It occurred to me that some lovers of ballroom dancing might not realize the wonderful variety of styles they have to choose from. When it comes to partner dances, it seems like anything goes. Not only that, but it’s easy to decide what’s right for you. In order to make any dance decision, simply imagine being a part of a group of like-minded dancers moving to the music that makes you smile.
Furthermore, by my count, there are 39 dances. Whew!
Professional Competition Dances
As you’ve probably already figured out, International style is danced all over the world. As a matter of fact, the partner dancing syllabus is standardized and the same manual is used by dance studios in every country.
There are two styles, Ballroom and Latin. While the Latin dances are flashy and highly choreographed, the Ballroom dances are done while maintaining body contact.
International Ballroom Dances
Foxtrot, Slow Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Quickstep
International Latin Dances
Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive
As far as the dances, the only difference between American Smooth and International Ballroom is the Smooth does not include Quickstep. Additionally, American Smooth is danced with both open and close-contact moves. In fact, it’s not unusual to see side-by-side positions, turns and spins, kicks, and elaborate arm styling in these partner dances.
American Smooth Dances
Foxtrot, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango
American Rhythm Dances
Rumba, Cha Cha, East Coast Swing, Bolero, Mambo
Next are the Social Dances
Latin Club Dances
Salsa, Casino, Bachata, Merengue, Kizomba, Samba, Zouk, Cumbia, Reggaeton, Argentine Tango
Social Dances for Lovers of Blues, Jazz, and Ragtime Music
If you feel like you belong in a different, long ago day and age, some of these dances will definitely appeal to you. With this in mind, you’ll benefit by asking around about meet-ups and old-time dance clubs.
West Coast Swing, Nightclub Two Step, Balboa, Charleston, Lindy Hop, Peabody, Hustle
Finally, let’s not forget these classic partner dances…
In other words, these dances have been around a long time. By all means, learn them and dance them with joy in your heart. That is if you love the music.
Polka, Country Two Step, Bossa Nova
There you have it. What do you think? Did I miss any? If you know of some others, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the post.