Find Your Rhythm: 4 Types of Dance Found in the CaribbeanNov 21, 2018
There’s an electric rhythm in the Caribbean that is felt wherever you go. The pulsing beats, lively music, and sounds of celebration cause people everywhere to jump to their feet and dance. Our love of dance is part of our history and part of everyday life. With African, European, and Latin influences, the types of dance found in the Caribbean are as diverse as the nations we call home. With so many different cultures, styles of music and beautiful places to claim as your dance floor, dancing in the Caribbean is an experience not to be missed. Look out for these four types of dance on your next Caribbean vacation.
1. Move to the Rhythm of Salsa in Puerto Rico
Salsa’s lively rhythm inspires people to their feet wherever and whenever it is played. A popular style seen throughout the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is one of the best places to experience the energetic dance. Many bars, clubs and restaurants play the style of music exclusively while others offer regular salsa nights. You can even catch live performances right on the streets. For those with two left-feet, salsa is a basic six-step routine that is relatively easy to learn. Practice before you go or try out a class during your vacation. You’ll be dancing like a local in no time.
2. Let Loose to Zouk in Martinique
Vibrant like the blooms populating the ‘Isle of Flowers’ itself, zouk dance on the volcanic islands of Martinique is combined with the fast-paced zouk music. After a day of hiking tropical forests and laying on remote beaches, put your speed skills to the test with this energetic dance.
3. Groove to Quadrille in the Bahamas
In a country with over 3100 islands to explore, rake-and-scrape music are the beats to the Bahamian quadrille. Performed by mixed couples, the dance style involves energetic movements and foot stomping in a square or rectangle formation. The annual Cat Island Rake and Scrape Festival is one of the best places to witness this uplifting style of dance paired with loud, live music.
4. Discover Bélé in Trinidad and Tobago
A bélé is a Creole folk dance accompanied by a drum, triangle and maracas. A combination of traditional African moves and Caribbean traits, it is performed most commonly during full moon evenings. One of the best places to witness this colorful dance is the Tobago Heritage Festival. The annual event sees communities present local traditions of dance, drama, storytelling and food.