The Different Types of Ballroom Dancing – Part 2

Our second spin around the ballroom dance floor gives us the opportunity to look at more classic ballroom dances from around the world. In part one we looked at the Cha Cha and the Mambo, but in part two we take the floor with the Paso Doble, Quickstep and Rumba. Paso Doble The Paso Doble […]

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The Different Types of Ballroom Dancing – Part 2

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Our second spin around the ballroom dance floor gives us the opportunity to look at more classic ballroom dances from around the world. In part one we looked at the Cha Cha and the Mambo, but in part two we take the floor with the Paso Doble, Quickstep and Rumba. Paso Doble The Paso Doble is a Latin dance that is meant to replicate the steps a bullfighter uses in the ring. Full of drama the Paso...

Our second spin around the ballroom dance floor gives us the opportunity to look at more classic ballroom dances from around the world. In part one we looked at the Cha Cha and the Mambo, but in part two we take the floor with the Paso Doble, Quickstep and Rumba.

Paso Doble

The Paso Doble is a Latin dance that is meant to replicate the steps a bullfighter uses in the ring. Full of drama the Paso Doble is a lively dance almost marching in nature. The male dancer is supposed to be the Matador while his female partner is his blood red cape, and the dance goes on replicating the action of a bullring. This dance is really for competitions and you do not see many dancers performing it socially for fun.

Although the Paso Doble has all the hallmarks of originating from Spain, it originally came from southern France before gaining popularity in America in the early 1930s. The dance is performed with strong steps moving forward together with extravagant hand gestures, these movements should be quick and sharp, almost arrogant in nature.

Quickstep

Similar to its cousin the Foxtrot, the Quickstep is a lively dance that is composed entirely with quick steps of the dancers. The art of the dance is to perform quickly while still looking elegant, the upper body must be strong and straight to achieve this effect whilst the legs are going ten to the dozen. It is danced in 4/4 time and the Quickstep hails from England, whilst the dance grew in popularity, more orchestras began playing all their music faster and hence the Quick Foxtrot was born. Mostly the Quickstep is performed to swing or jazz music with a fast beat, though no more than a brisk walking pace.

Rumba

Typical of a Latin dance, the Rumba is full of passion and love, the performers tell a story with their dancing and the dance is highly regarded as the most sensual of all ballroom dances. The Rumba also was the granddaddy of all the Latin dances, and once again came from Cuba. Although not as fast as other South American dances, it still utilizes distinctive hip movements with exotic sways from time to time.

The real intensity is the gaze the dancers hold each other in when they dance, unwavering they stare into each other’s eyes as they glide around the ballroom ignorant of their surroundings. The upper body should remain still, and this accentuates the sensuous foot and leg movements. Rumba music is in four-by-four timing and can rise to 108 beats per minute at the most, the rhythms not surprisingly are African-style although have migrated more into mainstream music.

The rumba ends our quickstep onto the world’s ballroom dance floor, these classic dances that can be seen all over the world are as popular now than they ever were. The popularity of ballroom dance competitions on TV has exploded into our homes, giving everybody a reminder just how great these formal ballroom dances actually are. They are not old and stuffy, quite the opposite. Ballroom dancing at its very best is sensual and evocative and has a place in any dance hall.