How to dance reggaeton with a girl

Reggaeton Dirty Dancing and Women Liberation: a Contradiction? | Analysis

If you are one of the many who still believes that reggaeton is one of the most misogynistic music genres ever invented, you may be surprised to learn that LGBT collectives organizing their own reggaeton parties are multiplying across the Latin continent.

Before entering the venue for the 'perreo intenso' party in the historic center of Quito, Ecuador's capital —perreo being the name of reggaeton's dirty dancing style— you're first asked to read a poetic statement affirming you're an ally in the struggle against patriarchy.

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The colonial building has been hosting the series of reggaeton raves "Sin Verguenza" over the past few months. It may well be the only real safe space for LGBT people in town to dance without fear of insult or assault, as Ecuador is one of Latin America's most conservative countries when it comes to gender issues.

The Sin Verguenza is no exception on the continent: from Mexico City's 'Mami Slut' parties to emerging queer collectives such as Hiedrah Club de Baile in Buenos Aires, Argentina, women and LGBT communities have been proudly reclaiming 'perreo' dancing as part of their sexual emancipation from patriarchal values. Often, they just dance it without overthinking it — and, most important of all, without asking your opinion.

The SinVerguenza party collective was founded by the DJ-activists 5urdeamerica and j0ya.

Photo: Courtesy of Camila Carillo

Now might be the time to have a proper conversation about the feminist meanings of El Perreo, although women have actually been involved in reggaeton since the early days of the genre.

Reggaeton Doesn't Begin With 'Despacito'

Let's take a closer look at the reasons that have historically given reggaeton its reputation for being more misogynistic than most other genres, and at the people behind its so-called 'feminist' critique.

With the whitewashing of the genre that started more than a decade ago — when the music industry preferred a Daddy Yankee over a Tego Calderon for instance — it's more important than ever to recall that reggaeton came from people of color living in the marginalized suburbs of Panama, Puerto Rico and New York, who created their own Spanish interpretation of dancehall's dembow riddim in the early 1990s.

When reggaeton's contagious beat spread beyond the working class, conservative elites immediately mobilized against the 'vulgarity' of the genre in the name of women's dignity.

For instance, in Puerto Rico in the mid-1990s, conservative Governor Pedro Rossello led a 'tough hand on crime' campaign in poor neighborhoods against young, non-white men viewed as criminals, including reggaeton singers and fans.

Anti-reggaeton campaigns also came from women supporting conservative views on their gender, or a white feminism typically denying the realities of working-class women of color. In the early 2000s, conservative Catholic Senator Velda Gonzalez led the Anti-Pornography Campaign in Puerto Rico, with police raiding music stores, taking reggaeton CDs off the shelves and even arresting people who listened to the music. In Colombia, the Catholic church literally excommunicated reggaeton, claiming it was responsible for early pregnancies.

But reggaeton bans were never able to contain the contagious beat; on the contrary, they likely helped it spread, and politicians soon started to back the music industry that spawned such a lucrative genre.

Sexist or Just Sexual?

This very brief historic contextualization doesn't disregard the misogynistic elements of reggaeton, but calls into question the classist and racist motives of its most vocal critics.

Reggaeton did not invent the objectification of women; it merely reflects the sexism so rife in our societies. It may seem exaggerated, possibly because men from underprivileged backgrounds are trying to reproduce in an inflated way the models power so prevalent in capitalist society: more money, more women.

Frequently, lyrics are less sexist than explicitly sexual, but this so-called vulgarity is a poor excuse for a full ban in the name of women's rights and dignity. The truth is: sex sells.

Bad Feminists or White Feminists?

In a patriarchal society, women are told their value lies in their looks and they must put effort into looking sexy and sexually available; on the other hand, they must not seek attention or sexual intercourse lest they be labeled sluts.

From this perspective, female 'dirty dancing' could be interpreted as a woman internalizing sexist expectations — seeking to please the male gaze through self-objectification, like the 'bellaca' character in reggaeton songs — a woman who does not hide her sexual availability.

Some women self-define as feminists, but admit they indulge in perreo because being feminist in a macho society is hard. Other feminists claim dancing reggaeton is part of an emancipatory move, fighting the conservative side of machismo that represses the expression of women's sexuality.

According to Spanish philosopher Marina Hervas Muñoz, for instance, this is a recurring discourse among European leftist women, including the author of 'Si no puedo perrear, no es mi Revolucion' (If I can't dance reggaeton, this is not my revolution).

"This is a European-centrist interpretation of someone who traveled to Cuba from a very distinct perspective," said Hervaz, whose experience was very different when talking with Cuban women: "Many of them admitted that they danced because 'it's the norm here' or because 'men like it.'"

