From Daddy Yankee to Shakira to Ricky: 10 Essential Latin Dance Songs

Shakira and Wyclef Jean.

Shakira and Wyclef Jean.

Daddy Yankee is the latest Latin star to top Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart with a dance track. And by “dance,” we don’t mean EDM, but a song conceived specifically to be danced to.

“Shaky Shaky,” written almost on a whim, is all about -- of course -- shaking it, and the track’s popularity began not in radio or video, but with Yankee asking fans on to submit their own choreography to the tune. 

As Yankee enters his second week on top, here are nine other Latin dance tracks we’ve enjoyed shimmying to, in no particular order. 

Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie"

True, it’s hard (make that impossible) to move those hips like Shakira, but we still love to try! “Hips” was a major chart hit, spending eight weeks at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs in 2006.

Ricky Martin, "Livin' La Vida Loca"

Ricky’s hips don’t lie either. From its opening riff, this is an irresistible invitation to dance. “Livin” not only made Ricky Martin the poster boy for the Latin “crossover" explosion, it also spent nine weeks at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs in 1999. 

Las Ketchup, “Aserejé”

This one-hit wonder track still makes us smile. Riffing off Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” (the entire nonsensical chorus is meant to be s Spanish-speaker’s interpretation of the track) and featuring an easy to learn choreography, this global hit for Las Ketchup spent four weeks at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs in 2002.

Kaoma, "Lambada"

This sultry, accordion-based track by Brazilian group Kaoma not only inspired Jennifer Lopez’s “On The Floor” two decades later, it became a Latin American dance craze that topped the Hot Latin Songs chart for a week in 1990. Not to mention the song's adorable video, featuring the cutest kids ever. Which leads us right into our next hit...

Don Omar, "Taboo"

The little blonde girl from the “Lambada” video? She reappears all grown up as Don Omar’s love interest in “Taboo,” his remake of  “Lambada.” The fast-paced reprise also hit No. 1 on the chart in 2011.

Elvis Crespo, "Suavemente"

How long-lasting is Elvis Crespo’s impact on our collective dance-floor consciousness? One only need look at Deorro’s current dance hit, “Bailar,” to get an idea. But it all began with “Suavemente,” the song that took merengue global. Not only did it go to No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs in 1998, it also entered the Hot 100, a rarity for a Spanish-language track.

Deorro feat. Elvis Crespo, "Bailar"

And while on the subject of reprises, how about that incredibly catchy “Bailar,” which even has Barbie dolls dancing to it in its Target TV spot this year? True, it’s not a real reprise of “Suavemente,” but that solo Elvis opener takes us back in time, and out to the dance floor. 

Los Del Rio, "Macarena"

It was the longest climb ever to No. 1 in the history of the chart, but by the time “Macarena” reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 on August 1996, we were all dancing to it. “The song was done in an hour, exactly as it is now,” Antonio Monge, one half of Los Del Río, told Billboard.  

Enrique Iglesias feat. Gente De Zona and Descemer Bueno, "Bailando"

How do you explain the longest-running song ever on Billboard’s Hot Latin Song chart? By dancing of course. Back in 2014, the video’s visual mash-up of flamenco and hip hop had us hooked at first sight. 


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