Brief description of the different Dances we teach
Cha Cha (Ballroom American Rhythm)
Cha-Cha was created by replacing the "slow" in Rumba with a fast "side-together-side" (Cha-Cha-Cha). It is a very fun, fast, flirtatious dance! Originally known as Cha-Cha-Cha, its origins are in Cuban Mambo. It came to the USA in the mid 1950's. The Cha-Cha is a spot dance characterized by dramatic body movements and a lot of energy. Cha-Cha shares many of the same steps as Mambo or Salsa with the Cha-Cha triple step thrown in.
Rumba (Ballroom American Rhythm)
The Rumba is considered to be one of the most beautiful Latin style dances, earning it’s nickname as “The Dance of Love.” It is characterized by swaying hips, a still upper body, and close partner connections. The feet stay close to the floor with a sliding action while the hips move easily from side-to-side. Although it is traditionally danced to slow Latin music, it is now common to dance the Rumba to current, popular ballads. Because of this, the Rumba is a popular style choice for a wedding dance and slow partner dancing. The beautiful rhythms and body expressions of the Rumba make it one of the most popular ballroom dances.
East Coast Swing (Ballroom American Rhythm)
Swing, or often referred to as "East Coast Swing," is the most common Ballroom Swing dance. It has a bouncy character with a basic timing of triple-step, triple-step, rock-step. Despite its name, East Coast Swing is danced all over the country, and is the Swing many dancers learn first.
Waltz (Ballroom American Smooth)
Waltz is the traditional Wedding Dance. The character is graceful with a swooping rise and fall. The timing is one - two - three with the "one" being the downbeat. The basic Waltz step is the box step, a sequence of six steps which, if you were to draw a line connecting all six, would form a box. Waltz is one of the first styles most dancers learn.
Foxtrot (Ballroom American Smooth)
Foxtrot is a great social dance often played at social dances, and easy to lead and follow. Traditionally danced to Big Band music, it is smooth and sexy. Its basic timing is slow-slow-quick-quick. The Foxtrot originated in 1914 in New York City by a vaudeville choreographer named Harry Fox. Audiences observed Mr. Fox's dancers slowly 'trotting' across the floor, and soon referred to his dance as the "Foxtrot." It is one of the most versatile of all the ballroom dances as it can be danced to a wide variety of music with varying tempos.
Tango (Ballroom American Smooth)
Tango is the most easily identifiable dance to observers, characterized by its unique music and dramatic poses. Its story is of a passionate love affair. After the First World War, the Tango was standardized and simplified. Contra body movement and the tango draw were introduced and remain with this dance today. For newcomers attempting to perform the Tango, the main characteristic of the Tango is dancing with slightly bent knees. Tango is a great dance to learn if you want to impress your friends!
Viennese Waltz (Ballroom American Smooth)
Viennese Waltz is about twice the speed of traditional Waltz, and features simple footwork with many twirls and voluminous arm expression. Viennese Waltz is the dance most often seen in movies depicting Ballroom Dancing. American Viennese Waltz is rarely done at social dances.
This fun and energetic dance is the most popular of all the Latin dances because it is easy to learn and is fantastic for all ages and dancing abilities. Salsa dancing has many fast turns, exciting footwork, rhythmic hip movements, and lively music.
The Bolero is a slow Latin dance with roots in Spain and Cuba. It is a unique dance with Latin as well as Ballroom dancing characteristics. The sliding steps, soft hip motion and close dance hold make this a romantic and powerful dance style.
The Bachata is a playful Latin dance that is typically danced at Salsa and Merengue dance clubs. This style is danced with soft hip motions, turns and side-to-side footwork. The music of Bachata is very recognizable for its predominant use of the electric guitar combined with Caribbean and Latin musical influences.
The Merengue is a vibrant Latin dance that is extremely popular in the United States and throughout the world. The Merengue is a fantastic dance for new dancers because it is very easy to learn! The Merengue is danced with “walking steps” with a step taken on each beat of music. While dancers typically use hip motions with this dance, the amount of hip movement varies with personal preference. This dance is considered to be in the same “family” as Salsa and is popular in the night club and social dance scenes.
The Samba is an energetic and lively dance that is currently popular in many parts of the world. Syncopated rhythms, bouncing actions, and rolling hip movements characterize the dance. It may be danced with or without a partner.
Argentine Tango is the original Tango, not to be confused with its ballroom derivatives American Tango (with its dramatic arm postures) and International Tango (with its staccato body movement). It has an intimate, compact hold and features intricate footwork and a sensuous, passionate character. Tango was the first couple dance ever seen in Europe that involved improvisation.
Nightclub Two Step
Night Club Two Step is also called the bedroom dance. It is a smooth dance with a sway and counter sway motion like a flower moving back and forth in the wind.
Country Western Two Step
The classic Country dance. The proper way of Two-Stepping is unlike what you might see at the local bars. This dance feels like walking, it is not a smooth or rhythm style dance. It travels around the floor in a counter-clockwise direction even while the lady is turning.
West Coast Swing
Not an easy dance to start with, but this dance is very versatile and works with pretty much any music style out there, It originates from Blues music but is now danced to Pop / Rock / Ballard and many more types of music. There is a big community of dancers that just focus on West Coast Swing. It differs because, unlike most dances where the male and female steps mirror each other, in this dance most steps do not.
Hustle is today's version of Disco Dancing. It"s fast and rotary, with lots of spins, and is danced to popular music with a pulsing beat. Most popular count is "and 1,2, 3" which can be difficult for beginners. Some dancers count and dance to "1,2, and 3" which is easier for beginners. Still others count and dance Hustle with six counts: "and 1,2,3 and 4,5,6." Any of these counts work well.
The basic step in Carolina Shag is a six-count, eight-step pattern danced in a slot. The rhythm is similar to six-count Swing in that it is triple step, triple step, rock step or counted as "one-and-two, three-and-four, five-six". There are eight shag dance steps. The "one-and-two" and "three-and-four" steps should take about as much time to complete as the "five-six."