She concludes that the author of 'Si no puedo perrear' was using the idea of feminist reggaeton so that she could dance without feeling bad about the sexist lyrics.

Hervas has a point: sexual emancipation through reggaeton's dirty dancing does not have the same meaning for white European women as it does for women of color from Latin America, especially those raised with the hypersexualized Latina stereotype.

Feminist empowerment cannot be reduced to an exclusively sex-positive stance. Some women would rather defend their right to refuse the sexualization of their bodies, for instance by wearing a Muslim veil and defining it as a feminist move.

What Reggaetoneras Think

However, besides European women who enjoy dancing reggaeton with more or less convincing feminist arguments, many Latinas have also contributed to the genre by reclaiming agency over their bodies and sexuality — such as Puerto Rican reggaeton legends Ivy Queen 'La Diva' and Lisa M.

"I want to dance, you want to sweat and to move closer to me, to rub my body — and I'm telling you: you may arouse me, this does not mean that I will go to bed with you," sings Ivy Queen in her 2003 hit 'Yo Quiero Bailar. '

Although women can internalize gender stereotypes and even contribute to reproducing them, criticizing any sex-positive stance as self-objectification to please the male gaze largely underestimates the empowering potential of perreo dancing.

And what better way to understand the relation between reggaeton and feminism than by asking the opinion of reggaetoneras?

Chilean singer Tomasa del Real, pioneer of what she calls "neo-perreo" — an evolution of reggaeton dembow with electronic-inflected rhythms — was invited last year to Chile's feminist festival, 'Ruidosa,' but does not identify as a feminist because she associates the concept with white feminism.

"When I say that I am not feminist, I mean that my music is not made as a feminist stance," she told teleSUR in a Skype interview. "But maybe I am more feminist than women who call themselves feminists… I received a lot of criticisms from so-called feminists, for instance when I promoted Puma's clothing line, like 'Why would you sell yourself to the system?' But I find it beautiful, especially because they chose me even if I am not thin. Or, for instance, this teacher who asked me to teach women living in rural areas that they should be careful about older lesbians trying to corrupt them."

Defining not as male or female but as "a transvestite born in the right body," del Real defends a world in which women have the right to objectify themselves, while also having the right to objectify men: "A girl dancing in mini short near a swimming pool is okay to me, if you want to be submitted or liberated, it's okay; this is feminism to me. If you feel like being a slut, or asking men for money, just do it."

Del Real's approach to feminism may seem problematic, but it's coming from someone with an underprivileged background where men don't necessarily enjoy better career opportunities and women can use their sexuality to obtain advantages and social status. "I don't see any privilege in being a man: this friend of mine has to work building boats in unbearable heat for a shitty salary and has to stay with this woman just so he can see his child. "

Del Real also evokes girlfriends who trick their partners into having children so they can demand pensions, while defending the right to abortion. As a tattoo artist, the singer believes that being a woman helped her stand out in the profession and gave her more popularity because there was a demand in Chile at the time.

In conclusion, if you are a woman who doesn't like reggaeton, don't participate in the machista game by judging another woman who enjoys dancing it; if you are a woman who likes reggaeton, don't believe that feminist empowerment is only about sex-positivity - women have the right to "sex-negativity" too; if you're a man: no one asked your opinion. But if you already liked reggaeton, dale! 

Women's rights Music Arts & culture Reggaeton South America Caribbean Marina Hervas Muñoz Ivy Queen Tomasa del Real

14 Things That Only Happen at Latin Clubs

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1.  You can probably hear the bachata down the block while waiting to get ID'd.
Which is actually a helpful sign as to whether the DJ is any good. Can't hear the bachata? Don't even bother. 

2. Everyone's dressed up. Sweaty, but dressed up like they're headed to prom. Sparkly micro-minis, sky-high heels, tuxes, the works. What? You have to dress to impress! (And you know that girl awkwardly dancing in the corner in her Zumba workout sweats was totally unprepared.)

3. Once the music starts, it's usually a mix of salsa, bachata, merengue, reggaeton, and the occasional cha cha. As long as they keep the pachanga away, it's all good.

4. The lights are low, but you can tell the ladies brought their A-game eyeliner and hair spray skills.
 The liner is only slightly lighter than what you would spot at a goth concert, and whether loose and curly, or straightened into a ponytail, that hair ain't going anywhere.  

5. You have to dodge the hair whips.
 Once the ladies commence their salsa triple turns, that cute 'do can turn into a weapon.

6. You never wear open-toed shoes. You don't want to see what happens when a salsa heel hits a bare toe. (Answer: There will be literal blood on the dance floor.)

