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Spainish music and dancing are always associated with the flamenco. Flamenco is a West Andalusia type of music genre. Flamenco includes guitar playing, singing, dancing and handclaps. This style has more than fifty types, those are verified by the different contexts of the songs and the voice of the singer. Sometimes dancing and singing are supplemented by the cajon (type of the percussion instrument that has the shape of the box) and by the castanets (a percussion instrument that consists of two shells that are joined by a string). The dancer of flamenco called baile, the singer – cante and the guitar player – toque. On November, 16 2010 flamenco was proclaimed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Rhythms/Dance of West Africa

The folk music and dancing are the main in this region. They are used for different aims: some of them are the rhythms and dance of warriors, hunters, harvests, love, ritual and others. In most of dances people use masks and paints. There are different dances for women and men, it depends on the topic of the song and rhythm it consists of.

Indeginous American Indians 

Native Americans are known for there unique tribal music. They played music on flutes, whistles, drums and rattles. This music was used for the spiritual rituals. The dances were very active with the different figures showed by people.


 Flamenco was developed in Spain, but nowadays it became international. It is known that flamenco dancing schools are in two times more in Japan than in Spain. The headsprings of flamenco were firstly discovered in Mauritanian music and culture. This style was influenced by gypsy music, and lots of researches think that the most flamenco dancers were Spanish Gypsy. The singer of flamenco (cante) used different notes of voice to show the passion, desire and fire of the song. The dancer (baile) tried to show his/her feelings and character with the gait of the body and with the play of the drama, these were strengthened by the handclaps. The music (toque) was depicted by the cajon or castanets. In the complex flamenco had its own “duande” – the soul of flamenco that also can be translated from Spanish as “fire”, “magic” and “feeling”.

Categories of Flamenco

Flamenco started to be popular one day and after this it was influenced by lots of music, rhythms and different types of traditions. Firstly it was affected by the Cuban music and jazz rhythms, flamenco also include the elements of classic ballet. There are different categories of flamenco: folk or classical flamenco (it is danced by the original flamenco school and its main aspects are inherited from the teacher to student); chico (light) flamenco (the main topics in this rhythms are love, bawdy humor and happiness); intermedio flamenco (it is the type of the chico flamenco, and the main topic here is love, so after some development the main dance of this category can be called – tango); hondo flamenco (it is very strict dance, it should contain such parts: alida (enterence), paseo (the walk of the dance), silencio (like adagio in ballet), castellana (weak share of tact) zapateado (strict kick in floor); indayavuelta flamenco (it is the third type of the chico flamenco, and this dance is also called – rumba (fast flamenco). Rumba has deep emotional context, the contrast of this dance is showed by the erotic character of dance and dramatic context of music, all these create unique aesthetic effect).

Main features of the flamenco dance can be shown by zapateado (footwork), brazeo (arm movements) and flores (wrist and fingers rolls). Zapateado from Spanish translates as shoe. It means a strike with a shoe. Zapateado can be characterized by the music rhythms that are punctuated by the strict kick of the dancer’s shoes related to tap dance. Brazeo – acting and the location of the hands, the specific techniques of Spanish dance, which involve the continuous movement of one or both hands, passing from one position to another. The term also represents the movement of arms / exercise, in which the movements are “flow” and come from the center of the dancer’s back (the point between the shoulder blades). Flores can be described as the rotations of the wrists and fingers (outward and inward).

In the choreography of flamenco dances there are lots of strict movements that should be used in the dance. Main of them are: golpe – strike (a kick is usually made by the entire sole of the foot); planta – striking of soles (usually the toes); media planta  – striking with toes (“sticky” beat); tacón – heel, heelpiece ( the beats with the dancer’s heels); tacón de apoyo  – the strike of the main (bearing); tacón adelante –  striking with the dancer’s heel, which is sharply rebounds from the floor up; talón  – the hit with heel; punta – hit the toe of the foot (the tip of the big toe); plié  – half squat, legs slightly bent at the knees.

Mambo dance – is a tool of seduction and a way to express feelings. This dance belongs to the category of “dirty dances”. After all, constitute the basis for its undulating movements, circular and swaying motion of hips. Dance laced with sensuality and eroticism, and its choreography is based on the elements of jazz.

Meringue – is the dance in pair with the energy movements, the dance which is a light of the erotic character. In this kind of dances the most important elements are flirtation and improvisation. Sometimes meringue can be danced as a solo dance.


Havana is not only geographical but also the cultural center of Cuba. To find a place for dancing in Havana is not difficult. People dancing in the capital everywhere: in nightclubs, parties, performances, local carnivals and family celebrations. There is no place in Havana, where the dancer would not be happy. The most popular dance in Havana is – Habanera (originated from the name of the city La Habana). This dance dates back to the European country dance, introduced to Cuba in the late XVIII century. During the first decades of the XIX century it was transformed into a Cuban country dance with distinctive local features in the music and choreography. Habanera, as well as country dancing, is a collective paired dance with the initial arrangement of dancing in two lines with a definite number and sequence of regulated figures.

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