This is a guest post by Profe Kyle. He teaches English and has plenty of experience in Latin America. You can find his website here for more information and his Twitter can be found here. If you wish to post a guest post yourself to my website, check for more information here. Thanks.
So you plan on visiting/living in Latin America and you would like to find those Latinas with hips that don’t lie?
Don’t we all.
While there’s a chance that if you’re blonde, blue-eyed, buff and successful that you can find those girls with a simple Tinder profile and cool pics. But if you’re not one of those lucky guys, the only chance you’re gonna have to find them is… learning to dance.
But don’t go out to your nearest dance school and learn some obscure folklore dance that Latinos only dance in parades..
You gotta learn the right dances, and even better if it is a dance that you can use from Argentina to Mexico.
So what to learn to dance?
Now contrary to popular Gringo belief, not all Latinas love reggaeton. It is more popular with the younger generation, but you will hear a lot of younger girls say that they don’t like it.
At the same time, most Latinas WILL dance reggaeton in the club or a family party EVEN if they don’t like the music.
This is great for you. A beautiful curvy Latina moving her hips against you. It’s paradise. There is no other way to describe. It can be this way… if you know how to move your hips.
Unfortunately, most Gringos have no idea even how to move pinky with rhythm, let alone their hips.
So you need to get your ass to the nearest urban dance school and learn how to move them.
Now, this shouldn’t take long. Maybe 1-2 months of multiple classes per week.
And you don’t need to become expert level. Your hips just need to move with enough rhythm to not look like the tin man. The woman does most of the work with reggaeton anyways.
Daddy Yankee -- Cogela Que Voy
This will be your foundation. But as I already said, many Latinas don’t like reggaeton and don’t want to be dancing it all night. They have something called class which is slowly disappearing in many parts of the Western world. Rubbing their ass against a man’s crotch for 3 hours makes them feel like sluts.
Countless times I’ve heard Latinas complain about a club because they play too much reggaeton. They want more ‘crossover’ which means they want other genres.
If you want to keep on impressing them, you’re gonna have to learn one of the partner dances that Latinas love to dance… but which one?
Mexican Cumbia/Salsa Caleña
There are dozens of different salsas.
Caleña, Puerto Rican, Los Angeles, New York and Cuban are some of the most popular.
While they are similar, I wouldn’t say they are interchangeable.
From what I’ve seen, most Gringos in Canada and the US learn Los Angeles/in-line salsa. You know, the one where you go back and forth, back and forth.
I’m telling you right now that if you try to dance that with a Cuban, a Venezuelan or a Colombian woman, they will have no clue what you’re doing. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Most of the most popular salsa styles that Latinas ACTUALLY dance are side to side like Caleña or in a circle like Cuban. Not only that, but bachata and salsa choke are side-to-side dances.
I would advise you to learn Caleña salsa or Mexican cumbia, with my preference being Caleña.
Now Caleña is very fast. If you’re a newbie to dancing, the learning curve is steepest with this one, but the reward is high.
If you want to learn the same basic steps, but a little slower, learn Mexican cumbia.
Los Angeles Azules -- Cumbia Coqueta
Mexican cumbia is side-to-side like Caleña salsa, with the same basic turns and moves, but the rhythm is slower.
I learned it in Guadalajara, Mexico and then went to Colombia. The Colombians thought I could dance Caleña salsa. In reality, I was just dancing Mexican cumbia.
Of course, it’s easier to learn Mexican cumbia in Mexico and Caleña salsa in Colombia. Take the lessons which are available to you.
Cali Pachanguero -- Grupo Niche
Once you learn the basics of one of these dances, as well as a few turns, it’s so easy to other Latin dances.
What about bachata?
Many Gringos love the sensuality of bachata. They imagine a curvy Latina dancing it with them and imagine it being like sex on the dance floor.
Aventura -- Enséñame a olvidar
Not far from the truth.
They also think that all Latinas dance it.
While Latinas do consider it a sexy and romantic dance form, it’s not as widely danced as salsa or merengue. Maybe the only place where a majority of women dance it would be the Dominican Republic.
So if you’re spending months learning bachata in the US or Canada thinking that you will dance it with all the Latinas in Lima, Medellín or Guadalajara… think again.
Much better to learn salsa first, and once you get good at it, start taking bachata lessons.
What about merengue?
Merengue is an incredibly popular dance in all of Latin America, especially the Caribbean.
In fact, you could learn merengue before salsa because it is equally as popular.
Grupo Rana -- Aventurero
The reason that I might not recommend it is because it really isn’t that hard. Once you learn how to pop the hips, you can really just freestyle it and copy from other men you see dancing around you.
For me, if you learn salsa first, you will find merengue incredibly easy to pick up in a few nights of dancing.
Having said all this, keep in mind that there are stark regional differences in Latin America. If you plan on living in one particular area of Latin America, let me give you a quick rundown of the most popular dances in each area.
One note, reggaeton is danced in all parts of Latin America. Another reason why you need to learn how to move your hips before anything else.
Colombia: salsa caleña, merengue, vallenato, salsa choke (Pacific coast region)
Dominican Republic: Bachata, merengue
Mexico: Cumbia, banda (in the Northern region), Los Angeles-style salsa
Venezuela: merengue, salsa casino
Argentina, Chile, Uruguay: famous for having lost all ability to dance. Dance like Gringas. Other Latinos make fun of them. And yes, Argentinians no longer dance tango. It’s just for tourists now.
These are the countries that I know about more or less. If you know about what dances are popular in other Latin American countries, leave a comment.
If you have a differing opinion, let us know in the comments.
One final thing about lessons. If you can afford it, get private lessons, and best if they are with a couple (man and a woman).
You will learn so quickly this way as the man will explain how to dance with a Latina and his female partner will give you the practice you need.
It’s also a lot less awkward than practicing with a man and female teachers by themselves have a hard time teaching what a man needs to do.
There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a Latina smile while dancing, but she will only do it with a man that knows how to dance. If you want to see one of the most beautiful things in the world, suck up your pride, oil your rusty Gringo joints and start taking lessons.
And if you ever meet a Latina that needs to learn English, send her to my website here.
Last Piece of Advice: If you want to begin learning how to dance to anything mentioned in this article, check out this Youtube channel known as Yopi Quintero that you can find here. One example of his content on how to dance reggaeton is included below.