RakaTa, Melbourne | Cuban Salsa, Rueda de Casino & Reggaeton Dance Classes & Performances

Dance Styles


Reggaeton is an urban Latin dance, which has its roots in Latin and Caribbean dance styles. The music originated as a blend of Spanish Reggae or Reggae en Español in Panama and Latin Hip Hop in Puerto Rico.  It was in Puerto Rico in the late 1990's that it was given the name Reggaeton and the genre was shaped, commericalised and introduced into mainstream culture.

While it takes influences from Hip Hop and Dancehall, Reggaeton is a dance genre in its own right. Reggaeton has it's specific beat and rhythm known as the Dem Bow. Its dance style, which is danced differently across many Latin American cultures, is always defined by perreo, a style and intention with explicit sexiness in male and female energy.


Casino (Cuban Salsa)

Casino is a form of Salsa that originated in Cuba. The origins of the name Casino comes from the Spanish term for the dancehalls where a lot of social dancing was done in Cuba during the 1950s and onwards.

Casino traces it's origin as a partner dance from Cuban Son dancing, and it's rhythmic body motions and playfulness from Afro Cuban Rumba heritage. Son is considered a predecessor to Salsa and is a beautiful, elegant partner dance. Rumba is a dance of play and seduction and brings sexy styling and body isolations to Casino's makeup. A part of mastering Casino is learning and using elements of Son, Rumba and Afro Cuban dances.

Casino is defined by circular partner position changes as opposed to North American styles (LA Salsa) which have distinctive linear positions. Casino also has a strong open basic step (Guapea) which is not common in linear styles.

Casino includes Suelta which is Cuban Salsa dancing without a partner. It can be done solo, in groups and often during parties as men facing women. Suelta is often incorporated in Casino performances.

Casineros also dance Timba. Timba represents a wider variety of Cuban music styles and influences such as Jazz, Rock and Hip Hop and local folkloric music such as the sacred songs of Santeria. The percussion patterns are not always conventional and this gives the dancer the opportunity for a change in footwork, styling and intention. It's what makes Casino richer in its diversity.