The ABCs of Traditional Latin Dance

The ABCs of Traditional Latin Dance

With the growing trend of dance based workout programs in NYC, including the phenomenon of Zumba, it is impossible to ignore the impact of traditional Latin dance in our current culture.

Many are familiar with terms such as:


Cha - Cha - Cha





and the not-so-traditional



Below are a few lesser known dances that any traditional Latin dance enthusiast should know.



 Aragonaise which literally means a person or thing from the Spanish region, Aragon, is a "dance of Aragon". Traditionally the musical accompaniment includes guitars, castanets, and hand clapping. The two most famous compositions bearing the name are found in the operas Le Cid and Carmen by Jules Massenet and Georges Bizet respectively. 


Bolero takes a slower tempo than the Aragonaise with roots stemming both from Spain and Cuba and spreading eventually throughout Latin America all the way to Vietnam.

The original Spanish Bolero is danced in a 3/4 time. (1-2-3 / 1-2-3) that was created in Spain in the late 18th century. Elements of both contradanza and sevillana were borrowed in it's creation before it's swift export to Cuba. In the Cuban iteration, the time signature was changed to 2/4 (think Mirliton) and became "the most popular lyric tradition in Latin America."


Corrido finds it's roots in the music of Spain, and became immensely popular in Castilla and León in 19th and early 20th century.

This form has an irregular rhythm and consists of two parts, the first being of oscillatory and lateral movement in fast pace, and the second is similar to the jota (which time wise is very similar to Aragonaise). Below is a short tutorial outlining the steps involved.



We hope you enjoyed learning about the ever evolving, yet timelessly classic, ABCs of Traditional Latin Dance.

For more Spanish language and culture, join JP Linguistics to be ready to take the "next step" as a fluent Spanish speaker.