The introduction of African slaves into the Caribbean shaped the music and dance forms that would be developed there. The African instruments and traditions are at the foundation of popular Latin music as much as they are with the folklore of the Antilles. As both popular Latin music and Folklore made their way to the United States, a fusion with jazz and soul music provided the catalyst that would point Latin music in the direction we find it today. The popular Latin dances faced similar influences as they reached the United States and are infused with Tap dance, Lindy Hop and other popular trends of the 1940's, 50's and 60's. It is with this understanding that the premise is formed for Afro Latin Funk.
Afro Latin Funk is a concept, not a style of dance per se. It is the answer to the question, "What would Latin dance would be if a disciplined method of training were applied?" It is the potential of the family of dances that correspond to the musical styles that were included in the umbrella term “Música Latina”. This term was later replaced with the word “Salsa” and referred to a group of related rhythms, played with the influences of African American forms of popular music. This group of musical styles included the Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, the 4 types of Cuban Son (Guarjira, Son, Guaracha, Son Montuno), Guaguancó, Pachanga, Bomba and Plena, Jala Jala and Boogaloo. The music made increasingly popular in New York in the 1960's and 70's, called Salsa, included all of these musical concepts and more, each with their own corresponding feeling and physical representation in the form of dance.
Afro Latin funk acknowledges the many dance concepts involved in this rich music and provides a system of training that evolves both the dancer and the dance form itself to ever-greater sophistication and maturity. Because these dance forms are based in either a social construct or Folklore they had not been formalized in terms of training. Afro Latin Funk provides a linear system to this group of dances to evolve them into a sophisticated mode of artistic expression for performance art as well as personal development. Afro Latin funk is not fusion. It does not utilize the specific training and concepts of classical dances. It is founded on the premise that the Afro-Latin dances are complete as they are and that the preservation of culture and essence of the genre are of utmost importance.