On the Dance Floor
Ballroom dancing is very social, enjoyable and is full of romance. The world's greatest romantics and lovers have always known that the best way to a lady's heart is to sweep her across the dance floor. Holding, touching and moving to the music is the most romantic skill any couple can bring into to their lives. Countless relationships would never have started without the world's best ice breaker - "may I have this dance?".
The waltz is probably the most well known dance in the world. Evolving from the Viennese or 'Quick Waltz' associated with the music of Strauss, the Modern Waltz is still danced in some sections. However it is the much slower 'English Waltz', with its romantic associations which is far more popular. The Last Waltz, Anniversary Waltz and of course the ability to dance the Waltz at one's own wedding is as popular now as it has always been. The simple 1-2-3 of the Basic Step pattern will be easily learned and you can then dance to the slow 3/4 time of Waltz music. By gradually adding the Natural, Reverse and Spin Turns you will quickly develop your Waltz into the wonderful free flowing dance that always entices dancers onto the floor.
The sensuous, slow, romantic rumba is a dance enriched with flirtation. The basic figures of the dance have a "tease and run" theme in which the lady first flirts with and then rejects her partner. The sexual overtures can be overt and very aggressive. The slow Latin beat of the Rumba spotlights the lady and in particular her rhythmic body action and her sexuality.
Cha cha music is popular in all music genres and can be found in country, funk, and hip-hop. This dance has wide appeal due to recordings by popular modern mainstream artists such as Santana, Marc Anthony, and Jennifer Lopez who's arrangements lean heavily on the cha cha rhythm. This is a party dance! Whereas the Rumba might have an intense expression, the interpretation of Cha Cha produces a happy, carefree, party dance expression.
Jive in all its various forms is danced to a broad range of popular music that is simple to learn, but tricky to master. It has its origins in Lindy hop, but borrows/shares moves from many other dance styles. Its moves are often simpler to learn because of its simpler footwork so it lacks the complexity that deter beginners from say Salsa. Moves are danced on every beat (there is no undanced beat like in Salsa) and so the dance has a flow to it, that some people prefer.
The greatest strength of Jive is that, wherever you are, if there is music playing, you are bound to find someone who can jive (it is THAT popular). And if you are confident of your leading abilities, you can even coax complete strangers out onto the dance floor and teach them the basics and have them dancing before the dance changes.
They say that if you can walk, you can dance the Merengue. With one step taken to each beat of music, dancing the Merengue is like marching, and it's just about as easy. Add the Cuban hip action, and this easy dance also becomes incredibly sexy. Hundreds of dance figures are possible and just about anything goes in Merengue.
The Foxtrot is always a popular dance and the Social Foxtrot allows you to enjoy dancing to this music without having to learn all the more complicated steps of the Slow Foxtrot. The perfect dance to start with, its simple construction gives immense pleasure and it is used by all dancers on a crowded floor. You can learn the basic step pattern very quickly, and soon The Pivot Turn, Promenade Walks and Reverse Turn will enable you to get up and enjoy one of the most popular social dances.
The Charleston gave birth to the Quickstep and, whilst the Charleston was short lived the forceful dynamic rhythm of the Quickstep remains a firm favourite of all dancers. The dance starts with the Quarter turn and Progressive Chasse and after a while you can progress to the Lock Step and Spin Turn allowing you to dance to this popular infectious rhythm.
Originating in Argentina, the Tango is often thought of as a Latin American Dance but it has now firmly established itself as a standard Ballroom Dance. It is a wonderfully exciting dance and has a simple basic movement which you can soon pick up. As time goes by you can then develop the Rock Turn, Reverse Turn plus Link, Closed Promenade and Back Corte.
Jive picture: Image credit: Lindy Hop Sarah Breck Dax Hock Summercamp Eauze France 2011 taken by Eric Esquivel