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.
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:
Swing/East Coast Swing
West Coast Swing
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:
Progressive Two Step
Country Western Waltz
West Coast Swing
The following are miscellaneous dances that are taught at Arthur Murray. If you are interested in learning a specific dance and are not sure whether we teach it or not, please feel free to contact us.