Street Latin

Street Latin is a very broad term covering a range of dances, mostly Latin American in origin, that for the most part haven’t been standardised globally. In this category we include; Salsa, Argentine Tango, Swing, Mambo Bachata and Merengue.

Immensely popular, these vibrant styles are danced all around the world and are constantly evolving. As the name indicates they can be danced almost anywhere which makes them perfect for clubs, cafes, street parties or even just at home in your living room.

Salsa is definitely one of the most popular dances at Phoenix Dance Studio and in fact, one of the most popular dances anywhere in the world.

As with most dances, where Salsa comes from all depends on how far back into the mists of time you want to go. African rhythms, European influences of partners dancing, hot nights in the caribbean and the melting pot of cultures and music in the U.S.A. all left their mark on Salsa dancing even as it continued to evolve. Salsa dancing, as we know it today, grew into several different variations. Arguably the most popular and enduring ones around the world being New York, Cuban and L.A. Salsa. All these forms of Salsa use the same infectious rhythm and the same general rules to partner and move, so at Phoenix Dance Studio we incorporate elements of all three to make sure that you’ll feel confident enough in your Salsa dancing to get on any dance floor, any where and have a great time. In Melbourne you can see all of these Salsa variations at clubs, bars, festivals and dance studios all year round.

This is one of our most popular and favourite dance styles at Phoenix Dance Studio. As with most dances, it doesn’t take long to get feel for the basics and enjoy the movement, but there are always more steps and combinations to learn, better poise and technique to master.

Every time that you change partner or change the music, the Tango feels different and new. Slow and intimate, fun and light, fast and passionate, or sexy and sinuous. Because the dance is so changeable, the Tango continues to be able to adapt to new fashions and musical tastes. Whilst it’s always wonderfully atmospheric to dance to an old crackly recording of piano, violin and bandoneon, there is a wealth of electronica, jazz, classical and pop music that can be used to dance Tango.

Tango has been around for over a hundred years but still feels fresh and new today. Originally a dance associated with the lower classes and poorer areas of Beunos Aires, Tango has been embraced as part of the Argentinean national identity and can be seen on stage, television and in movies around the world.

At Phoenix Dance Studio we teach two forms of Tango. Argentine Tango is the original style and is usually the one that’s meant when someone is talking about Tango. We also teach English Tango (sometimes called Ballroom Tango), which is a style that evolved from Argentine Tango and is a dance in its own right. Tango is such a huge part of Argentinean national identity that it was included in Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Swing, it’s a 1940’s Big Band Blaring, Hellzapoppin’, Zoot-suit-rioting dance.  Originally from the USA this is now truly an international dance (the best annual Swing festival is held in a village in Sweden of all places).

It can be a fairly broad term referring to (but not limited to) East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Charleston, Balboa, West Coast Swing, Jive, Rock and Roll, Shag and 40’s Charleston, with many of these styles going by two or three different names depending on where you are and who you ask.

With so many Swing variations around, at Phoenix Dance Studio we choose to focus on three original styles that compliment each other and can even be cross danced. East Coast, Lindy Hop and 40’s Charleston. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with any of the other Swing styles, but we have found that these particular ones can be danced all around the world, to faster or slower tempos, at any and all occasions.

It doesn’t take long to get to grips with the basics of Swing but there’s plenty of scope to improve and extend your technique and repertoire. The trick is to get low, find the pulse of the music, relax and go for it.  One of the favourite dances, not just at Phoenix Dance Studio but anyplace where a bunch of people get together to have a good time on the dance floor.

The Mambo Dance style became an international sensation in the 1950’s and later evolved (as many dance styles do) into other dances like Cha Cha Cha and Salsa. But the original dance is still fast, exciting and seen on dance floors all over the world.

If you’re looking to have the time of your life, Mambo is what you see when Baby dances with Johnny in “Dirty Dancing”.

Merengue has its roots in traditional dances from the Dominican Republic. It has a simple, straight forward rhythm that makes it a versatile dance that everyone can enjoy. With the classic Latin American body movement and some innovative combinations it’s a fantastic party dance.

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