A Simple Guide to the 10 Traditional Dances of Ballroom Dance

April 16, 2018

If you are interested in dance, but don’t know where to begin, then there’s only one place to start: beginner dance classes at one of our Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios. Learning the most widely known dances can make you a star in any social gathering and bring some culture to your life at the same time. When you go to sign up for ballroom dance lessons, make sure you know what you’re signing up for. When someone refers to the international ballroom style of dance, they are talking about 10 different dances.

Below you will find a simple explanation of the top ten most popular styles of  ballroom dance:


This is the most commonly thought of dance when someone mentions ballroom dancing. It is 28 bars per minute, done in 3/4 time, and it can be fairly romantic.


Ballroom tango is different when compared with Argentine tango. It has a 2/4 time signature, and it is 32 bars per minute. While ballroom tango can certainly be romantic, sensual might be a better word to describe this popular dance.


This is an all-American dance set to jazz music and can be fast or slow depending on the band.


This dance is inspired by the foxtrot, but it takes on a much quicker tempo, hence the name.

Viennese Waltz

As soon as the 3/4 time music starts, the ballroom studio will become ablaze with the quick and passionate flow of this ‘old school’ waltz.

International Latin Samba

A bouncy dance that is partnered for competitions, but as the national dance of Brazil, it is solo.


This flirtatious dance can be thought of as a slower mamba. Much hip movement will be involved.


Many people consider the rumba to be the most passionate and romantic dance on this list. It is incredibly complex and involves many different hip movements.


A spicy swing dance set to big band music in which the man leads and the women encourage more men to ask them to dance.

Paso Doble

The man dances as if he was a bull, and the woman as if she was bullfighter.

If you are interested in taking adult dance classes, think about these options. Whichever one catches your eye or tickles your fancy, why not give it a shot?

At every Fred Astaire Dance studio, the philosophy is simple and straightforward: learning how to ballroom dance should always be fun! We work with students of all ages and abilities, and help them realize their ballroom dancing goals in a fun, and friendly atmosphere.

Ballroom dance instruction will give you more confidence on the dance floor, a great workout, and a much better connection with your body!

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