7. The best dancers are the ones who know how to make great use of limited space.
 That couple who thinks they're good, but they're bumping into everyone around them with their sweeping salsa moves? Yeah, they're actually just jerks, and everyone hates them. Even if you're a full-time pro, no one cares if you disregard the general rules of salsa-dancing etiquette and take up the entire dance floor. 

8. At least one person always thinks it's a good idea to try salsa dancing with his or her drink. Don't do it! It's better to sip on the sidelines than to spill a drink on someone else's expensive salsero shoes.  

9. Some guys have no shame in cutting in for a dance.
 Um, rude. Everyone knows that no matter how bad you want to dance with that hot guy or girl you see, if they're dancing with someone else, you wait until the song is over to ask. But if someone tries to cut in, it can scare an inexperienced partner, so prepárate to defend their honor and lay down some dance law and order. (In other words: Tell the cutter to GTFO with that noise.)

10. Some girls will never ask a guy to dance. As a young Latina, you're taught it's inappropriate or forward, and you'll know these bitter dancers by the glares on their faces at the corners of the dance floor by the end of the night. Is there someone you really want to dance with? Sometimes you just have to ask. 

11. Unlike most nights out, you may want to avoid the bar. This is where all the barflies and creepers who (1) can't dance or (2) don't want to dance hang out. Based on a totally scientific Cosmo for Latinas poll (OK, it wasn't scientific at all), it's been determined that these guys (and they're always guys, never women) are three times as likely to step on your foot five times or more during a 15-minute mix than anyone else in the club, and they'll try to ask you for your number while they do it.  You've been warned. 

12. And then there's the over-eager basic beginner.
 He or she will ask everyone to the dance floor, and anyone who does accept will immediately regret it as the newbie proceeds to repeat the basic step for the rest of the song. Offbeat. 

13. But you also have to watch out for that nightmare partner who asks you to dance when what he or she really wants is to show off. This person is not in need of a partner so much as an audience, and if you wanted to watch the show, you would have stayed on the couch with your girls instead of getting out on the dance floor. Bye, selfish dancer. 

14. "Salsa eyes" are totally a thing. Remember in Bring It On when 
the characters describe "cheer sex" as a super-long stare between the cheerleader and viewer? Well, "salsa eyes" are basically the exact same thing that serves as a sort of invitation to dance, and it's very awkward when you mistake salsa eyes intended for someone else as an invitation for you. #Whoops #SalseraProblems.

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Reggaeton | Ritmo Dance - Dance school for adults and children

Do you want to make a positive change? To do dancing:

- your body has acquired a cat's grace and plasticity;

- you have become much more self-confident and liberated;

- at any party, in a club and at a disco they were in the center of attention;

- you enjoyed every lesson;

- to have an excellent figure and constantly keep the body in good shape?

If you answered YES to at least one question, then Reggaeton is for you.

You can treat it differently. You can be a little wary because of overt sexuality and excessive frankness. Other people cannot live without this incendiary dance! But we can definitely say that it is impossible to treat him indifferently.

Why does reggaeton find such opposite responses?

Reggaeton dance is a hallmark of Latin American countries, in particular Puerto Rico. As soon as it is not called: both raggaeton, and reggaeton, and, perhaps, the most common variant - reggaeton. There is no mistake here, as there are several ways of writing: in English - reggaeton, in Spanish - regueton or reggaeton.

This dance direction originated primarily under the influence of reggae, dancehall and rap. Dance connects with hip-hop a certain protest, audacity and courage, the desire for liberation, expressed in movements. But, although reggaeton is similar in places to hip-hop, its rhythm is significantly different from the latter, it is difficult not to feel Latin American roots in it, so it harmoniously and easily overlaps with the rhythms of salsa, bachata, merengue and other similar trends.

  • Reggaeton is a groovy rhythm, unbridled drive and a wonderful mood, and in addition to this - a seductive toned body.
  • Reggaeton is real hot and sexy dirty dancing. This is the choice of those for whom it is important to be completely liberated in the dance, to become even brighter and more attractive.

The main movements characteristic of reggaeton are all kinds of shaking, rotation of the hips, chest, booty. This action looks ... mmm ... very sexy and bewitching. Not a single man can remain indifferent to such seductive movements!) And reggaeton is even brighter when performed by the stronger sex!

There are several types of dance. You can perform it both solo - there is latin, and elements of hip-hop, dancehall, strip plastics, and together with a partner - these are interesting turns, supports, the ability to instantly feel a partner! Another variety - perreo - the most discussed, hot and frank "doggy style". The main thing in it is the maximum free movement, corresponding to the tempo of the music and the rigid style of the dance. The whole body moves freely through skill, imagination and emotion. Forget about the rules and any restrictions. Only music, rhythm, passion and boundless movement!

