Ballroom dance, refers collectively to a set of partner dances, highlighting the elegant, graceful and poised movements which are now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the globe. Its performance and entertainment aspects are also widely enjoyed on stage, in film, and on television.
The Foxtrot is also known as the “Ice Breaker” or the “Get-To-Know-You” dance and can help ease you confidently onto the dance floor, and the Foxtrot is usually the first to be danced at most functions.
The Foxtrot is a smooth dance that can be danced to most music, especially the jazzy and relaxed feel of the blues.
Due to its smooth and silky characteristics, Foxtrot can sometimes be one of the most challenging dances to master ,with the focus being on the footwork and the soft gliding action which provides essential fundamentals for all dances.
Some of the most popular Foxtrot songs are sung by Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin, like “Moondance”, “New York, New York” and “Fly Me To The Moon”.
"It Takes Two To Tango" as the sayings go. The Tango is the most powerful and dramatic dance with a touch of passionate and sultriness.
Its true characteristics of love and passion are extremely ‘black and white’ with no other shades in between, and were highlighted and made popular by the dance scenes in ‘Scent Of A Woman’ , ‘Shall We Dance’ and ‘Take The Lead’.
The Tango is expressed by the staccato and dramatic movements with sharp head flicks and ‘stalking’ manner through the gaucho styling, that is aimed to improve upper body posture and stance.
"La Cumparsita – Julio Iglesias" and “Santa Maria – Gotan Project” are some of the dramatic songs that feature the intensity and power of the Tango.
Typically known for its 1, 2, 3 count, the Waltz is regarded as the most elegant and graceful dance, and will teach dancers the highest level of discipline, with balance and foot control.
The Waltz has contributed to countless romantic moments throughout history when couples use the bridal waltz to celebrate their first dance together as husband and wife.
Using Rise and Fall through the ankles, the legs and body, a beautiful sweeping motion is created whilst maintaining the elegance and gracefulness that are the pure essence of style and class.
Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” is a modern song that is fantastic for a Waltz, whilst “Moon River” is an classic favourite that is guaranteed to get any fans of Fred Astaire onto the dance floor.
Originating in Bavaria in Austria, with its background as a dance of the aristocracy, the Viennese Waltz is commonly seen in movies, featuring kings and queens dancing, or being danced at functions to celebrate victories or wedding ceremonies.
‘A Knight’s Tale’, “The Man With The Iron Mask” and “The Three Musketeers” all have scenes that are a beautiful example of this.
Modern dance scene of the Viennese Waltz can be seen in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ and ‘Kate & Leopold’. The Viennese Waltz’s fast tempo and continuous whirling around the floor demonstrates a dancer’s ability to control his/her movements whilst gracefully sweeping around the floor.
A few classic songs for this dance are “Que Sera Sera – Doris Day”, “Chim Chim Cheree – Julia Migenes from Mary Poppins”, and “That’s Amore – Dean Martin”.
The Quickstep evolved in the 1920s from a combination of the Foxtrot, Charleston, Shag, Peabody, and One Step.
This dance gradually evolved into a very dynamic one with a lot of movement on the dance floor, with many advanced patterns including hops, runs, quick steps with a lot of momentum, and rotation.
The tempo of quickstep dance is rather brisk as it was developed to ragtime era jazz music which is very fast paced comparative to other dance music.
By the end of the 20th century the speed of Quickstep as done by advanced dancers has increased even more, and many advanced patterns today are cued with split beats, such as "quick-and-quick-and-quick-quick-slow".