Types of Dances

The Dances Categorized By Style and Type

Here you will find a brief description of several dances that you can learn here at Rhythms of Dance.
The Dances are categorized by style and type. (ie: Ballroom Country and Swing).



Ballroom Standard vs Smooth Dances



International Standard

  • Waltz
  • Foxtrot
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Quickstep
  • Tango

    American Smooth

  • Foxtrot
  • Waltz
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Tango
  • Peabody


    Ballroom Latin vs Rhythm Dances



    International Latin

  • Cha Cha Cha
  • Rumba
  • Samba
  • Paso Doble
  • Jive

    American Rhythm

  • Cha Cha
  • Rumba
  • East Coast Swing
  • Bolero
  • Mambo
  • ________________


  • Triple Two Step
  • Polka
  • Nightclub Two Step
  • Cha Cha
  • Waltz
  • Two Step
  • East Coast Swing
  • West Coast Swing
  • Double Shuffle
  • Line Dance
  • Country Swing




  • Salsa
  • Merengue
  • Bachata
  • Zuke
  • Argentine Tango




  • Hustle
  • Nightclub
  • Slow Rhythm




  • East Coast Swing
  • West Coast Swing
  • Lindy Hop
  • Balboa
  • Shag

    Ballroom Dance

    Separated into two main schools: International and American. International Style was developed mainly in England and tends to be more standardized, while American Style is much flashier and has almost limitless variations. The added drama in American Style can be attributed to the influence of Hollywood in the early 20th century. Since the two distinct styles evolved side-by-side, each one has influenced the development of the other to varying degrees through the years. Each of the styles is further separated into 2 sub-categories: Standard and Latin in the International Style; Smooth and Rhythm in the American Style.

    Not that one is necessarily easier to learn and master... In fact, most of the movement characteristics and a few of the figures are the same in both styles. Additionally, the goal in both styles is to get around the floor efficiently and with ease while maintaining the unique characteristics of each dance, smooth/standard, rhythm/Latin has relatively little overlap. While each category has cha cha, rumba and a swing dance, international has Samba and Paso Doble, while American has Bolero -- another, slower Rumba dance -- and Mambo. The Rumba dances are dissimilar, even in their basic counts, with steps on counts 1, 3, 4 for American and 2, 3, 4 for international. Most importantly, the hip motion differs: in American style, one steps onto a bent leg; in international style, onto a straight leg. [Henry Neeman]



    Ballroom Standard & Smooth Dances

    Standard & Smooth Dances are often thought of and referred to as Ballroom Dances. Foxtrot, Slow Waltz, Viennese Waltz, and Tango are found in both disciplines. Quickstep, long considered to be a Standard Dance, has recently enjoyed a Smooth makeover with the prevalence of shows such as Dancing with the Stars. The most notable difference between American Smooth and International Standard is that in Smooth you will see the partners release dance hold to perform a variety of underarm turns, and side-by-side or shadow figures. When dancing Standard, the dance hold is maintained throughout the entirety of the dance. While American Smooth is flashier and generally speaking, more interesting to watch, International Standard retains a level of elegance that is unrivaled in the dance world.


    Waltz (Ballroom International Standard)

    Waltz is danced to music with three beats to the bar. This means that if a step is taken on each beat, then each bar starts with the opposite foot to that of the previous bar. This can be a source of great difficulty for the beginner, but when mastered, gives the dance a beautifully romantic lilt. Examples of Waltz music include Moon River(Andy Williams), Wonderful World of the Young(Various Artists), Unbelievable(Nat King Cole).

    Tango (Ballroom International Standard)

    Tango evolved from the Argentine Tango popular in the early 20th century. While the Argentine Tango was, and is, a very soft private dance, with visual emphasis on the leg movements... this character changed dramatically in Paris in the 1930's, where the dance was combined with the proud torso of the other ballroom dances, and given a staccato action. This moved the visual emphasis to the torso and head, a characteristic which remains to this day.

    Viennese Waltz (Ballroom International Standard)

    Viennese Waltz is a fast (180 beats per minute), simplified version of the waltz. In 1754 the first music for the actual "Waltzen" appeared in Germany. The word Waltz means "to revolve." As the name infers, the partners revolve around each other as they traverse the floor. This dance became hugely popular in Vienna in the early 1800's, from which it spread to England and later the Americas. It is consequently known today as the "Viennese Waltz." Examples of Viennese Waltz music include When Irish Eyes Are Smiling(Frank Patterson), Piano Man(Billy Joel), Chim Chimeree(Ray Conniff).

    Foxtrot (Ballroom International Standard)

    Foxtrot is danced to a slow-quick-quick rhythm to 4/4 time music. Social Foxtrots travel well across a large floor. The music is usually upbeat with an easy beat to follow, epitomized by Big Band music from the '40s. Examples of music you can dance Foxtrot to include It Had To Be You(Harry Connick Jr.), Singing In The Rain(Doris Day), Dream A Little Dream(Mamas and the Papas), I Want to be Loved by You(Sinead O'Connor). Performance-level foxtrots are characterized by smooth gliding movements.