Reggaeton is danced at any age. In the classroom, teachers pay a lot of attention to plasticity, flexibility, stretching. The main thing in dancing is to feel the rhythm (which you will definitely be taught already in the first lessons). Even if you have never had to dance before, in just a few classes at our studio school, you will be able to surprise all your friends with this daring dance!

Separately, it should be noted that regular practice of this dance brings great benefits to a person’s well-being and positively affects his form:

  • Modeling the ideal figure. With each lesson, you will get an increasingly feminine figure, without extra centimeters and kilograms. Numerous "shaking" of the sirloin parts of the body will be the best assistant in the fight for the beauty of your buttocks and thighs, you will get elastic and smooth skin without a hint of cellulite.
  • General physical activity. Even though it is not necessary to do leg presses or lift barbells, however, in reggaeton classes, all muscle groups are involved in a grandiose work.
  • Breathing exercises. In reggaeton, any movement is aerobic (associated with breathing), which makes it easy to saturate the blood and internal organs with oxygen. Such gymnastics brings tangible benefits, both to the whole organism as a whole, and to the respiratory organs in particular.
  • Strengthening of the back muscles, plasticity and flexibility, joint mobility. Strengthening the muscles of the lumbar and back will be an obligatory result of training due to the fact that all parts of the spine are involved in the dance. The gait becomes easier, and the posture is nobler.
  • Increased libido. This statement can be easily explained, because, as we all know: “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. Surely psychologists would have found other explanations for this phenomenon, but the fact remains.
  • Women's health. Frequent shaking of the hips, rotation of the pelvis, the work of many other muscles of the body . .. is a unique massage to maintain the health of the internal organs of the abdomen. By moving in the dance, you increase blood circulation, which has a particularly beneficial effect on the female body in general and on the pelvic organs in particular. Slags leave the body, and, as a result, inflammatory processes in the appendages pass, and even, no matter how incredible it may sound, cysts cease to form, fibroids resolve. And after six months or a year of dancing, women are no longer bothered by menstrual pain, because of which they had to sit on painkillers before. In addition, in reggaeton there is a load on the muscles, which, as a rule, remain unused, but are necessary for every representative of the fair sex for her main natural task - bearing and giving birth to children. For those girls who do not yet have a child, dancing is a wonderful preparation for future childbirth. And, what is very important, dance movements help to quickly and effectively restore a beautiful shape to a woman after childbirth. In addition, the skin becomes very elastic, and does not stretch to scars during pregnancy, and after childbirth it quickly returns to normal.
  • Only positive emotions!!! Dynamic music and energetic rhythms help to breathe properly, which has a beneficial effect on the pleasure centers and provokes the release of endorphins, which are responsible for improving mood.

Come and see the listed advantages reggaeton for yourself!



Lose weight fun with the help of dance Reggaeton

Reggaeton is a style of dance that is the calling card of Latina. Freedom, sexuality, frankness - this is a brief description of the dance direction. It is danced by both girls and boys, solo or in pairs. Do you want to express yourself sexually and liberate yourself? Start mastering this mesmerizing and terrifyingly simple dance. Despite the youth of the dance, it has gained great popularity all over the world. In addition, it is classified as a dance fitness direction because of the ability to form a figure in the shortest possible time and keep fit without much effort.

The name is formed from two parts: el ton (tone) is the name of rap in Colón (Panama), reggae is a musical direction formed in the 1960s. Reggaeton influenced the formation of a new dance style - twerk (popping) thanks to moombaton (Dutch house).


Reggaeton first appeared in Puerto Rico and Panama as a musical trend, and since the early 90s. of the last century has already been formed as a dance. Neither censorship nor bans in different countries of the world prevented popularization around the world, especially in Cuba and Latin America.

They dance to a mostly Spanish-language rap about love and sex. This is an incendiary and hot dance with elements of hip-hop, twerk, latin, jazz, strip-dance. Perform both in pairs and solo .

Benefits for the figure

Almost all muscle groups are involved: when shaking, the hips, buttocks and stomach go, and the waves - the chest and body. Dance also helps to form the correct posture, develop endurance, increase self-confidence. You will become more sexual and open, get rid of complexes.

Tips for beginners

Today, there are several styles that differ slightly in execution: Panamanian, Puerto Rican, Cuban and American. If you want to learn more about the basics and rules for choosing choreography for beginners, read this article.

Moral training

Dance movements require sensuality and sexuality. Therefore, in order to perform the dance correctly, relax and let your emotions run free.

Learn more