Los Alamos

About the styles of dance

Note: this page / site is very much a work in progress, so please excuse inaccuracies, incompletenesses, mis-spellings, and poor grammar!
When people think of ballroom dancing, waltz is often the dance that springs to mind. It is danced in 3/4 time, which means that there are three steps per measure of music. Waltz is both one of the simplest and most forgiving dances to learn, and also one of the most beautiful to watch. It is characterized by a flowing rise and fall as the partners gracefully spin across the floor.
There are a variety of styles of tango, but they all have that distinctive tango look and feel. It is the most dramatic of the dances, with almost no rise and fall as the partners act out a “yes” and “no” conversation of tension and resolution through the dance.
The Foxtrot takes it name from actor Harry Fox, who used the dance during the commercial sections of his vaudeville show. Originally danced to ragtime music, it is a dance in 4/4 time, and can be described as "walking to a beat". The more relaxed and natural the walk, the more refined the dance.
Swing is, what can you say, fun! Once you learn how to swing, it is almost impossible to hear a swing dance and not get up and do it.

Swing is actually a family of dances, which includes East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Night Club Twostep, and more. It takes its name from the style of music, swing music, so called because it was played with a swing rythm. As the man says, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

Cha-cha is a rhythm latin dance in 4/4 time. It takes its name from its characteristic "cha cha cha" rhythm danced at the end of every measure.
Rumba is very similar to the cha-cha, but is danced to slower music, and with a single slow step taking place of the cha-cha-cha steps. Other than that, most of the basic moves from cha-cha will work with rumba.
Salsa is a fast-paced latin dance full of sultry moves and fast spins.
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