Last week I told you that the guys 25 years ago used to slide on the floor and put candle wax on the floor while today people are trying to reach the ceiling while jumping up. I also said that 25 years ago people liked a lot of lights in the dance hall while today everyone likes it dark. Now have you wondered what were the dance styles and kind of dances that were popular 25 years ago?
The most popular kind of dance in the 50’s all the way up to the 70’s was the “Bolero”. These were romantic Spanish ballads. Couples loved these songs as they were danced cheek to cheek (de cachetitas) and you could cuddle the young lady in your arms or hold her hands with the left arm and placed your right hand around her waist or back. During the “bolero” you could whisper in the girl’s ears and during these precious moments many boys declared their love to their dream girl. Can’t believe boys and girls walk out of the dance hall when a “bolero” is played today. What a waste!
A popular dance was “El Merengue”. This was faster than salsa and danced individually, but you could move and swing the young lady from hand to hand. Then of course, there was the waltz, which had to be played at every dance at least 3 or 4 selections. “Cumbias” was very popular in the 1960’s and it was a very lively dance sort of like salsa. Also popular was the “Mambo” made famous by the renowned group Perez Prado. Then there were the “Corridas”, which were sort of like the polka dance.
From the Caribbean region came the reggae as well, which by the way, has survived up until today. Can’t recall dances of the past without remembering the popular “Cha, Cha, Cha”. This had a lot of swing and movement. Have you heard of the “Ska”, which also comes from Jamaica? That was popular even before the reggae. Then came out Chubby Checker who internationalized the “twist”, which arrived in San Pedro somewhere in the 70’s. The “Danzon”, which originated in South America, had been in San Pedro from the 1940’s all the way into the 1960’s and was intermixed with the bolero. The “danzon” had a lot more fast movements than the bolero.
All in all, folks 25 years ago had the choice to hug right up during a dance or dance aerobics style and sweat a little during the dance. Most of the dances used the record player and occasionally a live band. (Another cute story about dancing 25 years ago next week)