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A style known for its vibrant, expressive rhythms. The Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive, derived from the Latin American countries, form the competitive dances performed internationally around the world today in Dance Sport.


Our History of Latin American Dance

Latin American dancing was first brought to the UK in the 1930s by Pierre Jean Phillipe Zurcher-Margolle (known professionally as ‘Pierre’), but it wasn’t until 1947 that a section of the Ballroom Branch of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing was formed under the name of Latin and American Dancing. The committee, chaired by the renowned Pierre, created the first Latin American syllabus consisting of Cuban Ballroom Rumba, Brazilian Samba, Spanish Paso Doble and American Swing (Jive). All of these dances were based on the national rhythms of the countries in which they originated.

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Alternative Rhythms

Salsa dance has many influences including both African and Hispanic origins, and many styles such as LA, New York and Cuban Salsa. It is a partner dance. Salsa is recognised for its expressive hip movements along with complex rhythms within the footwork and fluid turns. The umbrella term ‘Authentic and Emerging Dance' encompasses dance styles that have origins in Social Dance. They are dances that have often been developed alongside particular musical styles such as Salsa and the Argentinean Tango and are mainly danced in pairs in social settings. Authentic and Emerging Dance is improvised and constantly evolving, although each style has its own unique technique.


Latin American exams and qualifications

Our Latin American exams and Medal Tests are recognised internationally for their quality and excellence.

About our exams


Events and activities

For medallists who enjoy the thrill of competing against others of their grade, the Society runs three major competitions a year, plus smaller regional events. Latin American Dance is a wonderful way of making friends, keeping fit and enjoying a social evening in the friendly atmosphere of your local dance studio.


Buy Latin American learning materials from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing shop, including DanceSport Congress DVDs and syllabus books.



Latin American Faculty Committee

Our Faculty Committees are the vital link between the members of the Society and the staff and trustees and provide a two-way channel for communication and consultation with the wider membership body.

Meet the Team