All Things Ballroom

The Dances of Ballroom Defined, and More

Scroll down
 this page to information about the individual Ballroom and Club Dances we learn to do.

In the section below, I'll share a brief history of each of the dances, its musical info, suggested music, the list of steps, and some technical tips for each of the steps.  This section will take the longest for me to complete so please check back to this page every once in a while or as you take a class in a specific dance.

 See the DVIDA Syllabi for the techniques and listing of figures for all 12 dances.

A Syllabus (list of figures) is often likened to ice skating's compulsory figures.  They are small patterns of steps that embody the primary elements of the dance. These figures, or patterns, are split into three escalating levels of difficulty, designated as Bronze, Silver and Gold.  This method of description enables the student to master each level before moving up to the next, more challenging level.  The diligent study and practice of the elements at each level will produce a capable, well-rounded dancer.  (Excerpted from the 2007 Dance Vision Catalog.)

American Style Smooth Dances:

Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz and Viennese Waltz

American Style Rhythm (or Latin) Dances:

Section A:  East Coast Swing (Triple-time) & Single Time Swing,  Rumba,  Cha Cha and Bolero

Section B:  Samba, Mambo,  Merengue and West Coast Swing

The International Style teaches the same Smooth Dances listed above and adds the Quickstep (a fast form of Foxtrot).  The International Latin syllabus includes the Jive (a form of Swing), Rumba, Cha Cha, Mambo, and Paso Doble for a total of 10 dances.  The International figures list is shorter than the American style list and requires more body contact between the dancers.

And don't forget the Club Dances . . . .

Club Dances are not used in sanctioned dance competitions but are enjoyed by many dancers.  The list is somewhat flexible and reflects past and current trends in dancing.  DVIDA has syllabi for Salsa, Night Club Two-StepArgentine Tango, Hustle, Polka, and Bachata. 

The NCDA syllabus even lists the Polka and the Peabody. Ballroom dancers can always look back in time for a dance in resurgence, or forward to what's hot today, for a new dance to pick up.

 And we dance . . . .