LAfrique Dance Company offers classes in Latin American and African dances.
Some sexy and energetic, others sensual and grounded. Though what they have in common is that they are all a lot of fun and – unlike some partner dances – very sociable! You don’t need to have a regular partner. In fact, you often find yourself at the dance floor with a dance partner you have never met before. Because of the sociable nature of these dances, Salsa as well as Kizomba have become highly popular, all around the world!
At the moment, LAfrique Dance Company offers dance courses in 3 different dance styles.
In this course you will learn Salsa Los Angelos-style (also named Salsa on-1). LA style salsa is danced on-1 and is danced in a slot. There are usually a lot of turns and flair, as it was influenced by swing and mambo and developed to be danced in a performance.The Salsa LA style is the most danced style in the Netherlands.
In this course you will learn how to dance Salsa Cubana (Cubana, Casino, Rumba, Pachanga, Guaguancó, Puerto Rico, Fusion). The class focusses on leading and following techniques, as well as body movement and control, packed into energetic & playful figures. In general, these styles have fewer rules than those developed in Northern America and are more focussed on social dancing. It also includes Rueda de Casino which is a Cuban salsa style, danced in a group.
In this course you will learn Kizomba (Urban and Traditional style). Kizomba is the fastest growing dance style in the Netherlands and played at most Latin parties. During this course you will also be introduced to Semba and Tarraxinha.
In this course you will learn how to dance Bachata. This dance is characterized by it's footwork and playfulness. At Salsa parties, you will often hear some Bachata songs in between. So make sure you learn how to dance Bachata so you will never have to leave the dance floor!
So now lets take a closer look at the different dance styles!
Salsa LA style
LA style salsa is danced in a slot. It is typically seen as explosive, fiery, and passionate. There are a lot of turns and flair, as it was influenced by swing and mambo and developed to be danced in performances. Salsa LA is danced on the 1th count and the cross body lead is an essential step in this style, since it is used to switch places.
Merengue is the national dance and music of the Dominican Republic and is essentially an easy and fun dance to learn. This makes it a popular social dance. For the basic step, partners are in the closed position and step in place in what is known as ‘paso de la empalizada’. The beautiful hip-movement emerges when you shift your weight from one leg to the other.
Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic and is commonly known as a very sensual dance. The movement of the hips is very important and is seen as the soul of the dance. Generally, most of the movement is in the dancers lower body; footwork and hips.
Salsa Cubana originates from Cuba and is known for its circular motion, as partners face each other in intricate patterns of arms and body movement. It has a strong basic step known as guapea, and is often a playful game of seduction using body movement, facial expressions and jokes.
Afro-Cuban rumba, not to be confused with the ballroom dance, or the African pop music, developed in rural Cuba, blending Congolese drumming with influences of Spanish flamenco-singing. In Cuba, Rumba is a generic term covering a variety of musical rhythms and associated dances.
Rueda de Casino is a way of dancing Cuban Salsa where pairs form a circle, called Rueda (Spanish for “wheel”) and dance to the commands of a Cantante (Spanish for “singer”). Couples exchange partners and carry out moves in sync with the music and corresponding to the commands called out.
Kizomba, which means ‘party’ in the Angolan dialect Kimbundu, is a dance and music that developed in numerous African Countries in the early 1980s. The Semba (from Angola) and Coladera (from Cape Verde) were transformed in what we now know as Kizomba. A music known for its slow, insistent, yet sensuous rhythm. With a hug being the basic dance hold of Kizomba, dancing this sensual dance gives you the feeling of moving as one.
Semba is a traditional music and dance from Angola. The Semba music was played by small bands in Angola, especially at large social gatherings. People say the word ‘Semba’ comes from ‘massemba’ meaning “a touch of the bellies” – one of the most recognizable and fun movements in Semba. The steps of semba are fairly quick and playful, incorporating facial expressions and mimed grabs for an escaping partner.
Tarraxinha is the sexy, percussive cousin of Kizomba. The music is mainly electronic, has a much heavier beat and fewer melody. Tarraxinha is danced mainly in place and is focused on isolations, fitting into the rhythms of the music. The body movements are initiated with the lead’s leg, hip or arm (on the ladies lower back/hips) movements or are initiated by the follower.