A guide to dance in Cuba

As a Latin island in the Caribbean famous for its grooves and smooth moves, Cuba is a nation rightfully proud of its dance heritage.

With music such a huge part of the country’s culture, it’s likely that you’ll want to get stuck into some of the dances and quick-steps available in this stunning holiday destination. Cuba’s dance legacy might be immense, but that doesn’t mean knowing your salsa from your habanera needs to be a massive headache.

Check out our tips to get a head start on your dancing knowhow.

Rumba

The rowdy rumba has its roots far back in the colonial era of Cuba, as far back as the 1890s in fact.

Its origins are said to stem from the leisure time of those working in the farms and fields of days gone by, who’d spend their Sundays bouncing and bopping around to local music.

The rumba is known for its highly improvisational style, which made it quite the done thing when jazz music arrived in Cuba in the early 20th century. Indeed, the music and the dancing style proved a perfect fusion, which continues to be enjoyed today.

Mambo

As dances go, mambo is as sultry and sassy as it gets – big proud steps, strong shaking shoulders and commitment to the rhythm. It’s a distinctly Cuban dance that blends the loud and proud trumpets and horns that make up so much of the island’s music with sublime steps and attitude.

Habanera