Partner dances provide a refuge to be true selves, a space for freedom and play with a vibrant community of momentary or long last partners that speak the same language of connected, rhythmic movement.
Social partner dances such as salsa, bachata, tango, swing, zouk, kizomba, and rumba, among others, have been sanctuaries of healing, connection and joy for many generations. Rooted in rich cultural traditions social dances have evolved to be a refuge from the daily burdens.
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Bachata is a style of social dance from the Dominican Republic which is now danced all over the world. Both the music and the dance have been influenced by Cuban Bolero, the Merengue (also of Dominican Republic origin), Salsa and Cumbia. Most of the styling in this dance is from ballroom dance, and show moves like dips are commonly used. The more sensual interpretation of the dance is often expressed with more circular movements and body waves, except when the music has stronger beats, when the dance uses isolations and dips.
Kizomba is an beautiful and sensual dance, besides explosive and contagious, which conquered the world in recent years as a catchy melody and a dance which seduces our souls. Kizomba is for many of the Latin dancers a breath of fresh air, bringing something new and exciting, and perfect for anyone who wants to enter the world of dance due to its softness and easy basic steps, allowing any novice to gradually evolve to more complex steps, and more importantly allowing a beginner to enjoy the pleasure of social dancing much earlier than any other type of dance in pairs.
Mambo, also referred to as Salsa On 2, is originally a Cuban musical form and dance style. The word mambo (“conversation with the gods”) is the name of a priestess in Haitian Voodoo, derived from the language of the African slaves who were imported into the Caribbean. The fusion of swing and Cuban music produced this fascinating Mambo rhythm and in turn created a new sensational dance. Unlike other styles of salsa, Mambo or Salsa On 2 is danced on the second beat of the music (“on 2”), and the follower steps forward on the first measure of the music, not the leader. Mambo emphasizes harmony with the percussive instruments in salsa music, such as the congas, timbales, and clave, since many or all of those instruments often mark the second beat in the music.
Salsa dancing mixes African and European dance influences through the music and dance fusions that are the roots of Salsa. Salsa is normally a lead & follow (freestyle) partner dance, although there are other recognized forms. Salsa On 1 tends to be more flashy than the South American forms, with many twists, turns, and even acrobatic aerial moves similar to the Lindy Hop. Often Salsa On 1 is done faster than some other Latin dances, with whirling partner moves, with some sensual moments that are influenced by Argentine Tango and Rumba.
Tango is a vibrant and playful dance between two people. It has very rich potential for expression, improvisation and connection and is danced in both modern and traditional styles. It is often described as a passionate dance, because of the close connection partners can have and the character of the music. At the heart of tango (Argentine tango) is the desire to listen to, understand and converse with the person you’re dancing with, through this unique language of dance. In tango there is a ‘leader’ and a ‘follower’. Through the embrace, the leader offers invitations to the follower for where and how to step. The follower decides in what way they will accept the leader’s invitations. Both leader and follower try to maintain harmony and connection through the embrace, and with the music, and so the dance is born.
West Coast Swing
West Coast Swing (WCS) is a partner dance with roots in Lindy Hop. It is characterized by a distinctive elastic look that results from its basic extension-compression technique of partner connection, and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor. The dance allows for both partners to improvise steps while dancing together, putting West Coast Swing in a short list of dances that put a premium on improvisation.
Brazilian Zouk is a sensual partner dance that can be danced to a variety of music. It evolved from the dance lambada with Caribbean zouk music, and later incorporated technique from other Brazilian partner dances and modern/contemporary dance.
This led to the upper body movement that zouk is best-known for. The dance is also characterized by wave-like movement, continuous flow, and intense connection. Zouk can be danced in open or close embrace.
Interfusion Festival’s zouk program embraces the expression, connection and healing dynamics of the practices facilitated by world known instructors.
Interfusion Festival’s dance program embraces the expressive, playfulness and healing dynamics of the practices facilitated by world known instructors.