Ballroom and Night Club partner dancing is defined as contact
dancing that is danced as a couple at Hotel Ballrooms and Night
Clubs, Weddings etc. where one partner leads (usually the guy),
and the other partner follows (usually the girl). Ballroom
dancing was first introduced and developed in the 1940's in
large Hotel Ballrooms and danced to live big band music, that's
how Ballroom dancing got its name.
The most popular ballroom dances today are the Fox Trot, Waltz
and Swing. The Swing, also known as Jitterbug, or Jive.
Today it is considered both
a Ballroom and a club dance.
There are two different styles of Ballroom dancing,
International or competition Style and American Social Style.
Ballroom dances can also classified as either Smooth dances or
INTERNATIONAL Or DANCE
COMPETITION STYLE BALLROOM DANCING (Think Dancing With The Stars
The International Style of dancing is danced mostly for dance
competitions or for shows like Dancing With The Stars. Dance
competitions are from beginner/Bronze levels to advanced or Gold
levels. There are dance competitions for students or
Amateur dancers only, for Pro-Am (Teacher with Student) and Pro
and Professional (Teacher/Teacher).
The International Ballroom Competition Dances are:
The International or Competition Latin Dances are:
American OR Social Ballroom dancing is danced in both open and
closed positions with your partner. Dancers are free to release
each other or
stay together in closed positions.
The American Ballroom Smooth Dances are:
The American Latin & Swing Dances are:
East Coast Swing
West Coast Swing
NIGHT CLUB DANCES
There are also partner dances which are mainly danced in the
night clubs, at weddings or specialized dance and social events.
These dances include:
West Coast Swing
Two Step (Nightclub, Texas, etc.)
POPULAR BALLROOM DANCES
The five most popular Ballroom dances in the world are Foxtrot,
Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, and Swing. A person skilled in these five
dances can go anywhere in the world and find someone to dance
with. Following is a little bit about each of these dances.
The Foxtrot originated in 1914 in New York City by Harry Fox. It
is one of the most versatile of all the ballroom social dances
since it can be danced to a wide variety of music with varying
The foxtrot dance is a "walking" or smooth relaxed dance. The
dancers move around the dance floor in a relaxed style to 4/4
The Waltz originated in the suburbs of Vienna and the Alpine
region of Austria. By the Seventeenth Century it was danced in
the Ballrooms of the Hapsburg Court in Germany. Today it is a
popular dance at weddings and other social events.
The Waltz is also expressed by movement around the room.
The character is elegant, regal, and graceful.
The style or technique used is rise and fall.
The timing is: ONE - two - three
With the "one" being the downbeat
The basic Waltz step is the box step, a sequence of six steps
which, if you were to draw a line connecting all six, would form
American Rumba is a modified version of the "Son" a
popular dance in middle class Cuba before World War II. It was
introduced in this country in the 1920's and 1930's. It is slow
Rumba is sometimes called the "Latin Waltz" or the
"Waltz with a wiggle".
The Rumba is a "spot dance". It is danced in one spot
and is expressed through body movement.
The character is romantic and sexy.
The style or technique used is Cuban motion of the hips.
The timing is: Slow - quick - quick
Many of the steps danced in the Waltz can be danced in the Rumba
with Rumba timing, Cuban motion, and Latin arm styling.
Cha Cha, originally known as Cha-Cha-Cha, has its origins in the
Cuban Mambo. It gets its name from the distinctive syncopated
triple step (cha cha cha) danced between 2 rock steps. It came
to this country in the middle 1950's.
The Cha Cha is also a spot dance and is expressed though body
The character is fun, flirty, playful
The style or technique used is Cuban motion and syncopated
In America, Cha Cha starts on the "two" beat.
The timing is: two - three - four - and - one
Cha Cha shares many of the same steps as Mambo or Salsa with the
cha cha triple step thrown in.
There are many forms of swing. East Coast Swing, West Coast
Swing, Lindy, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, etc. All of them originate
in the 1920's with the Black community dancing Charleston and
Lindy Hop to Jazz music.
Swing is also a spot dance.
The character is fast, fun, playful
The style or technique used is 1/2 time motion
There are 3 different timings used in swing:
Single time: Slow (1,2) Slow (3,4) Quick (5) Quick (6)
Double time: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
Triple Time: 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5, 6
Swing steps are a combination of rock steps and triple steps