The Different Types of Ballroom Dancing – Part 1

If somebody mentions ballroom dancing an immediate picture comes to mind – of elegantly dressed men in tuxedos gliding over a wooden dance floor with a beautiful woman draped in his arms wearing a gorgeous flowing gown. Ballroom dancing, to some, seems overly OTT and indeed it once was, as ballroom dancing was strictly for […]

Add To Cart

The Different Types of Ballroom Dancing – Part 1

00

If somebody mentions ballroom dancing an immediate picture comes to mind – of elegantly dressed men in tuxedos gliding over a wooden dance floor with a beautiful woman draped in his arms wearing a gorgeous flowing gown. Ballroom dancing, to some, seems overly OTT and indeed it once was, as ballroom dancing was strictly for the upper classes whilst the plebs were left to folk dancing. This...

If somebody mentions ballroom dancing an immediate picture comes to mind – of elegantly dressed men in tuxedos gliding over a wooden dance floor with a beautiful woman draped in his arms wearing a gorgeous flowing gown. Ballroom dancing, to some, seems overly OTT and indeed it once was, as ballroom dancing was strictly for the upper classes whilst the plebs were left to folk dancing.

This may have been so in the past, although the actual dances originated from all over the world and were not the sole domain of the rich, in fact far from it. In this blog we look at some of the dances that collectively fall under the banner of ballroom dancing and compare them.

Cha Cha

The Cha Cha is one of the great classic dances of all time and has lit up ballrooms all over the world with its flamboyant moves and flirtatious nature. Also, as one of the great Latin dances, it is full of South American energy and passion.

The dance requires a great deal of small steps and an abundance of hip movements, the actual rhythm of the Cha Cha is quite complicated with five steps fitting into four beats. The famous way that teachers choose to explain it as is: One, two, cha-cha-cha.

 

The Cha Cha originated in Cuba, probably sometime in the mid-40s and was a dance that was a mix of the rumba and mambo, the name of the dance is supposedly to replicate the sounds of the dancing feet as they shuffle on the floor.

Foxtrot

The foxtrot is a beautiful and romantic dance, it epitomizes the glamour of the 20s and famous stars, such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Because of its gracefulness, the Foxtrot has been dubbed as the perfection of ballroom dancing.

Developed in the USA in the 1920s, the foxtrot is fairly easy to master, it combines two slow steps followed by quick steps, so in effect would be slow, slow, quick, quick. It is important all this is performed smoothly and there is no jerking. Named after Harry Fox, it was believed to have originated in African American clubs of America and is one of the most popular ballroom dances in the world.

Mambo

Another Cuban dance and is a combination of Afro and Latin cultures, the word Mambo is named after voodoo priests who sent dancers into hypnotic trances.

Later, Lou Vega had a worldwide smash song entitled Mambo # 5 which bought attention to this popular ballroom dance. It was especially popular in 1950s New York, especially in the famous Palladium Ballroom on Broadway. The Mambo is mostly concerned with forwards and backwards motions filled with side steps and rock steps, embellished occasionally with flicks and kicks.

These great formal dances have been favorites in ballrooms all over the globe, they are full of passion and performed to a set routine, the addition of perfect rhythms drives these dances forward and the music is as important as the dance itself. In part two we continue our coverage of the ballroom dance floor and look at more great and famous dances from all over the world.