How to Dance the Puerto Rican Danza

Para versión en Español oprima AQUÍ

There are no special abilities required to be able to dance our Danza correctly. Remember that it was created precisely to substitute the contradanza because it imposed very rigid movements and choreographies on its dancers. The Danza is for the enjoyment of the dancers as a couple, and of those who listen to their beautiful melodies. To dance it correctly you just have to follow these simple directions:

During the introduction, also called "paseo" (which means something like "to walk by") the lady interlaces her left arm with the gentleman's and just walk around the ballroom very elegantly, saluting everyone (so that others can admire the lady's dress and "her beauty"). Usually, ladies use a fan and while walking they move it very graciously. It is said that our grandmothers used a special sign language with the fan to convey different messages to the gentlemen at dances.

At the end of "the paseo" the couple performs a salute, with the gentleman making an almost imperceptible reverence with his head.

So begins the dance: The gentleman holds the lady by her waist with his right hand, and with his left hand in a right angle position holds the lady's right hand. She rests her left hand over his chest (so that she can control the distance between them and push him back if he tries any undesired advance).

Couples move freely, but without almost lifting their feet from the floor. Thighs should not be moved. Every couple moves freely to the rhythm of the music, doing some turns and keeping the rhythm until the end of the music, at which time the gentleman takes the lady back to her chair.

Photos taken by Luciano Quiñones during the0 XXXII National Danza Week (2004) at Casa de España in Old San Juan. The dancers belong to Doña Rafaela Balladares' Danza group and the Dance Group of the Municipality of Ponce. All rights reserved. Their reproduction or use by any means is strictly prohibited without the express written permission from Luciano Quiñones (

Video Clips of couples dancing the Danza

Paseo of the Danza - This video clip show some of the couples participatiing in the Puerto Rican Danza Dancing Contest held in Ponce, P.R. on May 21, 2006. The couples walk during this part and then stop and bow to begin the danceable part of the Danza. To watch it press HERE . (File size = 573 KB - Duration = 20 seconds). The danza introduction you hear is that of composer Luis R. Miranda, Impromptu, played by the Ponce Municipal Band.
Dancing the Danza - In this video clip you can see some of the couples dancing the Danza, in the part after the Paseo or Introduction. To watch it press HERE . (File size = 666 KB - Duration = 10 seconds). You can hear the first part of Luis R. Miranda's Impromptu, played by the Ponce Municipal Band.
Dancing the Danza - Similar to the previous one but longer. To watch it press HERE . (File size = 488 KB - Duration = 26 seconds). You can hear the first part of Juan Morel Campos' "Laura y Georgina", played by the Ponce Municipal Band, conducted by Prof. Rubén Colón Tarrats.
To watch a small video clip of a couple dancing a Danza please press HERE . The dancers are Prof. Luis Osvaldo Rivera and Mrs. Beatriz Rivera, from the Community Cultural Project of the Cultural Development Office in Ponce, PR. Tel. (787) 284-4141 Ext. 2245 - Mrs. Lucy Echevarría - Coordinator.
Please, wait for the file to download as it is 1 MB long.

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