DANCE STYLES

LEARN MANY POPULAR DANCE STYLES, HISTORY, BASIC MOVES, STEPS & SONGS!

They say that dance is a great way to express your emotions. While this may sound like such a cliché, the quote seems to have endured throughout the years mainly because there’s truth to it. It’s wise to choose an activity that encourages you to express your very own creativity. Now it all boils down to that one question: So you think you can dance? Definitely! And that’s because there’s a style available for anyone who wants to overcome the problem with their two left feet. As you glide across the expanse of the ballroom, you can now let your innermost emotions shine forth with a step that is truly representative of whom you are as a person. There are several styles to choose from and you need to know how each dance is unique from the other.
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    RUMBA: Learning the Rumba is a prerequisite for good Latin dancing. The Cuban Motion is essential in most Latin dances. The Rumba is used by good dancers everywhere and provides interesting variety suited to a limited space. Neat, attractive, precise footwork gives you confidence in your dancing. The Rumba will sharpen your sense of rhythm, timing, and muscular control.
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    SWING: The Swing is a spot dance with a carefree relaxed style and is a dance easily mastered by most people. The various speeds are excellent training for quick footwork and good leading & following which will add comfort and ease in other rhythm dances. After mastering the patterns, both men and women will find Swing a fun and exciting dance to learn and practice. The Swing brings forth a buoyant carefree movement. It’s one of the dances that becomes contagious.
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    SALSA Mambo is a fusion of Cuban and American dancing. The music is characterized by a stirring Afro-Cuban beat. Salsa is an exciting dance which allows you to develop your own feeling and expression. Because Salsa is such a fun dance, good Salsa dancers are always popular and in demand as partners. The wild exciting music, and rhythmical body movements make the earthy Mambo irresistible.
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    FOXTROT Foxtrot is a basic dance from which you can acquire a foundation. Learning to combine dance steps easily and smoothly teaches variety and maneuverability. The Foxtrot posture is attractive in appearance and helpful to all other dances. The Foxtrot provides a good foundation for all dances and is often called the “get-acquainted” or “first impression” dance.
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    WALTZ Waltz develops balance and control. The basic Waltz steps are the foundation patterns used in most ballroom dances. Correct posture, rise and fall, and flowing movements should be stressed to achieve good styling. The elegant sweeping movement of the Waltz gives dancers a chance to practice balance and to move lightly with ease.
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    TANGO: The Tango is one of the most beautiful of all the dances. It is characterized by earthy and dramatic movements. In order to achieve the distinctive style of Tango, it is important to develop controlled staccato footwork along with fluid graceful movements. The unique rhythm of the music is great training for timing and phrasing which develops as the dancer becomes more proficient. Tango practice is essential towards becoming a good dancer.

RHYTHM AND LATIN DANCES

For competitive dancing, the Latin dance styles are grouped into two main categories: American Rhythm and International Latin. The American Rhythm style consists of five dances: Cha-Cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Bolero, and Mambo. The International Latin style also consists of five dances: Cha-Cha, Rhumba, Jive, Paso Doble, and Samba. When comparing the two styles, the most obvious difference is that they each have some unique dances. However, all the dances in each style do differ from their counterparts, in subtle ways, mostly having to do with technique. You will find competitive events in each style. Socially, the following dances fall under the category of latin and/or rhythm:

SMOOTH AND STANDARD DANCES

There are two main categories when talking about Standard Dancing – The International Standard and American Smooth. The International Standard style includes five dances: Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, and Quickstep. This style is danced widely in competitions, both in the United States and throughout the world. The most obvious trait of the International Standard style is the dancers’ constant closed position, where the two dance partners never lose contact (as opposed to American Smooth style, where couples often open up, and dance apart from each other). The Standard dances are also characterized by their very precise elements of technique: footwork, rise & fall, amounts of turn, etc. From this technique emerges a unique elegance and beauty. Four of the Standard dances have their American-style counterparts. The American Smooth dances consist of: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz. In the American Smooth style, partners often separate from closed dance position, and dance apart from each other. American Smooth is quite popular at social dances, and is danced at major competition events across the United States. The ballroom dance steps in this expressive style are creative and can be extremely fun to dance and watch. The following are dances that fall under the category of standard and/or smooth:

COUNTRY WESTERN DANCES

Here at Arthur Murray, we have an entire Country Western Syllabus that teaches many of the popular dances. And for those of you who have aspirations of competition, these dances can be found at nearly every event that we attend. The following is a list of dances found in our Country Western Syllabus:

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