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Pasodoble, or paso doble, (literal meaning in Spanish: double-step) is a traditional couple's dance from France and straight away adopted by the Spanish community. It is danced to the type of music typically played in bullfights during the bullfighters' entrance to the ring (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. It corresponds to the pasodoble dance (traditional and ballroom).
Famous bullfighters have been honoured with pasodoble tunes named after them. Other tunes have been inspired by patriotic motifs or local characters.
El Piti, El Charro Cárdenas, El 11-81, San Antonio de Triana, Fermincito, Lorenzo Garza, El abuelito, El banderillero, María Caballé, El Berrendito de San Juan, Tarde de toros, Por tapatías, Toros en San Miguel, Rodolfo Gaona, Joselito Huerta, Toros de Llaguno, La Macarenita.
By Agustín Lara: Silverio Pérez, El Novillero, Fermín.
Pasodoble is based on music played at bullfights during the bullfighters' entrance (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. The leader of this dance plays the part of the matador. The follower generally plays the part of the matador's cape, but can also represent the shadow of the matador, as well as the bull or a flamenco dancer in some figures. Its origin dates back to a French military march with the name “Paso Redoble.” This was a fast paced march, which is why this is a fast-paced Latin American dance modeled after the Spanish bull fight. Bull fighting was well-known around this time.
A significant number of Paso Doble songs are variants of España Cañi. The song has breaks in fixed positions in the song (two breaks at syllabus levels,[clarification needed] three breaks and a longer song at Open levels). Traditionally Paso Doble routines are choreographed to match these breaks, as well as the musical phrases. Accordingly, most other ballroom Paso Doble tunes are written with similar breaks (those without are simply avoided in most competitions).
Because of its inherently choreographed tradition, ballroom Paso Doble for the most part is danced only competitively, almost never socially — or at least not without sticking to some sort of previously learned routine. This said, in Spain, France, Vietnam, Colombia, Costa Rica and some parts of Germany it is danced socially as a lead (not choreographed) dance. In Venezuela, Paso Doble is almost a must in weddings and big parties, being especially famous by the song "Guitarra Española" by Los Melódicos.
In competitive dance, modern pasodoble is combined with other four dances (Samba, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba and Jive) under the banner International Latin. It is usually the final performance of ballroom routines. Modern pasodoble dance consists of two dancing parts and one break in between for dancers of class D and of three parts and two breaks in between for dancers of class C, B, A, according to the IDSF classification. Dancers of lower than D-class usually perform only four official dances of Latin-American Program.