Updated: May 24
American Rhythm Includes Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, Mambo and Bolero. International Latin includes international Rumba and Cha Cha. Paso Doble, Jive and Samba.
While it sounds like some of the dances are repetitive, the dances do not translate equally. The method and steps for American Rumba and Cha-cha is different from the method and the steps for International Rumba and Cha Cha.
In this case my lessons would now involve making the transition from the American to international methods for Rumba and Cha-cha but it also involves me learning the other three dances, Samba , Jive and Paso Doble.
In short, American versions are danced with a bent leg where International is danced on a straight leg. Thus the different methods.
Jive is in the same family as Swing. However, it is twice as fast and leg movements are more pronounced.
Samba and Paso Doble were both brand new to me. In the words of Merriam-Webster Webster: a Brazilian dance of African origin with a basic pattern of step-close-step-close and characterized by a dip and spring upward at each beat of the music.
Paso Doble, again from Merriam-Webster Webster: a Latin-American march step typically associated with bullfighting.
All of that having been said, It was not a simple transition to make. While dancing has never been a chore for me, I learned a healthy respect for both styles.
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