The most important of these rhythms actually come from the Caribbean island! Mambo, (also has Haitian roots!), ChaChaCha and above all Son are probably the most important birthmothers of Salsa, there is no doubt about that either. Salsa is the rhythm of the Caribbean, full of joie de vivre and passion. Today, Salsa is indisputably one of the hottest rhythms in the world!
Salsa is like a fire that spreads through the body, it makes you come alive. What one should not forget when talking about Salsa, or any of the many other original Afro-Caribbean music styles, is:
The rhythm, the soul of this music, is made to dance!
Bachata originated in the early 1960s as a form of Cuban or Caribbean boleros. At first, bachata was not so much intended for dancing, but was one of many styles of romantic Latin American trio guitar music that mainly served to entertain couples in love. In the following decades, bachata musicians took influences from other styles such as merengue, the tempo was increased and bachata became more and more understood as dance music. Since 2003, the music genre and dance have experienced a production boom throughout the Hispanocaribbean region.
Bachata is typically played with two acoustic guitars, today also with electric ones, plus bongos, bass and guira. The style is characterised today by the characteristic, high and "lyric" sound of the guitars, the rhythm, mostly based on the bass rhythm, and by the lyrics, which are mostly sung by male singers and mainly deal with disappointed love. Bachata is usually danced very tightly and hip-emphasised. The more "prudish" European version is danced with body distance, and figures are also incorporated.
Reggaeton is a music genre that was developed based on reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, merengue, Latin American music genres and dance music. Reggaeton is characterised by its provocative and protest-laden lyrics in Spanish and shows influences of other Latino styles such as Bomba or Salsa. Reggaeton is a relatively young music style that has enjoyed great popularity in the Caribbean since the 90s.
Reggaeton first became known and popular in Panama and later especially in Puerto Rico. However, this music style quickly spread to other Latin American countries such as the Dom. Republic, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Cuba. In recent years, this style has also increasingly appeared in the USA, especially in cities with a high Latino population such as New York and Miami.
Today, reggaeton is known in almost all Spanish-speaking countries and is currently conquering Europe. The immense popularity that reggaeton has gained in Latin American centres gives rise to the assumption that it will soon trump typical Latino music styles such as merengue in popularity - reggaeton is "in". The ever-growing popularity of the music promises the development of many more artists, discos and dance schools that make it possible to enjoy and participate in this avant-garde, non-conformist urban music genre.
Kizomba is a dance that developed from the traditional semba in Luanda, the capital of Angola, in the 1980s. With influences from Caribbean zouk/zouklove and Argentine tango (Angola has always been a cosmopolitan place), a distinctive dance has emerged that won't let you go. The word Kizomba originally means party in Kimbundu (Kimbundu is one of the Angolan Bantu languages and is spoken in the north of the country including the capital). On Cabo Verde, the term passada is usually used as a generic term instead of kizomba.
Within Kizomba there are different "styles". On the one hand, there is the traditional Passada. The movements of the passada can be compared to normal walking: forwards, backwards or diagonally. The passada in kizomba builds on the passada in semba, so figures can often be danced similarly in both dances, but with different feeling and tempo.
Tarraxinha on the other hand, you dance more on the spot and shift your weight from one leg to the other. Tarraxinha is calmer and you have the time to concentrate on different hip movements: lateral, central or undulating. What all hip movements have in common, however, is that the aim is to present the backside (affectionately called mbunda in Kimbundu) outwards - not towards the partner. Tarraxinha is well suited to the interpretation of rhythms. Musically, the beat is often harder than pure passada, but you can also combine both styles within one piece. Tarraxar is Portuguese and literally means to screw.