Colombia’s national team has impressed the world with the celebratory cumbia dance during the World Cup, but anyone who has peered into a sweaty Cali salsa bar or hung out in a public square in Bogota will tell you that Colombia’s best moves happen off the soccer field.
Colombia is known for being the world capital of salsa, but there are plenty of other ways that the country turns up its heels. From street dancing to traditional regional dances to professional salsa, Colombia excels at making complicated steps to the crisp beats of Cumbia or Reggaeton look easy.
Here are some of the best videos displaying the wide range of dance styles that can be found in the South American country.
1. El Baile del Choque
A unique dance style that’s named for the way two partners’ bodies “crash” or “bump” into each other, this video showcases the lighthearted and young feel of this city dance.
2. Typical dances from Colombia’s Five Regions
This video serves as a crash course in the sheer diversity of Colombian traditional dances, from the colorful Caribbean performers to the slow and meticulous dancers from the Andes.
3. Salsa World Games 2013 (Cali, Colombia)
Colombia is the reigning queen of salsa, and the dance from Cali is one of the hardest styles to master. With its fast pace and intricate detail, we’ll leave the rest to the professionals. The pair in this video, Colombians Jefferson Benjuemea and Adriana Avila, won the World Salsa Championships in the Dancesport division in 2013 with this dance.
4. Barranquilla Carnival Festival – Cumbia
Baranquilla’s Carnival is one of the city’s most important folkloric celebrations, highlighted by the performances of Cumbia dance. This dance depicts a courting scene between the male and female partners, and represents an intricate mix of the different racial, social, and cultural components of Colombia’s Caribbean coast.
5. Bullerengue (Puerto Escondido)
Bullerengue is not only a dance style, incorporating vocals and drums into a multi-medium performance. A traditional style descended from Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Bullerengue has grown in popularity among international audiences due to its colorful performance and lively spirit.