“Ballroom” dances are typically the styles of dance that move around the floor in a counter clockwise direction. These dances fall into two categories: International Standard (always danced in frame with the partners never separating) or American Smooth (where the couples will open up and move together, but independently at times).
The dances included in these two categories of ballroom dances include:
The oldest of the ballroom dances, the waltz originated in Austria in the 1400’s. The waltz is unique in that it is danced to three-quarter time music, or 1-2-3, 1-2-3, and utilizes rise and fall in its movement, giving it a lilting and magical quality.
A truly American dance, the foxtrot originated in New York by Harry Fox, a vaudeville performer in the 1920’s. Jazz and big band were coming into their heyday and the fun and versatile movement of the foxtrot fit perfectly. Think of a Frank Sinatra song, and you have good odds of hitting on a foxtrot
Originating in Argentina, the ballroom style of tango is different than the close contact, minimal movement of the traditional milonga or salon style of tango often danced on small, tightly packed floors. Bold movement, longer strides, and travelling around the dancefloor with power are the calling cards for ballroom tango.
Often considered “foxtrot on caffeine”, the quickstep is a lively dance which moves around the floor with the focus on quick, light footwork and a playful attitude
Originating in Vienna, from which it derived its name, the Viennese waltz is faster in tempo than regular waltz and appears to move in a series of looping spins, when in fact, it is one partner driving past the other, then allowing the other partner to pass them in turn, all the while moving together around the floor.
Danced in a “box or slot”, Latin and Rhythm style dances rarely move around the floor (with the exception of Paso Doble) and are danced in a more confined space. International Latin and American Rhythm styles of dance overlap in several categories, though the technique used is very different and needs to be learned individually if you wish to do them correctly.
– improves cardiovascular health
– increases muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness – improves aerobic fitness and weight management
-energetic dancing can burn anywhere from 200-450 calories in just 30 minutes – stronger bones, better posture and reduced risk of osteoporosis
– improves coordination, agility and flexibility
– improves balance and spatial awareness
– Research has proven that ballroom dancing can slow the advancement of dementia
and Alzheimer’s disease
– improves mental functioning as both the right and left hemispheres of the brain are engaged at the same time
– stress reduction thru physician and mental exercise
– improves general and psychological well-being due to release of endorphins
– improves social interaction skills
– greater self-confidence and self-esteem
– expands social ties in the community by engaging in a group activity
– forms a group identification with others who share a common interest