    Quickstep (Ballroom International Standard)

    Quickstep evolved when live bands in the 1920's played slow Foxtrot music too fast, and couples on the floor could not step fast enough to keep up with the music. It retains the walks, runs, chasses, and turns of the original Foxtrot, but incorporates athletic elements such as locks, hops, skips, and kicks. Quickstep is not played often at social dances in Portland, though you can often do Quickstep to Jive or Single Swing music. In this case dance floor etiquette calls for "Quicksteppers" to dance around the outer edges of the floor, while "Swingers" stick to the middle of the dance floor. Music you can Quickstep to includes Sing Sing Sing(Various Artists), It Don't Mean A Thing(Herman Brood), Puttin On The Ritz(Liza Minelli).




    Waltz (Ballroom American Smooth)

    Waltz is the traditional Wedding Dance. The character is graceful with a swooping rise and fall. The timing is ONE - two - three with the "one" being the downbeat. The basic Waltz step is the box step, a sequence of six steps which, if you were to draw a line connecting all six, would form a box. Waltz is one of the first styles most dancers learn. Examples of Waltz music include You Light Up My Life(Whitney Houston), A Time For Us(Andy Williams), Come Away With Me(Norah Jones), Suddenly(Tony Bennett).

    Tango (Ballroom American Smooth)

    Tango is the most easily identifiable dance to observers, characterized by its unique music and dramatic poses. Its story is of a passionate love affair. After the First World War, the Tango was standardized and simplified. Contra body movement and the tango draw were introduced and remain with this dance today. For newcomers attempting to perform the Tango, the main characteristic of the Tango is dancing with slightly bent knees. Tango is a great dance to learn if you want to impress your friends!

    Foxtrot (Ballroom American Smooth)

    Foxtrot is a great social dance often played at social dances, and easy to lead and follow. Traditionally danced to Big Band music, it is smooth and sexy. Its basic timing is slow-slow-quick-quick. The Foxtrot originated in 1914 in New York City by a vaudeville choreographer named Harry Fox. Audiences observed Mr. Fox's dancers slowly 'trotting' across the floor, and soon referred to his dance as the "Foxtrot." It is one of the most versatile of all the ballroom dances as it can be danced to a wide variety of music with varying tempos. Examples of Foxtrot music include Just In Time(Bobby Darrin), Witchcraft(Frank Sinatra), The Best is Yet To Come(Tony Bennett). If you only have time to learn one ballroom dance, we recommend the Foxtrot!

    Viennese Waltz (Ballroom American Smooth)

    Viennese Waltz is about twice the speed of Waltz, and features simple footwork with many twirls and voluminous arm expression. Viennese Waltz is the dance most often seen in movies depicting Ballroom Dancing. American Viennese Waltz is rarely done at social dances. Examples of Viennese Waltz music include Que Sera Sera(Doris Day), Thornbirds Theme(James Galway & Phil Coulter), Blue Danube(Various Artists).

    Peabody (Ballroom American Smooth)

    Peabody feels like a cross between Foxtrot and Quickstep and is handy to dance with Foxtrot music that is too fast or Quickstep music that is too slow. It"s primarily a dance with long, gliding steps. Dancers use intricate quick steps set against a figure called the "open box". The song "I Could Have Danced All Night" from the "My Fair Lady" soundtrack is an example of Peabody music.




    Ballroom Latin & Rhythm Dance

    International Latin consists of Cha-Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba and Paso Doble. The Latin Cha-Cha and Rumba dances share the same origin as the American Cha-Cha and Rumba, although more of a classical influence can be seen as they evolved under the guidance of classical English and European dancers.The Jive is best described as a faster version of Swing, with some striking stylistic differences due mainly to the speed of the music. Samba has its origins in Brazil, and also features a very distinct, percussive African influence. The Paso Doble originated in France and was later adopted by Spain. Paso Doble is traditionally danced to the music played in bullfights, and often characterizes the dramatic story of the matador, his cape and his life or death fight with the bull.

    The American Rhythm grouping consists of Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing, Mambo and Bolero. Four of these dances have their origins in Cuba, with the Rumba dating as far back as the 16th century. These dances and the corresponding music were greatly influenced by the African slaves in Cuba, and they tend to be more percussive and have a very earthy and hypnotic quality about them. The only exception to the Cuban origination is Swing which was born in the USA in the early 20th century. Swing dancing in America was greatly influenced by the African American dance community in the jazz clubs of Harlem, New York. Of particular note is The Savoy Ballroom which featured world-class dancers such as Shorty George, Cab Calloway and Herbert White's Lindy-Hoppers.


