What is BALLROOM DANCING?
Ballroom dancing (also known as International Standard) is a dance form for a couple and is known for its close dance position between the two dancers and more formal yet social atmosphere. It requires the couple to dance around the room in a counter-clockwise direction known as the ‘line of dance’. All couples share this path and thus have to learn how to dance around other couples in the space (leaders, this is why leading is so important). The dancing hold or ‘ballroom hold/topline’ is formal and requires a proper upright position, allowing a more flowing and swaying movement as well as a look of elegance too.
- Waltz - The waltz is one of the defining ballroom dances and is often found in someway or another as the common ballroom dance used in both TV and film. With it’s soft and gentle 3 count rhythm, the waltz is an elegant dance which, when mastered, can look effortless and flowing; a true test of partner companionship.
- Quickstep - With a word like quick in the title it isn’t a surprise that quickstep is one of the faster ballroom dances, following a 4 count rhythm starting with two slower steps and then two quicker steps. It’s more energetic and full of flair compared to waltz, so expect faster spins and turns.
- Tango - Tango is the final dance that we shall categorise in the primary ballroom and thanks to it’s Spanish background it is full of mutual aggression and is the most passionate of the ballroom dances. It doesn’t always follow a consistent count pattern, however when using quick counts it requires sharp turns and movements, adding to the feel of the dance.
- Foxtrot - As elegant as Waltz and sometimes as fast as quickstep, foxtrot is a timeless dance and is a dance defined by it’s feather light movements and almost gliding across the dance floor.
- Viennese Waltz - A form of waltz which too follows a 3 count rhythm, however it is notoriously faster than the waltz, and can challenge even the quickstep as one of the faster ballroom dances. Unlike the waltz which can involve some fancy sequences and turns, the Viennese waltz focuses more on just natural and reverse turning, and because of this when done correctly the viennese waltz can look elegant yet continuous.
The other dance form we teach is a branch of Ballroom dancing that has it’s roots in Latin America and thus is known as ‘Latin dancing’. In comparison to standard, Latin is not as close in terms of your hold as it requires a more relaxed feel to allow more fluid movements, however it does involve a much more sensual approach to dancing, with dances such as the Rumba or Pasa Doble very much centred around the themes of love and passion. Because of this, the dances themselves involve more moves to "show off" your partner whereas in Ballroom it’s more mutual and the couple has to work more as a unit. In Latin there is no set ‘path’ to dance in, however you still have to be well aware of your surroundings so that you don’t spin your partner into other couples or obstacles.
- Cha-cha-cha - Cha-cha-cha is one of the fundamental Latin dances and requires a lot of hip action, so to attempt this dance one must be comfortable and relaxed and let the hips do the talking.
- Jive - one of the more energetic Latin dances, the jive, requires a lot of stamina to carry out properly so be prepared to get tired! Jive can also be classed with the 1950's phenomenon of Rock'n'Roll, and therefore involves a lot of fast spins and turns, as well as a lively and energetic demeanor.
- Rumba - Rumba is the most sensual of the Latin dances that we teach and its theme is very much centered on love, so a connection between the two dancers is important if you want to dance correctly and with good technique. Therefore it is definitely one of the closer Latin dances in terms of distances between the dancers.
- Samba - With its background in Brazil, Samba has a more carnival feel compared to the other dances and with its constant fast, bouncing rhythm you’ll find it hard not to smile whilst shaking your hips to the samba rhythms.
- Paso Doble - This is a dance of a bullfight originating in Spain, the girl is often displayed as the cape of the dance and the man is the matador.