Ballroom & Latin Dances

Today, we have two major styles of ballroom dancing: American and International styles. The name mostly associated with the American style romantic, sleek, elegant look is Fred Astaire. The American style is a natural walking-style social dancing ... for the fun of it. The International style focuses on an exaggerated posture and usually follows a set of routines. Used for competitive dancing.

According to the "purpose" of dancing, we distinguish: social, competitive and show dancing. The goal of social dancing: is to have fun in an atmosphere conducive to social interplay. These include balls, weddings, parties, dinner dances, etc.

When dancing for competition or show, the emphasis is on being spectacular. The gentleman wears a suit of tails, and the lady wears a long, flowing ballroom gown (in Latin competition, any garment will do!) Competitive dancing is not free-spirited but rather follows a set of choreographed, coached dance routines. Thanks to TV, dance competitions made ballroom dancing once more popular throughout the world.

Latin dances reflect the spirit of South America and the islands. A distinguishable feature of Latin dancing is the so called Cuban motion. Either an undulating hip motion, as in the rumba, or an agitated hop motion such as we see in the mambo or salsa.

Ballroom & Latin dances:

For definitions see: Dances of the Latin Spirit

For additional dances, see: