Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Caribbean

Much of the Latin music and dance in the world comes from the Caribbean. The basics were there long before the first illegal aliens arrived. All the islands had some sort of walking dance, just step, step, step. But they also had something like the Rumba-Mambo, and it contained a rock step and a slow step and they broke wherever the accent was. And it was quick, quick, slow, which are really the same for all of the other dances too, except for the different names on the different islands. In Cuba it even had different names in the different sections.

"When you start dancing you will see many things that will startle you.
You will feel things you never felt before."

Sailors traveled all over the Caribbean, and they were the ones that spread and unified the dance. The sailors would see the different but similar dances and in describing them, they would say, "por ese rumbo" which means in that direction, that kind.

"Moliendo Cafe"
por Azucar Moreno

It became the name of the dance and the only thing that changed was the gender to La Rumba and it remained strictly an indigenous dance, better danced out in the sticks. But the name is Spanish not any of the mumbo jumbo that it comes from Africa. It acquired the name long before the African slaves arrived.

"Mi Son Maracaibo" por Rene Touzet

The influence of the Caribbean has been naturally great. First into Mexico, then into the US, and the rest of Latin America. However late in the 20th century the money makers manufactured new dances almost every day. Some made it for a while and some just never made it. Remember the Lambada? Ha! Live music at present predominates in Salsa and will also be into Bachata. It is shaping up into a more recognizable Latin music and dance for the younger dancers.

 "I was drinking at the bar last night so I took a bus home. May not sound like
a big deal to you, but I had never driven a bus before in my life."