What Effect Can The Conga Dance Have With People?

facts about conga dance
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People around the World adopt different ways to do different things. Every tribe, community, or nation follows its own set of rules which reflect its beliefs and ideas about a particular thing. The basic difference among people in the ways of living is culture like doing the conga dance. Culture itself is a very broad term. When we talk about culture, we also talk about common practices, rituals, and every other aspect of living. Culture is not just a word of old man’s vocabulary.

It also covers the branch of art and entertainment. Just like the usage of a language reflects its status in society, dance, songs, art, and embroidery also reflect a particular culture. When talking about World cultures, it would not be deemed appropriate to not include the African culture. In human history, the African culture has been one of the oldest cultures in the World.

It served as the base for the origination of other various cultures. The African culture has some very distinct features among which the dance practices remain untouched. The African dance is one of its own kind, easily differentiable, and rhythmic. There are several different African dances that people do on different occasions such as weddings, holiday party, birthday party, or any other celebration.

Currently, we will focus on Conga, a special kind of African dance. People usually do it at parties and streets. It is a kind of street dance. The Conga dance wildly attracts the younger audience, especially of African or Cuban descent. Here, we will introduce you to Conga, its origin, its popularity, and the effect it can have on people. Moreover, we will also briefly guide you on how to do the Conga Dance. So, let’s get started.

conga dance
culture of the conga


It is not only languages or cuisines that are different throughout all parts of the World. Different countries and nations also have different dance practices. These dances differentiate from each other on the basis of the dance steps and the occasions on which people perform them.

Each country has its own special kind of dance. For example, Samba is famous in Brazil, China is famous for its Dragon Dance, Russia for the Ballet Dance, and Argentina for Tango. Similarly, Congo is the place of origination of the Congo Dance. Let’s dig in further.

Definition of Conga

Conga is a Latin dance of African-Cuban origin that became popular in Latin America, especially in Cuba. It came along with the slaved Africans. Conga is a dance combination of slave dance forms and the dance that came from the poor Europeans. It is a common belief that Conga originated in the Congo region of the African Descent. Slaves are widely credited for bringing the Conga dance to Cuba. Checkout our latest post here about How To Get A Cuban Birth Certificate!

In the rhythmic tapestry of Cuban cultural evolution throughout the 20th century, the shuffle steps of the conga dance emerged as a vibrant expression of joy and community. Originating as a Cuban carnival dance, the conga evolved into a popular street dance and in the city of Santiago also eventually captured the American dance scene as a novelty line dance dance. Fulgencio Batista’s era witnessed the widespread embrace of conga music, fostering a dance movement that transcended borders.

The conga’s infectious beats became a symbol of unity and celebration, and its influence reached far beyond the streets of Havana. Today, the conga endures as a timeless dance, with famous conga moments captured in royalty-free photos that encapsulate the energy and spirit of this captivating tradition, creating startling photos that echo the vivacity of the dance’s shuffle steps. Examples of conga can be found in various cultural celebrations and events, where people come together to showcase the infectious rhythm and lively movements of this iconic dance.

Origination of the word “Conga”

The word “Conga” constitutes two words, Congo and Cuba. Many people believe both Cuba and the Congo region of Africa to be the place of origination of this dance. Because of opposing beliefs whether this dance originated in Congo or Cuba, it is termed singularly as “Conga” to avoid conflict. Famous Latin music historian Isabelle Leymarie says that conga may have come from a Bantu word meaning both song and tumult.

The Origin of Conga Dance

According to many historians, conga dance originated in Congo, Africa. Some people believe that it originated when the African slaves started dancing while chained together. Another legend tells that the dance came into existence when colonizers brought the captives from the slave ships onto the deck to exercise.

Other people believe that the conga dance was never a slave dance but rather one that came from the dancing and chanting lines that followed the processions of the Virgin Mary during Easter festivities.

Other Names

Sometimes, people also refer it to as the Conga line. Also, Conga initially emerged as a street dance in Cuba, specifically in the city of Santiago. In Cuba, people use another term for conga, which is “Comparsa”.

Music behind the Conga Dance

People usually perform Conga dance with a distinctive Conga drum rhythm in the background. The term conga also refers to a single-headed and narrow drum, usually tall that originated in the country of Cuba. Individuals believe that the original drums constituted of barrels because the present-day drums are staved, just like barrels.

Their shape makes them look different from the African drum. In its native Cuba, people call it Tumbadora or Tumba. These drums are usually played when African-Latin dances are performed.

dance effects on people
effect conga dance people

The drum came to be known as a conga drum in the 1920s when the conga dance was at the height of its popularity in the United States and the Americans began calling it the conga drum.

Conga Dance in Popular Culture

Because of its popularity, there have been numerous conga drum references in popular culture. A large number of cartoons made by Warner Bros. contained references to the conga. Nowadays, popularity and knowledge of the Conga dance have worn out but one may still encounter the occasional conga line at a wedding or party, especially if they are in Cuba.

How to do the Conga?

When Conga dancers perform conga, the conga dance style resembles a march because of the rhythmic expression coming from the conga drum. It is very different from other Latin dances, for example, rumba that uses more hip movements and reflects the performer’s sensually aggressive attitude. It is also referred to as a “mixer” dance because it mixes the crowd at parties and other occasions.

The conga usually consists only of Conga drums and shakers as the instruments. The conga beat is 4/4, with a step on each of the first three beats of the measure and a delayed touch of the foot to either side of the direction in which the line of dancers are going follows it. People perform it in a long and single 13-person conga line, but you can also perform it with a partner.

When do people do the Conga?

The Conga dance is the reflection of independence, happiness, and other positive emotions.

It served as a means for the slaves to celebrate their independence, victory, or success. It also used to be a way for them to express their grievances and frustrations without being blatant about it. The conga has also been used to express protective unity and seriousness.

Is Conga a ritual dance?

No, Conga is not a ritual dance. Unlike ritual dance, it is a casual street dance that most youngsters do. It is very much common in the streets of Cuba in the Caribbean and Congo in Africa. This is a common myth that all of Africa does ritual dances and is indigenous. Though Africa may not be as developed, it still outdoes every other nation in terms of culture. Not all dances of Africa are ritual dances. Ritual dances are only bound to the indigenous tribes and not all of Africa.

What effect can the Conga Dance have on people?

The Conga dance helped in gathering different people from around the world together by the means of entertainment. Although the conga may somewhat look goofy and enjoyable, it was a part of the African slaves’ religion and culture. It helped people especially the African slaves to open up about their emotions. In March 1965, a group of women danced the conga line all night around a gathering of civil rights demonstrators.

Wrap up

As a conclusion to everything that we have stated so far, it is understandable that Conga is the cultural heritage of Congo and Cuba. Just like every other dance, it is also a reflection of emotions (usually happy and positive emotions). Like other cultural practices of the world, it should be valued and not left behind to get flushed away in the ocean of enlightenment.

facts about the conga dance

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