Many of you want to know more about the dances we teach so here's a brief overview of some of the most exciting and beautiful dances in the world.
The Waltz was a dance that originated in England and was frowned upon by many people as it was traditionally danced very close to each other. Like all dances of the Standard category, the Waltz is a progressive dance and is characterized by the pendulum swing body action. Other general elements of Ballroom technique important for the Waltz are foot parallelism, rise and fall, contra body movement and sway.
The Tango comes from Argentina and was danced in bars by migrant workers chasing after women. This defined how the Tango is danced today with its curving figures and passionate characteristics.
The Quickstep is a light-hearted dance of the Standard Ballroom dances. The movement of the dance is fast and powerfully flowing and sprinkled with syncopations. The upbeat melodies that quickstep is danced to make it suitable for both formal and informal events. Quickstep was developed in the 1920s in New York and was first danced by Caribbean and African dancers. Its origins are in the combination of Slow Foxtrot with the Charleston, a dance which was one of the precursors to what we now call Swing Dancing.
The Viennese Waltz is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning either toward the leader's right (natural) or toward the leader's left (reverse), interspersed with non-rotating change steps to switch between the direction of rotation. A true Viennese Waltz consists only of turns and change steps. Other moves such as the Fleckerls, American-style figures and side sway or underarm turns are modern inventions and are not normally danced at the annual balls in Vienna. Furthermore, in a properly danced Viennese Waltz, couples do not pass but turn continuously left and right while travelling counter-clockwise around the floor, following each other.
The Cha Cha may be danced to authentic Cuban music, or to Latin Pop or Latin Rock. The music for the international Ballroom Cha Cha is energetic and with a steady beat. The Cuban Cha-Cha-Cha is more sensual and may involve complex polyrhythms.
Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style, with its roots in Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly of Angola and the Congo, through the Samba de Roda genre of the north-eastern state of Bahia, from which it derived. The international Ballroom version of Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance with elements from Brazilian Samba. Most steps are danced with a slight downward bouncing or dropping action. This action is created through the bending and straightening of the knees, with bending occurring on the beats of 1 and 2, and the straightening occurring inbetween. However, unlike the bouncing of Polka, for example, there is no considerable bobbing. Also, Samba has a specific hip action, different from that in Ballroom Latin dances (Rumba and Cha- Cha).
Rumba is one of the most erotic and sensual of all the Latin dance styles due to its slow rhythms and hip movements that create intense bodily expressions. Rumba is related to Afro-Cuban music, which was introduced to Cuba by African slaves in the sixteenth century. It is also influenced by the music brought to Cuba by Spanish colonizers. There are several different types of Rumba that have evolved over the years.