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The Connection Between Casinos and Dance

People typically associate casino with coin slot machines, poker games, roulette tables and dice rolling – but for dancers the term holds much different connotations.

Casino dancing is deeply interwoven with Afro-Cuban dance traditions. Dancers spontaneously draw upon this rich heritage when creating casino dance routines, often using movements, gestures and extended passages from Afro-Cuban dancing in their dance moves.


During the Jazz Age, dance halls known as casinos were built all across America to cater to swing dancers. One such establishment was Fred Swanton’s Casino in Avalon, California which boasted one of the largest circular ballrooms ever constructed in existence at that time.

Swanton’s promotional skills helped the Casino become an immense success and draw thousands of attendees for weekly dance events featuring big bands.

The ballroom’s design was groundbreaking at its time. Instead of stairs, designers chose ramps similar to Wrigley Field that enabled guests to quickly reach their destinations. Furthermore, these ramps were enclosed within towering structures for an imposing aesthetic at Casino Bruges.

As ballroom became more mainstream during the ’80s and ’90s, its cultural relevance broadened. But beyond mere entertainment value, ballroom offers new spaces of freedom and self-expression that may otherwise remain closed off to them.


Casinos provide a venue for gambling and music entertainment. Many feature bands or solo entertainers on weekends; others feature larger acts; famous figures like Elvis Presley performed at numerous Las Vegas casinos prior to his death.

Casinos also encourage their customers to gamble by offering incentives such as cheap buffets and free show tickets – an incentive especially appealing to older Americans, who make up a high proportion of casino visitors.

Modern casinos have evolved into complex business enterprises. Utilizing cutting-edge technology to monitor and oversee gaming activities, such as chips with built-in microcircuitry that track bets minute by minute; electronically monitored roulette wheels to detect statistical deviations quickly; as well as stringent guidelines regarding who they allow into their establishments focusing on high rollers who spend significantly more than average players.


Music in casinos is typically designed to elicit certain responses from their guests. For example, fast tempo dance tracks may be played on the casino floor while calmer jazz music designed for conversation will likely be heard in restaurant and bar areas.

Salsa dancing is one such response to this dilemma, featuring men dancing masculine and feminine body parts differently; women showing more feminine traits through body and muscle isolations. Salsa can be done alone or with others as an ensemble piece with orchestra or singers performing live; it can even take place within a circle known as rueda.

Salsa dance is distinguished by a circular setting and the spontaneous use of rich Afro-Cuban dance traditions, particularly among African descended Cubans who make references improvised from this body of work in an unstructured manner. Salsa therefore serves as an effective vehicle to deliver messages about society whether positive or otherwise.


Atmosphere comes from two Greek nouns – atmos (meaning a pervading mood) and Latin spherae (meaning “sphere, globe, terrestrial or planetary body”) which together define what we today refer to as an atmosphere. At first this term referred to the gaseous envelope surrounding celestial bodies, but later on took on more general meanings including that of “pervading mood” before emerging later as character within a place; mid-1700s atmosphere became used synonymously.

Atmosphere is an essential aspect of casino music, as it helps create a specific mood. Fast tempo tracks tend to be popular on gaming floors while lounge areas, restaurants and bars may prefer more relaxing music for conversation purposes.


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