International Latin is comprised of five dances: Cha Cha, Samba, International Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive.
Often referred to as “Latin” or “Latin American”, International Latin is unique in its use of straight legs and balletic lines. Newcomers to Latin should be warned against thinking of International Latin as “authentic Latin dancing”. Latin as danced today has evolved since its introduction into the ballroom dancing world. Samba, for instance, looks nothing like its festive counterpart danced today in the streets of Brazil. And while one can see a bit of Swing in the foundation of Jive, this one American dance has very little relation to its cousins in the Swing styles.
Latin is based in large part on long leg lines and takes a tremendous amount of strength and expertise to be danced at a high level. Latin must be sexy, yet sophisticated, evoking images of characters such as Jessica Rabbit and Rita Hayworth.
Latin danced at a social level is undoubtedly freer than Standard or Smooth. Partners are not required to maintain a constant frame, which gives the dancers more ability to play and improvise. Latin is the one of most intense dance styles.