Exploring the Types of Ballroom Dance
July 17, 2015
Ballroom dance is a broad category of dance style that encompasses a number of different partnered dances. These dances may be performed for physical exercise, competition, entertainment, social occasions, or personal enjoyment. Today, the term “ballroom dance” typically refers to one of five International Standard or five International Latin dances, which include the Waltz, Tango, Paso Doble, and Cha Cha.
The Jive is a dance that draws its roots from both Jitterbug and East Coast Swing. It is a lively, energetic, and fun dance that uses triple steps, rock steps, knee lifts, and hip rocks, typically set to music with 200 beats per minute. Jive originated in the 1930s in the United States and, after its presentation by Cab Calloway in 1934, continued to rise in popularity among African-American groups in the 1940s.
The Mambo uses high-energy forward and backward movements to tell a flirtatious tale. A Latin-style dance that originated in Cuba, the Mambo also utilizes exaggerated hip movements and quick, sharp steps in a back-and-forth between male and female dancers. Mambo is set to a percussive 4/4 beat and uses a unique “quick-quick-slow” step style and varying choreography to create a fluid, fun dance that is enjoyed across the world.
The Viennese Waltz is considered one of the most difficult but most rewarding dances to learn. This rotating ballroom dance was developed in the 1800s; it focuses on flow and elegance as dancers move through each turn. One of the key characteristics of the Viennese Waltz is its series of rises and falls, which can be danced to classical or modern music alike.
Would you like to learn to dance the Mambo, Cha Cha, or Waltz? At Fred Astaire Dance Studio, we offer private and group dance lessons for individuals and couples to encourage everyone to enjoy the excitement of ballroom dance. You can find out more about our schedule of classes and upcoming events on our website, or by calling (520) 300-5490.