LATIN AND SWING BASIC STEP RHYTHM PATTERNS

Rumba:      Slow      Quick      Quick      Slow      Quick      Quick      Slow      Quick      Quick     
Rumba is the slowest of all the Latin Dances. It is sometimes referred to as the dance of love due to the somewhat romantic character of both the steps and the music.
Salsa:         Quick      Quick      Slow      Quick      Quick      Slow      Quick      Quick      Slow
You can begin the first quick on beat one or beat two of the musical measure in Salsa. It is a little more musically challenging to start the pattern on the second beat. Most Americans begin on beat one which is the accented beat of the musical measure and "easiest to find."
Mambo:      Quick      Quick      Slow      Quick      Quick      Slow      Quick      Quick      Slow     
This rhythm pattern is identical to Salsa.However, Mambo is always begun on the second beat of the measure. Technically, Salsa in considered a "street dance" with a flavorful, expressive style while Mambo is a ball room dance. In reality they are essentially the same dance.
Cha-Cha:    One      Two      cha, cha, cha       One      Two      cha, cha, cha      One      Two      cha, cha, cha
What happens if you replace the "slow" in Mambo with the "cha, cha, cha?" The answer is that you get the Cha Cha rhythm. Cha Cha is done to slower music than Mambo, so there is time to fit in those three cha chas instead of the one "slow." So Cha Cha and Mambo are very closely related dances. Furthermore, like Mambo, Cha Cha begins on the second beat of the musical measure.
Merengue:  Quick      Quick      Quick      Quick      Quick      Quick      Quick      Quick
This dance is very basic both rhythmically and in terms of the steps. It is often the favorite of beginning dancers for that reason. The music has a steady, repetitive quality.
Swing:         Single Swing:      Slow      Slow      Quick      Quick
Triple Swing: Triple time (3 steps) Triple time Quick Quick

West Coast Swing: Quick Quick Triple time Triple time or…
Quick Quick Triple time Quick Quick Triple time

There are many forms of swing dancing. Single Swing is done to fast music, such as "Rock Around the Clock." Triple Swing is done to medium tempo music. Finally, West Coast Swing is done to the slowest swing music which has a "bluesy" sound.

Swing and the other dances listed here (which are Latin dances) are all "related" through their connection to Jazz.

Note: The "quicks" get one beat each and the "slows" get two beats in all patterns above.

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