heard of it. Head along to a dance school and have a look at the classes on offer (ballroom dancing, African dancing, pasodoble, tap, Viennese waltz, dancehall, Irish dancing, etc.).
With private tutorials, dance schools, and dance courses, there are plenty of ways to become more flexible.
Forget about Oriental dancing, the Waltz, Zumba, swing, or Rock ‘n’ Roll, if you’re looking for something interesting, you check out Zouk!
Zouk was born in the French Antilles in the 70s (in Guadalupe and Martinique) and is quite a simple style since the two partners do the same moves. You need to put your weight on one leg or the other.
There are worse places in the world you could learn to dance! (Source: Mariamichelle)
The two partners dance with each other at varying speeds with small movements. There are also slower styles of zouk. You can choose the style that works for you both in terms of music and moves.
If you and your partner don’t feel like doing dance classes with others, don’t forget that you can still enjoy energetic dance classes from a private dance teacher. These are a great option for beginners who are worried about showing off their footwork on a busy dance floor in front of other dancers who may be better than them.
For those getting married, a private tutor could help you learn a routine for your first dance. Whether you want to learn a simple waltz, ballroom routine, or an upbeat swing routine, you can get schedule tutorials when they work for you and put together a bespoke learning plan with your tutor. Don’t forget that the tutors on Superprof often offer their first lesson for free so you can see if they’re right for you.
This is very useful for those of us who’ve never learnt a dance routine in their life, are an absolute beginner, or just have two left feet!