Duda Direct

Search


Home » About » Dances We Teach

Dances We Teach


eileen - Posted on 11 December 2010

Dance Styles Explained

Cinema Ballroom teaches all styles of partner dancing for both social dancers and competitive dancers. Following is an explanation of the different styles and dances we teach.

International Standard vs. American Smooth

Often referred to as "ballroom" dances, as opposed to the "Latin" dances. Standard and Smooth share many dance steps ("figures") and basic movement principles. In Standard, the dancers remain in closed (leader's front connected to follower's front) position throughout each dance. In Smooth, they dance both in closed and in various open (side by side, front to front with space in between etc...) positions. Standard is taught and competed worldwide, while Smooth is unique to the U.S. and Canada.  Smooth is gaining popularity all over the world and professionals in Australia and Russia are now dancing this beautiful style of ballroom dance.  American smooth is the style danced in classic ballroom dance movies as well as in ballrooms all over the United States.

International Latin vs. American Rhythm

Although both are Latin American styles, Latin and Rhythm have only two dances in common: Cha Cha and Rumba. In general, the two styles differ in the type of leg movement and the musical tempos used. Latin is taught and competed worldwide, while Rhythm is unique to the U.S. and Canada.

American Style Dances

Rhythm

Cha Cha

An exciting, syncopated Latin dance which originated in the 1950's as a slowed-down Mambo. The Cha Cha gets its name and character from its distinct repetitive foot rhythm.

Rumba

A slow- to medium-tempo Latin American dance in 4/4 time, which is characterized by sensual, provocative movements and gestures, Latin-style hip motion, and playful and flirtatious interplay between man and lady.

East Coast Swing

East coast swing is a triple step swing that can be modified to a single step (which can then be transformed into a jitterbug) or double-step version and with certain rhythm changes also contains Lindy-like elements. This is the dance that is done to music by bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and Cherry Poppin' Daddies as well as rock muic.

Bolero

A slow Latin dance which originated as a form of Rumba, and still shares many of the same figures. Bolero differs from Rumba in its tempo and style of music and movement.

Mambo

A fast Latin dance, similar to Salsa, which comes from Cuba. Mambo was brought to America in the 1940's and 50's and eventually adapted as an American style ballroom dance. Most of the movements emphasize the second beat in the measure, suggestive of the Clave rhythm which is fundamental to Mambo music.

Smooth

Waltz

A ballroom style dance in 3/4 time which first developed in Vienna as a fast paced dance to the Strauss music of the time, and later developed into the Slow Waltz. Both types of Waltz are still danced today.

Tango

In the American and International ballroom styles, a dance in 2/4 time, which originated in Argentina and is characterized by catlike walking action and staccato head movements.

Foxtrot

A smooth dance introduced to the public in 1913 by Harry Fox, noted for being the first dance to incorporate into the rhythm a combination of Slows and Quicks. Foxtrot is characterized by smooth, walking-style movements, but can be adapted to fit a variety of musical tempi and style, or to fit onto small, crowded nightclub dance floors.

Viennese Waltz

Viennese Waltz is over 400 years old and grew out of the German peasant dance, the Landler. It gained tremendous popularity in 19th century Europe due the fact that it was danced to the music of magnificent composers such as Johann Strauss and his son, also Johann. Although many of the patterns are identical to Waltz, Viennese Waltz is twice as fast and is characterized by swift, continuous rotations and turning figures. The rise-and-fall sway characteristic of the Waltz are significantly reduced in Viennese Waltz due to the speed of the music.

International Style Dances

Latin

Cha Cha

An exciting, syncopated Latin dance which originated in the 1950's as a slowed-down Mambo. The Cha Cha gets its name and character from its distinct repetitive foot rhythm.

Samba

A rhythmical Brazilian dance in 2/4 time which has been adapted for modern Ballroom dancing and incorporated into the repertoire of the International Standard syllabus. Samba is noted for it's distinct style of movement, which incorporates both Latin hip motion and the signature "Samba Bounce".

Rumba

A slow- to medium-tempo Latin American dance in 4/4 time, which is characterized by sensual, provocative movements and gestures, Latin-style hip motion, and playful and flirtatious interplay between man and lady.

Paso Doble

A dramatic French-Spanish Flamenco-style march danced in 2/4 time, with man portraying the matador in a bullfight, the lady as his cape. Paso Doble is usually danced to España Cani, the Spanish Gypsy Dance.

