Costa Rican Dance

When you travel to Costa Rica, exploring the country and immersing yourself in the culture is paramount. One important aspect of the culture is dance. Children are taught from a young age the dance steps for many of the common and traditional dances. Modern options are available in the discos, but traditional dances play a big part in Costa Rican life.
 
There are four major kinds of dance in Costa Rica:

     

  1. Salsa. Salsa dance was popularized in Cuba. It consists of quick steps and sensual movements all to a fast beat. The rhythm is a three-step that is danced over a four beat measure. The man leads in this dance, completing spins and complicated steps.
  2. Merengue. Merengue is one of the most popular types of music to which to dance. Fast footwork and swaying hips make this dance with a two-step beat look amazing. It is a tight dance, with couples sticking in a tight circle, while the man leads.
  3. Cumbia. Cumbia dance takes on a more tropical beat. Originating from Columbia, this dance has a 4/4 rhythm made up of mostly drums and percussion. However, Costa Ricans have made this dance their own with fancy footwork and hopping moves borrowed from jive and swing style dance.
  4. Folk Dance. Traditional folkloric dances are popular at festivals and parades. Each dance tells a different story with complex dance steps and colorful costumes. The Punto Guanacasteco is one of the most popular dances of this type in Costa Rica.