The Latin Dances

The dances in this category will be related to the Ballroom styles of Latin Dances. (Please see Salsa, Bachata, & Latin Night Club for more nightclub styles)

There are two styles of Latin Dances in the Ballroom dance cateogory. They are the International Latin and American Rhythm styles of dancing. Let’s take a look at a little of the differences starting with what is danced at competition:

There is also a slight difference in the leg styling used in International vs. American dance.  In the International style a ‘straight leg’ action is used when stepping but in American styling the ‘knee is bent’ as you move forward. Although both require that feet stay in contact with the floor to achieve the proper leg actions.

See these two styles in action on the competition floor:

International Latin

American Rhythm

Get To Know All The Latin Dances

Cha Cha

The Cha Cha can be seen danced in both the International Latin and American Rhythm dance categories. Originating from Cuba in the 1950’s it became a popular dance in the Havana clubs at the time.


The Ballroom dance version of Rumba or Rhumba as it was spelled in the dance world so it is not confused with the Cuban Rumba which has a different style in the dance and music.


Samba dance is not only fun with a partner but even as a line dance.

Paso Doble

The Paso Doble is the dance that resembles a Spanish bullfight. The man or lead is considered the matador while the follower dances as the cape.


The Jive is another form of swing that became popular in the early 1940’s Europe when American soldiers brought over the Jitterbug dance to at the time


Started in Cuba in the 1940’s the dance was founded by Havana bandleader Pérez Prado. The dance was popular in Cuba, Mexico and eventually New York in the 50’s as Prado traveled and shared his music


The Bolero dance is part of the American Rhythm style of competitive dance.

East Coast Swing

The East Coast Swing is one of the swing dances based off the original Lindy Hop. Some other names are Jitterbug, American Swing, and Triple Swing.