Afro-Cuban Dance


Our Afro-Cuban classes are intended to introduce dancers to new, rarely seen forms of Afro-Cuban dance and provide them with a new avenue for self-expression. This class consists of a warm-up with a concentration on fundamental movements, body isolation, and sweat-inducing exercises along with movement vocabulary for various dance forms. 

  • Congo/Arara: Its traditions come from the Bantú people of Central Africa (particularly from Congo). The Bantú represent the majority of African slaves coming into Cuba during the 17th and early 18th centuries; Drums and hand rattles are used in this music, which is based upon communication with ancestral spirits, the dead, as opposed to the Orishas. Arará music is characterized by particular percussive styles, including drumming, hand-clapping, and body percussion.
  • Rumba: One of Cuba’s most celebrated forms of music and dance. The genre is energetic and soulful, using conga drums, claves, maracas, scrapers, and bells. When you listen to rumba, you can’t help but start to dance! *Cuban rumba is not the same as American ballroom rumba (or rhumba) but inspired the popular ballroom dance category.
  • Son Cubano: Son is the predominant musical force in Cuba and the symbol of the island. It has been most popular dance before the Cuban Revolution (1959).
  • Yoruba: Most movement in the Afro-Cuban dance tradition comes out of the African religion known as Yoruba. In this, touching while dancing is rare except in special circumstances.

Are you ready to sweat?

Drop-Ins are available. Call 312-427-2572.
If you want to take 4 or more classes per week ➤ Get Unlimited Pass

Instructor Highlight: Edson was born in Cuba and graduated from the highly regarded Escuela Nacional de Arte in Dance in 2005 and got trained at the National School of Art in Havana … Scroll down to read more about the instructor.

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About Instructor: Edson was born in Cuba and graduated from the highly regarded Escuela Nacional de Arte in Dance in 2005. During this training period at the National School of Art in Havana, he participated in the ITs Festival in the Netherlands under the direction of Feri de Geus and Noortje Bijvoets. Subsequently, he joined the Cuban dance company Ballet Rakatan, dancing as a soloist.

In 2007, he became a member of Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, participating in several international tours to England, Mexico, Hungary, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, and the USA. He has also performed in the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Mercat de Les Flors in Barcelona, Brisbane Festival, Manchester International Festival, The Bydgoszcz Opera Festival, and Virginia Arts Festival. Mr. Cabrera was made Principal Dancer in 2010.

During his tenure with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, he worked with choreographers Rafael Bonachela, Carlos Junior Acosta, George Céspedes, Julio César Iglesias, Juan Kruz Díaz de Garaio Esnaola, Mats Ek, Itzik Galili and Pedro Ruiz, and performed works by Jan Linkens and Kenneth Kvarström.

Additional information

Pick your Rhythm

Afro Cuban: Son Cubano Tornillos, Afro Cuban: Rumba Columbia, Afro Cuban: Yoruba Elegua, Afro Cuban: Congo Arara Makuta Palo, All Four Rhthyms

Class Day/Time

Wed 6:50-10:05pm (5mins break between classes), Wed 6:50-7:35pm, Wed 7:40-8:25pm, Wed 8:30-9:15pm, Wed 9:20-10:05pm

Dates January 29, 2023 to February 26, 2023, February 27, 2023 to March 26, 2023, March 27, 2023 to April 23, 2023, April 24, 2023 to May 21, 2023, May 22, 2023 to June 18, 2023