The bolero began as a dance form in the late 1700s, to go along with the new Spanish romantic ballads of the day. The boleros we dance today have more in common with a form developed in Cuba a century later, but the themes of love and romantic longing remained essential. The bolero is a wonderful hybrid of different dances. It uses a slowed down rumba rhythm, has the rise and fall of the waltz, and the contra-body motion of the tango. This makes it a favorite of professionals, who can use this broad palette to create the slow, sensual, romantic dance so many love.