Types of Ballroom Dancing

credit: habanera

credit: habanera

So for this entry I thought I would take a moment to talk about the classic, traditional ballroom dancing types most commonly found in competitive (and in general) dance.

  • The Tango: This dance originated in either Italy or Spain (and the debate on this origin has been the cause of many professional dancer fist fights) and is known for its dramatic flair and, when done correctly, the extreme passion between the partners.
  • Cha Cha: A dance categorized by hip movement and short steps to a Latin rhythm, the cha-cha requires athleticism and its dancers to be in exact rhythm with one another throughout this lively dance.
  • Foxtrot- The Foxtrot is a smooth dance that is a 4-time step (vs. the three-time step of the waltz) and is typically performed to a vocal song. The origin of this dance type is also a source of debate, with some citing the blues as the inspiration for the type.
  • Salsa- This spicy dance type originated in 1970’s New York (to find out more about Ballroom Dance History click here), and is a dance type that is heavily influenced by other Latin dance forms such as the cha cha. This dancing style takes its name from the style of music of the same name.
  • Samba- A dance style that comes from Brazil, specifically the west African slave trade, the Samba is also a dance style that has evolved since its creation. Much of this style’s evolution has to do with the addition of different instrumentation, which has included brass, string and wind instruments.
  • Waltz- A European classical dance that embodies fluidity of movement and posture, the Waltz is three-time step dance that can be danced to while a variety of music is played. A sense of balance is a necessity as well as rhythm, as the Waltz is known for the performers turning in circles across the dance floor.
  • Rumba- A dance that finds its origins in Cuba, the Rumba is a dance style is one that varies in technique depending on the sub-style of international or American. One cool thing about the Rumba is that the word is also used for “party!”

This is the most basic info that can be presented in these styles. I encourage the reader to research these and other dance styles; some of the info you find may surprise you!

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