Dance Styles at Dance Manhattan


Download the Study Guide
[word format]

Since Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and ChaCha are often danced together in clubs, we group them together in our latin family of classes which also includes Hustle, as we all may recall from "Saturday Night Fever"!


is one of the world's most popular dances. It's lots of fun and many clubs play Salsa. It is based on Afro-Cuban musical roots and while it originated in Cuba as Mambo, many of its music and dance innovations took place in New York City. Currently many NYC Salsa classes focus on the (on 2) Club Style popularized in New York.
Click here to watch as Sophie Cazeneuve describes the difference between Salsa (on 1) and (on 2)!

Salsa from two of our favorite instructors - Jason and Sophie:
  • Performance Salsa at Pier 84 MoonDance Series, Summer 2014: Jason Myra and partner, Nemaris
  • Performance Salsa: Sophie Cazeneuve and partner, Manny

  • Merengue

    is a dance from the Dominican Republic. One of the easiest Latin dances to learn and very simple to follow and make up steps. Beautiful, sensuous body movements are typical. Usually danced to very fast tempos.

    Demonstration: Merengue Basics - Rodney Lopez & Amalia Maldonado


    is another popular dance also from the Dominican Republic. Very rhythmic, it's danced in a close embrace. Ignored for many years because it was considered the poor people's dance, it has now become very successful.

    Demonstration: Bachata Basics - Rodney Lopez & Amalia Maldonado

    Cha Cha

    ,originating in Cuba as an off-shoot of Mambo, is danced to slower music and has a distinct sound suggesting the "cha-cha-cha" that embodies the scraping sound made by the feet while dancing the triple rhythm added to the middle of the basic salsa movement.

    A Cha Cha by Rodney Lopez & Mariana Parma, Hudson River Park Moondance, 2010


    is danced in clubs to "disco" music with a hard driving beat. Originally called "Latin Hustle" this dance can be pretty fast and very energetic. It is characterized by lots of spins and syncopated footwork for the follower and is fun and challenging.

    Hustle demonstration - Robert Vance at Midsummer Night Swing 2015

    Hustle demonstration - Audrey Martinez

    This and future months’ Latin dance class schedule.