Ever since I was little, I have always loved to dance. When I was a teenager I danced especially Standard, Hip Hop and Jazz. When I finally knew that I will go to Ecuador, I was willing to learn the Ecuadorian dances and traditional music. The dances range from dances with West-African and European roots to native dances which are found in the deep Amazonas.
Today, the “Pasillo” is one of the best known Ecuadorian dances which has its origin from the classical Vienna waltz. The style of the “Pasillo” music represents as well the national music genre. However, next to the folk dances of “Pasillo”, Pascalle and Yarabi, there are many locations with exciting and multifaceted discotheques. It is impossible NOT to dance in one of the many bars and discos with Merengue or Reggae tone (which is a combination of hip-hop and Jamaican Reggae). Next to it, Salsa and Bachata, my personal favorite dances, bring a lot of fun and are found in every bar in Quito!
Right from the beginning, I was impressed by the Ecuadorian dances, the different styles and the passion for dancing. I have the feeling that (without an exception) everyone in Ecuador knows how to dance or plays the guitar, much less their rhythm feeling. Motivated and determined, I decided to get to know this wonderful culture even better with dancing lessons. I choose the partner dances Bachata and Salsa which counts as one of the most erotic dances in Latin America. Close contact to the partner is standard and a part of the culture, which other cultures (for instance, me in relation to European culture) firstly need to attempt and accept. The genre of Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic and consists of many variations of guitar types as it is typical in the Latin American dances. One famous Bachata Band is “Aventura” who modernized the traditional themes and sounds with own tenors and contents along with some modern US-American music elements. I signed in at the dancing school “Enlaz Arte” in Quito and was lucky to have a “real” Latino as a dancing instructor. We learned incredibly much: a sense of rhythm, the right facial expression while dancing, great choreographies and especially the passion for Bachata! With the time the dancing steps got more difficult, the music got faster and the turns got more expanded. All in all, I had a lot of fun and I am really happy that I accepted this challenge!
Ecuadorians love to dance! It doesn’t matter where they are: whether on parties, in public parks, at sport facilities or in the own living room – just everywhere where music is played! It is a big part of the Ecuadorean culture which you can also get to know if you are here. Just listen to the music and move to the cadence … the rest just happens! I certainly can recommend dancing classes for everyone who stays a little bit longer in Quito. It is an unique experience and afterwards you take a “part” of the Ecuadorian culture to your home.
In the meantime, I’m already seeking for a dancing challenge then there are so many other wonderful (classical) dances which can be explored in this beautiful country!