These are essentially divided into two categories:
- The authentic, traditional dances that fall lately into the domain of the folkloric, many of these dances vary from region-to-region, and generally involve a rhythmic character as opposed to a set of choreographic distinctions.
- The standardized expression of popular Latin dances embraced by cultures other than Hispanic, such as the Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Bolero, Mambo and Paso Doble. These dances are danced both on a social and competitive level.
The choreography of Latin America dances varies greatly according to region and time. However, it is possible to indicate the principal types of choreographic figures described in such terms as amorous dances, in which the partners hold each other closely, handkerchief dances, in which the partners dancing apart from each other wave handkerchiefs, and so on.
Ten principal may thus be established: they are:
- Amorous dances such as Rumba, Merengue, Tango, and Milonga.
- Handkerchief dances, such as Bailecito, Marinera, Sanjuanito and Zamacueca.
- Finger snapping dances: Gato, Chacarera, Jarana.
- Street dances: Choros, Guajira, Guaracha.
- Pursuit dances: Fimeza, Escondido, Bambuco, Jarabe.
- Square dances: Perican, Punto, Mejorana.
- Rustic dances: Ranchera, Pasillo, Joropo.
- Ritual dances: Jongo, Macumba.
- Carnival dances: Samba, Conga.
- Topical ballads: Corrido, Zandunga, Calypso.