What is the Bolero? The Bolero is a beautifully expressive dance that blends the sensuous hips of Rumba with the elegant rise and fall of the Waltz. Bolero is just one of the dances that elicits the feeling of love and romance in both the music and the dance. Interestingly, while the dance is an American style dance, it originates from both Spain and Cuba with their versions being slightly different.
Although the origins of the Spanish Bolero are a little vague, Sebastian Cereza is credited for creating the dance around 1780 as a popular dance that was blended with classical ballet. There is an air of drama with this Spanish version of the Bolero which the Cuban version does not have, and despite their differences, both focus on the topic of love. The Cuban Bolero emerged in the 19th century and is thought to have began from the trova musical tradition, a popular style using romantic singing and a guitar typically. Jose ‘Pepe’ Sanchez, a trova artist, is believed to have written the first Bolero around 1885.
The Bolero was introduced to the US in the mid 1930s, danced as a classical form and performed to the constant beat of the drums. For many years, it was only taught and danced to gold level students or higher, partially cause along with the Viennese Walts and Paso Doble, it wasn’t as popularly requested. During the 70’s and 80’s these three dances were in much larger competitions which resulted in the inclusion in the Bronze syllabus.
In a competition, it is one of the five major rhythm dances in American style alongside Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing and Mambo. The Bolero is one of the most expressive dances with the use of the arms, hands, legs, feet and facial expression to contribute to this dances’ beauty. The body will rise and fall and stretch, all very gracefully and filled with a passion. Ready to learn more about this dance?
Starting THIS month, our dance of the month is Bolero! Give us a call at Ridgefield Fred Astaire Dance Studio or stop in Thursdays at 8:15 pm to learn this exciting new dance!