Jive

The International version of Swing. In spite of its fast tempo, Jive is still danced in triple-rhythm.

Standard

Waltz

A ballroom style dance in 3/4 time which first developed in Vienna as a fast paced dance to the Strauss music of the time, and later developed into the Slow Waltz. Both types of Waltz are still danced today.

Tango

In the American and International ballroom styles, a dance in 2/4 time, which originated in Argentina and is characterized by catlike walking action and staccato head movements.

Foxtrot

A smooth dance introduced to the public in 1913 by Harry Fox, noted for being the first dance to incorporate into the rhythm a combination of Slows and Quicks. Foxtrot is characterized by smooth, walking-style movements, but can be adapted to fit a variety of musical tempi and style, or to fit onto small, crowded nightclub dance floors.

Viennese Waltz

Viennese Waltz is over 400 years old and grew out of the German peasant dance, the Landler. It gained tremendous popularity in 19th century Europe due the fact that it was danced to the music of magnificent composers such as Johann Strauss and his son, also Johann. Although many of the patterns are identical to Waltz, Viennese Waltz is twice as fast and is characterized by swift, continuous rotations and turning figures. The rise-and-fall sway characteristic of the Waltz are significantly reduced in Viennese Waltz due to the speed of the music.

Quickstep

An English style ballroom dance which is characterized by fast movement, often including a variety of hops, kicks, skips, lock steps and chassés.

Social Dances

Swing

West Coast Swing

A slotted swing dance in 4/4 time, characterized by its smooth and linear style.

Charleston

Established during the Ragtime-Jazz period, the Charleston is thought to have originated with African-Americans who were living on a small island near Charleston, South Carolina. In the 1920's, women who did the Charleston were called Flappers because of the way they would flap their arms and walk like birds while doing the Charleston. The Lindy, Lindy Hop and the West Coast Swing stems from the Charleston.

Lindy/Lindy Hop

Named after Charles Lindberg, and originating at the Savoy ballroom in the 1930's as a modified form of Charleston done in dance position. It is commonly danced to jazz and blues music.

Jitterbug

In 1934, a Cab Calloway tune called Jitterbug stuck to describe a 6 count beat variance of the Lindy Hop.

Salsa

An umbrella term encompassing a myriad of mid to up-tempo Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms and styles including: chachacha, mambo, son, cumbia, guajira, guaracha, song etc...

Cumbia

An extremely popular dance rhythm from Colombia but also popular in Chile and Mexico among others. Often classified as salsa, played in 4/4 time with a heavy beat one and accentuated beats three and four, giving a loping rolling rhythm similar to riding a horse.

Bachata

The instrumentation of the bachata is what distinguishes it from the merengue. The guitar is the most prominent instrument in bachata as opposed to the accordion in the merengue. The strong plucking technique and sharp intonation of the bachata guitar is what makes it instantly recognizable.

Merengue

An energetic Latin-style march which originated in the Dominican Republic, which emphasizes a straight-ahead 8-count rhythm taken with Cuban Motion. Merengue is now also a subset of the modern club-style Salsa dances.

Night Club

Hustle/Disco

A fast but smooth-moving dance which originated in the nightclubs of the 1970's disco era, as a modified version of swing. Hustle is noted for its fast and elaborate spins and turns, especially for the lady. It is also very easily adapted to crowded, nightclub dance floors.

Nightclub 2-Step

An easy-going social dance, similar in movement to the Bossa Nova, first introduced in the 80's by Buddy Schwimmer and popular amongst the West Coast Swing crowd. Nightclub 2-Step is normally danced to medium-tempo pop love songs and M.O.R., using combinations of Slow-Quick-Quick and Quick-Quick-Slow rhythms.

Argentine Tango

Tango was born in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the last century. Originally developed by the poor immigrants in the ports, as their way of expressing loneliness, frustration, desire and energy, it was seen by the rest of the world as dangerous.

A close embrace, legs often entwined - a dance of passion.

Polka

The Polka was originally a Czech peasant dance, developed in Eastern Bohemia (now part of Czechoslovakia). The dance was first introduced into the ballrooms of Prague in 1835. The music is played in 2/4 time (1 & 2) and sounds happy and playful. The name of the dance (pulka) is Czech for "half-step", referring to the rapid shift from one foot to the other.

Dances

Dances