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Casino dancing, a genre where dancers worry less about “el que diran” [what people will say] and instead focus on having fun, has its roots in the Danzón , son and Afro-Cuban dances such as the Guaguanco, Mambo and Cha-Cha-Cha. Rueda de Casino [literally Wheel of the Dance Hall] started in Cuba in the mid-20th century and is credited for the variations often seen danced in Miami and other parts of the world. While some of the moves performed by casino dancers are graceful and intricate, many are invented simply to make the dance more fun.

The music of Cuba is largely based on its cultural origins in Europe and Africa. The arrival on the island of thousands of African slaves over the course of three hundred years created a wealth of new musical forms. Deeply rooted in African rhythms, the country’s distinctive music owes its melodic power to its Spanish colonial heritage. The lively, energetic Cuban sound has profoundly influenced musical styles throughout the world, an impact that continues to this day. Distinct dance forms, related to specific types of music, over time have cross-pollinated, evolving into new styles of expression.