The romantic Bolero is the slowest of the latin dances. It combines controlled movement with dramatic expression of the music.


History

The Bolero has the same Afro-Cuban roots as the Rumba and is thought to have originated from Cuban or Spanish folk dances such as the Danzon and Beguine.

Music

The Bolero is usually played in 4/4 time and its tempo is slower that that of the Rumba. While Rumba music is very rhythmical, the lyrical Bolero sounds more like a latin ballad.

There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.
— Edwin Denby

Characteristics

The Bolero has some different characteristics from its Cuban relative the Rumba. Its long sweeping side steps and use of rise and fall create a softness that makes this dance unique among the rhythm dances. The expanding and contracting dance position makes a very dramatic and romantic statement.