There’s no denying that Latin dances are fun, creative and overall hot. But the real question is, how hot are they? From spinning and twirling, to basically being glued hip to hip, all movements (and how close each body movement is...wink wink) should be considered to correctly pair them with their proper chili pepper--but you also have to consider the role of the chili pepper in food to see how hot Latin dances can truly be. Let's heat things up:

1. Banda: Tabasco Pepper

Banda is the type of dance you see going on when everyone is drunk and that will bring everyone to the dance floor. It is a fun dance that involves a lot of hopping (seriously, you need to prepare your calves). It’s just like the tabasco pepper. You know how you’ll put Tabasco sauce on chips, beer and basically anything when you’re tipsy? Yeah. Both this dance and this chili pepper will get you feeling like you can be everywhere at the same time.

2. Cumbia: Chipotle

Coming from Colombia, cumbia is variation of the style of the folk-dance music. Similar to banda, it includes a lot of footwork, but in steps of four. It’s the type of song that your mom will make you dance with her or your tia. The chili chipotle is also something that your mom likely put in every food, and then she'll have you try the guisado to see if it tastes good. See the connection here? 

3. Cha-Cha: Banana Pepper

The cha-cha (no, not the slide) includes a total of ten, compact steps. It's a really fun dance that will keep you smiling throughout the whole thing. What pepper does that? The banana pepper! Its sweet and slightly spicy personality makes a boring sandwich, burger or pizza a lot more upbeat. The spice isn't overwhelming and neither is the sweetness--just like the cha-cha! It balances the hot hip movements with the sweet turns so the heat won't rise--too much, that is.

5. Merengue: Red Pepper

sweet, relish, coffee, cereal
Demi Chang

Merengue seems as if it includes simple steps, but it’s all about the hips and turns--just like how the red pepper is all about taste. A little bit of pepper and a little bit of hip go a long way. And you know when people think of Latin dancing, they may say something like, “Oh! Salsa, merengue, and all that"? The merengue is essentially the second best dance to Latin music (salsa arguably being the first), which makes it the red chili pepper. If jalapeños aren't available, you may look for red pepper flakes to try to get a similar kick of heat. 

6. Tango: Cayenne Pepper

hot pepper, chili pepper, jalapeno, pepperoni, cayenne pepper, salsa, vegetable, pepper, cayenne, chili
Dana Gross

Tango is a special kind of dance. It’s not really seen or heard on the radio, at parties or at clubs, but it is bound to give you chills when you see it. The swift and sharp movements make you feel a lot of different emotions. The cayenne pepper is most closely related to it for these reasons: it takes lots of practice to get it right in recipes, and you want it spicy enough to give you enough thrill without making it sloppy. 

7. Bachata: Bell Pepper

sweet pepper, chili, vegetable, pepper
Torey Walsh

Bachata includes four steps, with the fourth being a pause where you bring up the hip (or heat). It is also the leader’s job to make the follower look good. That being said, it would definitely be the bell pepper. Often, the bell pepper is used as decor on a dish--but you gotta know how to do it right. And if you're really pro, you can find ways to make it pretty spicy. So, bachata can bring the heat if you got yourself a good leader!

8. Kizomba: Habanero Pepper

The passion behind kizomba really has to be there to be danced right. In a matter of three steps, you’re basically glued hip to hip throughout the entire dance. Essentially, the heat is always there, just like the habanero pepper. You take one bite into it and you’re likely to feel a burning sensation that will immediately want you to cool down, even after it is already out of your mouth. If you dance kizomba, there’s no doubt you’ll want to cool down right after too!

9. Salsa: Jalapeño

chili, pepper, jalapeno, vegetable, green pepper
Spoon University

If salsa could be salsa, it would be. But alas, it cannot. Much like the jalapeño, salsa dancing can be medium, mild, or straight up hot. Both are considered the “go-to” in their individual categories and salsa is ultimately what most people think of first when they think of Latin dancing. For example, you will also hear salsa at almost every Latin party, and it’s pretty much the dominant dance in many Latin-themed nights at clubs. In the same way, you will usually see a jalapeño be the main complementary food to many Latin dishes. You honestly can’t go wrong with providing either to the crowd! 

Whether the dance brings the crowd together or if the chili pepper is merely used to make a food look pretty, one thing is for sure: comparing the two reveals a lot about the other. Needless to say, both the dances and the chili peppers will spice things up in their own way.