Travellers looking for a unique kind of experience during their South American trip should take a tour of the famed Latin American dances. After all, there is no other fun way of understanding their culture than through music and dance. In fact, beyond tango and salsa, every country in Central and South America have their own traditional dance.
It does not matter if you fear you have two left feet, because as opposed to the ballroom circuits, your form and perfection matter less. You only need to feel the music and the beat and move your body accordingly. Other travel experiences around the world are rarely this immersive. If you have ever dreamt of trying out the passionate Latin American dances, there is no other place to do so than in the country where it originated from.
Everyone knows the tango and a trip to Argentina would not be complete without trying out a class or two at one of the famous tango houses in Buenos Aires. In fact, there are tons of classes and clubs everywhere, though one of the must-visit ones is Club Social y Deportivo Villa Malcolm. It is popular also with the locals and on Thursdays, they offer free classes and a milonga and a show. The Argentines love their dogs and even take thme to their dance classes with them. If you’re visiting here with a dog see these travel instructions. Buenos Aires is a city of people who love dogs as much as Tango. If you prefer to watch the greats, then time your visit during the annual World Tango dance Tournament every August.
The Carnival in Rio would not be what it is without the Samba and the colorful costumes of the dancers. Much like Argentina, there is a samba school in every neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, with classes taking place all throughout the year. You can visit some of these schools to identify their unique style and flair, or you can go to the Rio Scenarium where you can see the locals during one of their live performances.
Though less popular, La Cuenca is the lively and choreographed national dance of Chile. The dancers wearing colorful traditional dresses perform with handkerchiefs and circle around. The dance actually portrays a rooster and chicken courting ritual. Interestingly, the partners do not even touch until the end, and instead, their eyes and the longing looks tell the story. If you want to see the dance in a live performance, then head over on September 18 and 19, also known as the celebration of Independence Day in Chile.
Salsa is without a doubt the most famous Latin American dance and you cannot miss hitting the clubs for some practice or even for a class when you are in the country. In Cartagena, there are classes with professionals everywhere and then you can head over to any one of the clubs to show your newly-acquired skill.
The San Juanito dance is named after a music style that mixes modern and indigenous instruments. It is also a huge part of the country’s identity and is a part of all festivals and gatherings in Ecuador. What sets this dance apart is that it is more impromptu than choreographed, though there are professionals who perform it.
For a unique and unforgettable experience, get lost in the lively music of South America and move your body. There is certainly lots of fun to be had while trying to learn these traditional classes. Hitting the clubs will also allow you to meet locals and other visitors alike, not to mention have a real taste of the culture.