Dances We Teach

ballroom dance

ballroom dance

Types of Dance

Ballroom

Waltz

Foxtrot

Tango

Quickstep

Viennese Waltz

Latin

Salsa

Rumba

Cha-Cha

Samba

Mambo

Swing

Bachata

West Coast Swing

Jive

Merengue

Bolero

Paso Doble

Country Western

Polka

AZ & TX 2-Step

East-West & Oklahoma Swings

Disco & Club

Hustle

Night Club 2-Step

Utah Swing

Standard: Standard refers to a group of dance styles in International Ballroom.  These dances include Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and Quickstep.  All five dances travel around the dance floor and are danced entirely in closed hold.

Smooth: Smooth refers to a group of dance styles in American Ballroom.  These dances include Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz.  All four dances travel around the dance floor and can be danced in open or closed hold.  Unlike their Standard counterparts, Smooth dances often utilize “open patterns” and “shadow figures” to highlight musical elements of the dance.

Latin: Latin refers to a group of dance styles in International dance.  These dances include Rumba, Chacha, Jive, Samba, and Paso Doble. Rumba, Chacha and Jive are considered stationary dances, while Samba and Paso Doble travel around the dance floor.

Rhythm: Rhythm refers to a group of dance styles in American dance.  These dances include Rumba, Chacha, East Coast Swing, Bolero and Mambo.  All five dances are considered stationary dances.

Social Dances: Social dances are additional dance styles taught outside of the four main categories of ballroom dance. Dance styles include:, Hustle, Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Polka, Nightclub, Two-step, Peabody, Argentine Tango and West Coast Swing.

In the United States and Canada, the American Style (American Smooth and American Rhythm) also exists. The dance technique used for both International and American styles is similar, but International Ballroom allows only closed dance positions, whereas American Smooth allows closed, open and separated dance movements. In addition, different sets of dance figures are usually taught for the two styles. International Latin and American Rhythm have different styling, and have different dance figures in their respective syllabi.

Other dances sometimes placed under the umbrella “ballroom dance” include Nightclub Dances such as Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Nightclub Two Step, Hustle, Salsa, and Merengue. The categorization of dances as “ballroom dances” has always been fluid, with new dances or folk dances being added to or removed from the ballroom repertoire from time to time, so no list of subcategories or dances is any more than a description of current practices. There are other dances historically accepted as ballroom dances, and are revived via the Vintage dance movement.

In Europe, Latin Swing dances include Argentine Tango, Mambo, Lindy Hop, Swing Boogie (sometimes also known as Nostalgic Boogie), and Disco Fox. One example of this is the subcategory of Cajun dances that originated in Acadiana, with branches reaching both coasts of the United States.

Ballroom dance, smooth dances are normally danced to Western music (often from the mid-twentieth century), and couples dance counter-clockwise around a rectangular floor following the line of dance. In competitions, competitors are costumed as would be appropriate for a white tie affair, with full gowns for the ladies and bow tie and tail coats for the men; though in American Smooth it is now conventional for the men to abandon the tailsuit in favor of shorter tuxedos, vests, and other creative outfits.

Latin/Rhythm dances are commonly danced to contemporary Latin American music and (in the case of Jive) Western music. With the exception of a few traveling dances like Samba and Paso Doble, couples do not follow the line of dance but perform their routines more or less in one spot. In competitions, the women are often dressed in short-skirted Latin outfits while the men are outfitted in tight-fitting shirts and pants, the goal being to emphasize the dancers’ leg action and body movements.