What is AfroLatin Dance?

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Salsa

We teach cross-body style Salsa On1 and On2; as well as Cuban and casino/’la rueda. In many styles of Salsa dancing, as a dancer shifts their weight by stepping, the upper body remains level and nearly unaffected by the weight changes. Weight shifts cause the hips to move. Arm and shoulder movements are also incorporated. Paradiso Academy’s style of salsa dancing involves significant movement above and below the waist, with up-and-down shoulder movements and shifting of the rib-cage. We call this “Cuban body movement” as it mimics the authentic movements of the originators of this exciting style of dance called ‘Salsa’.

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Since Salsa is a popular music form, it is open to improvisation and thus it is continuously evolving. Modern salsa styles are associated and named to the original geographic areas that developed them. There are often devotees of each of these styles outside of their home territory. Characteristics that may identify a style include: timing, basic steps, foot patterns, body movement, turns and figures, attitude, dance influences and the way that partners hold each other. At Paradiso Academy, we teach first the authentic and traditional foundations of Salsa, while guiding students to find their own personality and creativity within the genre.

Kizomba

Kizomba is one of the most popular genres of dance originating in Africa. It is often referred to as “African Tango”. The dance originates in Angola and Cape Verde. It is a derivative of traditional Angolan Semba and Cape Verdean Coladeira. Kizomba is an evolution of the traditional dances of Angolan Semba and Cape Verdean Passada, however, it is evident that Kizomba dance as we know it today evolved after the vogue of Kizomba music. Since the 1950’s, Angolan people used to dance Semba. In the 1990’s, when the actual Kizomba music got more and more popular, Angolan Semba dancers started to adapt their Semba steps according to the tempo and flavour of the Kizomba beats.

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At the beginning of its development, Africans were dancing Semba or Passada/Colladiera, and other dances at a slower tempo according to the beat of Kizomba music. Technically speaking, Semba danced romantically to Kizomba is the basis of the Kizomba dance. Because Angola was a colonial province of Portugal, the dance found popularity in Portugal where it evolved into it’s own style, often called ‘modern style’. The dance migrated to other European countries, and in Paris the dance has evolved into it’s own delivery; often called French style or ‘Urban Kiz’.

At Paradiso Academy, we teach with respect, the cultural foundations; right through to the fashionable styles from all three popular Kizomba styles (traditional; urban; modern).

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Bachata

Bachata is a dance style created in the Dominican Republic in the 1960’s. When the style moved abroad, it became known as Dominican / traditional / authentic Bachata in order to differentiate from the new style from the USA now known as international / romantic style. Post 2010 an even newer style called Sensual Bachata has emerged from Spain incorporating elements of Zouk Lambada. Bachata is now danced the world over, and the various styles are all danced to much the same Bachata music. The music is played at any tempo from slow to fast; with dancers interacting with the music in closed dance holds and even open positions for more style delivery.

At Paradiso Academy, we teach all styles with respect to their roots and cultures.

Afrobeat

Afrobeat is a music style which developed in the 1970s out of a combination of West African musical styles, such as highlife and Yoruba, with American funk and jazz, with a focus on chanted vocals and percussion. It was created by Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Fela Kuti who popularised the style both within and outside Nigeria. Afrobeat, which is currently seen as the most popular form of music in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and other parts of Africa and the world, was partially borne out of an attempt to distinguish Kuti’s music from the “soul music” of American artists such as James Brown.

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Looking to learn some new dance moves or just keep up with some fun choreography? Join our open adult Afro Beat classes! Classes are open to all ages and will keep you on your toes with new choreography each week. You will also have the opportunity to work on the fundamentals and core dance techniques that will help to better your dancing style.

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