Peruvian dances

Gladys Ybargüen

Latin America | Dance

Peruvian dance is the result of several  vibrant cultural encounters; Incan, Spanish and African traditions have all combined and this melange has ripened over the centuries. 

The dance is home to this cultural mix and gives class participants that opportunity to experience the thousand-year-old mystique and energy of the Incan culture, the grace and posture of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the captivating rhythms of Africa.

Through careful, clear explanations and a fun group dynamic, students discover the great diversity of the traditional dance repertoire. These dances reflect today’s Peruvian culture and sensibilities.

Peruvian dance is divided into two wider categories:

  • The dances of the earth: these illustrate agricultural and religious life as well as Peru’s history and the daily life of the Peruvian people.
  • The dances of light: these depict love, seduction and love of life. 

During classes we work on rhythm, the techniques for different steps, and learn various choreographies and positions. There is also a focus on couple and group dancing, and, most importantly, dancing for fun. With its convivial and lively atmosphere, this class is for anyone who is willing to learn and open to other cultures.


Born in Ayacucho, in the centre of Peru at the border of the majestic city of Cuzco, Gladys dived into dance at the age of 8, as she was fascinated by the the messages conveyed through dance, as well as by the beauty of the Incan costumes.

She was lucky enough to experience hands-on teaching and was immersed in the culture and tradition of the Inca, which is still alive and well to this day. She then moved to Lima at the age of 10, and there discovered the cultural diversity of her country. She was exposed to the Afro-Peruvian culture with its enticing rhythms, as well as the grandness of colonial Lima. And all this is gathered up and reflected in the dances.

During her school years, Gladys continued to train in the traditional dances, and at the age of 15 she became part of the Waylias dance troupe. Here she perfected her technique in the dances from the three regions. At the age of 21, she arrived in Geneva where she created her own dance group, ‘Maska-Huasi’, which eventually became 'Llactaymanta'.


Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie - Rue de Montbrillant 10 - 1201 Genève


Friday, 20h- 22h


Fr. 100.-  per month (Fr. 50.- for students)


Gladys Ybargüen
T : 076 438 90 80
Email :

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