11 Latino Dance Crazes You Need to Know

Here’s a Latino stereotype we don’t mind owning: we know how to dance. It’s true. Even Beyoncé knows. During her recent tour stop in Brazil, Mrs. Jay-Z broke out in the South American nation’s latest dance craze, the “Ah Lelek Lek Lek.” Well, here are 11 other Latino dance crazes Bey and you should try. 

1. Latino Dance: Lean Back

Lean Back

Year: 2004

Origin: Bronx, NY

Joey Crack and his Terror Squad took over the summer of 2004 with this simple, thuggish dance aka the way fat guys have been dancing since the dawn of time. Plus, when Fat Joe tells you to do something you do it. 

2. Latino Dance: Duranguense

Duranguense

Year: 2000s

Origin: Mexico

A straight descendent of La Quebradita, Duranguense came to a fever pitch in the early 2000s in Chicago. 

3. Latino Dance: El Perreo

El Perreo

Year: late ‘90s

Origin: Cuba, Puerto Rico

Let’s get this out of the way: it’s doggy style in Spanish slang. That’s pretty much all you need to know about this dance made popular by reggatoneros and women who love el dem bow beat. Twerking be damned! 

4. Latino Dance: Macarena

Macarena

Year: 1994

Origin: Spain

Imagine your two over the hill tios telling you about their escapades. Now toss in music, an instructional dance and you’ll have the Macarena. It’s a staple at weddings and you hate yourself for loving it. 

5. Latino Dance: La Quebradita

La Quebradita

Year: Early ’90s

Origin: Mexico

Strap on your metal undies for this dance! With banda music as a backdrop, La Quebradita, which translates to little break, is an accelerated dance where the male tosses his female counterpart all over the place. See the video and be amazed. 

6. Latino Dance: Lambada

Lambada

Year: 1989

Origin: Brazil

The sensual song of the same name, performed by French group Kaoma and Brazilian singer Loalwa Braz, spawned a worldwide dance craze. It even spawned The Forbidden Dance and Lambada—movies cheesier than Velveeta. 

7. Latino Dance: Cha-Cha-Cha

Cha-Cha-Cha

Year: ‘50s

Origin: Cuba

This dance was created to accompany Cuban composer Enrique Jorrin’s music. It’s a simple back and forth movement but to get a better sense of the basic steps check out these adorable blanquitos in the video below. 

8. Latino Dance: Salsa

Salsa

Year: 1930s

Origin: Cuba

Possibly, the most popular Latin dance is salsa. Although, it originated in Cuba in the early 20th century it wasn’t until the ‘60s and ‘70s and the Fania All Stars brought the music and dance (hello Johnny Pacheco) to the masses. 

9. Latino Dance: Merengue

Merengue

Year: 1930s
Origin: Dominican Republic

Merengue is DR’s national music and dance. It’s a fast-paced dance that involves a lot, a lot, A LOT of hip movement. 

10. Latino Dance: Tango

Tango

Year: 1890s

Origin: Argentina, Uruguay

This couples dance borrows from European and African influences to create one of the sexiest dances in the world. Initially created by the lower class, it is a dance often associated with the 1 percent. 

11. Latino Dance: Cumbia

Cumbia

Year: 1800s

Origin: Colombia

The cumbia dance, like the genre, is a fusion of indigenous, African, and Spanish influences. It’s an easy-going, back-and-forth dance with less hip movement than merengue.