Traditional Dance Steps

March 1, 2017
Japanese dancer with fans

Traditional dances of PanamaPanama, including nearly all its neighbours features a sizable tradition of moving and performing. Panamanians like latin dances such as for instance salsa, merengue or bachata nonetheless they in addition love their particular folklore. Let’s take a look at a few of the most prolonged Panamanian dances.


The Tamborito is, undoubtedly about it, the king of folkloric dances. The term itself suggests “small drum”. It comes down from a mix of Hispanic and African traditional dances. The rhythm is dependent on “Congos”, a folkloric party through the Province of Colon that was introduced by the African slaves inside 16th Century.

The Tamborito is used three small drums, one the high tones, one the low tones and a caja, a different one when it comes to rhythm. With regards to the region, it might include a Spanish electric guitar, a violin and an almirez, a cooking mortar with Arabic origins that is a percussion instrument.

Discover frequently one female lead singer followed by the rest of the females singing in chorus and clapping. The lead singer, cantalante, may sing about life, work, feelings, etc. with respect to the type of tamborito. The remainder ladies will repeat exactly the same chorus over and over repeatedly producing a casino game of question-answer.

Whenever dancing, everyone attempting to engage creates a circle, guys on one side and women on the other side. Taking turns, one man and something girl is certainly going to the center and dance with subdued motions of these sides and tiny measures. They may dancing next to both or face-to-face but never touching, the girl can ask him to come closer and then turn the lady back when he approaches the girl and keep moving across the group.

Whenever another man or woman really wants to go into the group to dancing, among performers leaves. Also, if an individual of those gets tired, they may keep and somebody will take their place. Partners are always formed by one man and something girl.

As an anecdote, some music professionals believe within the 17th century, the Tamborito was popular not only in Panama but also in Spain because it has been represented in certain theatre plays of that time.


Just like the Tamborito, the Cumbia is a mix of Hispanic and African music and dances. It's understood across Panama and, with respect to the region, it may be fully African (played mainly with drums) or totally European (incorporating various other tools). It is not understood when it is made, however it most likely originates from Colonial times. Each area provides an alternative explanation associated with the Cumbia, some including even more Indian movements or rhythms.

The Cumbia is enjoyed even more devices as compared to Tamborito, around 16. The fundamental instrument could be the drum and differing forms of drums are accustomed to maintain the rhythm, along with other percussion tools such as for instance maracas, and a Spanish guitar keep consitently the harmony. Another instruments frequently played would be the rebec, the violin, the accordion, the harmonica, the flute and/or Western concert flute.

In Connection With dance, there's two opportunities, Cumbia suelta and Cumbia amanojá. Cumbia suelta is actually for team dances (they may be up to 40 men and women) in a circle, men dance within the center and ladies outside. Occasionally, women carry a candle in another of their particular fingers. It's danced with little tips that produce a subtle movement of one's hips and, not breaking the circle, as soon as the songs indicates so, they turn around themselves or with each other.

The Cumbia amanojá is danced holding your partner. It is said to possess developed from a version of the Cumbia made for the upper classes in 19th century. It had been adapted from initial Cumbia plus some quite provocative tips, along with the words, had been corrected plus instruments had been included, producing orchestras.

Punto panameño

It's considered to be the absolute most elegant and beautiful dance of the entire Isthmus. Its beginnings are entirely Hispanic which is danced by a couple created by a man and a lady. As a contrast using other conventional styles, it's not played for a whole party but as a break from the other dances, when the dancers can present their skills and encourage everyone to take pleasure from the moment.

The tools useful for playing the Punto are a rebec or a violin, a mejorana (a musical instrument similar to a guitar), a Spanish electric guitar, an accordion and three different types of drums, useful for the rhythm while the melody.

Punto, unlike the tamborito or cumbia has an even more detail by detail choreography and it's also less likely to want to be improvised. It starts aided by the man placing one of his true legs down to a floor and making the lady change him.

A short while later, she'll stand in front side of him, he rises as well as divide from each other maintaining the step while slowly turning around in circles facing both. The step here is peaceful and stylish, with fine techniques of these hands and legs. Whenever songs suggests so, both dancers gather inside center and party near both before melody changes.

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