Getting Your Dance Moves On – Costa Rican Style

The country of Costa Rica is probably one of the best places you can visit in your lifetime and for a good reason. The immersive culture and beautiful landscapes are just a smidge of what is in store for the enthusiastic traveller. One of the aspects that every person loves about the culture in Costa Rica is the dance. Families teach their young ones the authentic Costa Rican dance moves right from a very young age. Every move and style is a familiar presence at traditional dances and festivities. Several modern movements are part of the Costa style. However, the conventional steps are the ones that are most prevalent in an authentic Costa Rican lifestyle. The costumes, the music, the food, and the alcohol play an essential part in providing the traveller with a wholesome tourist experience in the country.

The four main types of Costa Rican dances are:

1. Salsa

2. Merengue

3. Cumbia, and

4 .Folk


The dance has become so prevalent that it comes with the stamp of Costa Rica on it. Everyone around the world is drawn to the beautiful salsa moves of the dance and enjoy the intimate dance. The dance is trendy in Cuba. As a dance, it consists of quick movements that are coupled with sensual moves that are accompanied to a rapid beat. The dance is danced over four beats, but the music is usually only three beats. Being regarded as a couple’s dance, the man is the one who is the leader in the pair. The salsa dancing man is the one who makes the woman look her best with the right twists and spins at the right times.


The merengue is more of dance music than the dance. However, because of the dance moves that are specific to the music, the dance gets its name too., The footwork is fast, and the dancer sways their hips to the beat. Being one of the fastest dances to perform, this dance is terrific to watch. Yes, this dance is another one that is performed only by couples who form a tight circle with the man taking the lead.


The Cumbia is a very tropical beat that is accompanied by dance. The dance originates from Columbia and has a 4/4 rhythm. Every sense of the music carries a very tropical feel to it especially the drums and the percussion instruments used in performing it. Though the dance originates from Columbia, the Costa Ricans added their flair to it and made it better. They include jive and swing dance moves into the Cumbia making it Costa Rican special.


Most of the traditional dance is performed at festivals and Costa Rican parades. Every folk dance aims to tell stories that have very tough dance moves that are accompanied with it. The colorful costumes and the moves make the dance tradition in every way. The Punto Guanacasteco is a prevalent dance type that comes under the folk category in Costa Rica.