IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance & Music
afro-cuban traditions : shows : festival : classes & workshops : lectures & seminars
Rumba & Other Folkloric
Traditional Popular
Fusions / New Styles

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afro-cuban music & dance traditions

IFE-ILE performs and teaches a variety of Afro-cuban music and dance traditions, from the sacred and folkloric to the latest popular fusions.

Yoruba and Orisha Traditions

Most of the sacred dances we perform are from the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, or Regla de Ocha. Santeria is based on the Orisha worship of the traditional religion of the Yoruba people from West Africa, in what is now southwestern Nigeria and eastern Benin.

Yorubas brought their religion to Cuba during slavery. Nearly 1 million Africans from West and Central Africa were captured by Cuba's Spanish colonists and brought to Cuba during the 16th through 19th centuries. As Cuba's plantations expanded in the late 18th and 19th centuries, so did the slave trade. Most enslaved Africans in Cuba were Yoruba, and thus had a significant cultural influence on the Africans of various ethnic backgrounds.

Orisha worship has since spread to Miami and other cities in the U.S. where Afro-Cubans have settled. more


Afro-Cuban music is also influenced by African ethnic groups from the congo and arara region, as well as by the all-male society of the Abakua. more

Rumba & Other Folkloric Dance

Afro-Cuban rumba is based on African rhythms and dance moves but with influences from Spanish Gitano/gypsy flamenco dance and song. Other popular folkloric dances include comparsa and carnaval dance, chancleta and yuka. more

Traditional Popular Dance

In addition to traditional Afro-Cuban folkloric styles, Cuba is also known for its popular traditional dances such as Son, Cha Cha Cha, Danzon and Mambo. more

Fusions/New Styles

The latest craze in Cuba (and Miami) right now is Timba -- a blend of Afro-Cuban folkloric music, jazz and even funk and Hip Hop that makes everyone want to move. IFE-ILE also creates our own fusions of the traditional with modern, jazz and popular dance. more