    Cha Cha Cha (Ballroom International Latin)

    Cha-Cha is becoming more popular for wedding dance music reflecting our society's current fascination and romance with Latin culture. When the English dance teacher Pierre Lavelle visited Cuba in 1952, he realized that sometimes the Rumba was danced with extra beats. When he returned to Britain, he started teaching these steps as a separate dance called the Cha-Cha. We recommend all newcomers take the time to learn the Cha-Cha, as this dance is popular at social dances. Examples of Cha-Cha music you can dance to include Someday(Sugar Ray), All I Want To Do(Sheryl Crow), Lady Marmalade(Christina Aguilera), Let's Get Loud(J-Lo).

    Samba (Ballroom International Latin)

    Samba has figures with very different rhythms, like the Boto Fogo is danced to a "1 & a 2" quarter beat rhythm, whereas the Natural Rolls are danced to the simpler "1 2 &" half beat rhythm. It still retains a hip movement on the half beats between steps (the "Samba Tic"), a flat carriage of the torso, and is danced with the weight forward, substantially on the big toes. Examples of Samba music you can dance to include Bailamos(Julio Eglasias) and Shake Your Bon Bon(Ricky Martin).

    Rumba (Ballroom International Latin)

    Rumba's rural form in Cuba was described as a pantomime of barnyard animals. The maintenance of steady level shoulders while dancing was possibly derived from the way the slaves moved while carrying heavy burdens. The step still used today called the "Cucaracha" pantomimed stomping on cockroaches. The "Spot Turn" (also still used today) emulated walking around the rim of a cartwheel. The British dance teacher Pierre Lavelle visited Havana in 1947 and discovered that the Rumba was danced with the break step on beat 2 of the bar, rather than on beat 1 as in the American Rumba. He brought this back to Britain, together with the names of the many steps he learned from Pepe Rivera in Havana. These together with dancing the break on beat 2 rather than beat 1, have become part of the standard International Cuban Rumba. Examples of Rumba music you can dance to include Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps(Doris Day) and Take My Breath Away(Berlin)

    Paso Doble (Ballroom International Latin)

    Paso Doble is one of the most famous Spanish dances seen in competition. You will recognize the music of the most popular Paso Doble, the "Spanish Gypsy Dance", the moment it begins! This dance was first discovered in Mexico and made popular here in the U.S. during the 1920's. The gentleman in the dance represents the bullfighter while the lady's movement represents the bullfighter's red cloth also known as "Cappa," or sometimes the bull.

    Jive (Ballroom International Latin)

    Jive is usually the last dance in Latin competition, and is one of the hardest dances athletically to perform. It contains chasse steps, kicks and turns with the feet. Often these are complicated, and partners must stay focused on the rhythm so as not to slip off-track! Partners are often judged on the energy that they give to its performance, in addition to the steps. The "moving center" of the dance, in Jive's case the handhold, should remain firm. Good coordination is essential, especially when executing sharp turns and difficult hand movements. Examples of Jive music include White I Like About You(The Romantics), Runaround Sue(Dion), Zoot Suit Riot(Cherry Poppin Daddies).




    Cha Cha (Ballroom American Rhythm)

    Cha-Cha was created by replacing the "slow" in Rumba with a fast "side-together-side" (Cha-Cha-Cha). It is a very fun, fast, flirtatious dance! Originally known as Cha-Cha-Cha, its origins are in Cuban Mambo. It came to this country in the mid 1950's. The Cha-Cha is a spot dance characterized by dramatic body movements and a lot of energy. Cha-Cha shares many of the same steps as Mambo or Salsa with the Cha-Cha triple step thrown in. Songs you can Cha-Cha to include Gettin Jiggy Wit It(Will Smith), Smooth(Santana), Get The Party Started(Pink), Barbie Girl(Aqua).

    Rumba (Ballroom American Rhythm)

    Rumba is a modified version of the "Son": a popular dance in middle class Cuba before World War II. Known as the "Dance of Love", Rumba is the simplest rhythm dance and is the dance from which most of the other Rhythm dances were derived. It was introduced in this country in the 1920's and 30's and is slow and rhythmical. Sometimes called the "Latin Waltz" or the "Waltz with a Wiggle", the Rumba is also a spot dance. It is danced in one spot with a slow-quick-quick timing and is characterized by sexy hip motion, turns, breaks and rolls. Many Waltz figures can be danced in the Rumba with Rumba timing, Cuban Motion, and Latin arm styling. Examples of Rumba music include My Cherie Amour(Jackson 5) and The Promise(When in Rome).

    East Coast Swing (Ballroom American Rhythm)

    Swing, sometimes referred to as "East Coast Swing," is the most common Ballroom Swing dance. It has a bouncy character with a basic timing of triple-step, triple-step, rock-step. Despite its name, East Coast Swing is danced all over the country, and is the Swing many dancers learn first. It"s a versatile dance that we encourage all newcomers to learn. Examples of music you can Swing to include Sh'Boom(Embers) and Route 66(Big Joe Maher).

    Bolero (Ballroom American Rhythm)

    Bolero was originally a Spanish dance in 3/4 time. It later changed in Cuba into 2/4 time, then eventually into 4/4. It is now danced as a very slow type of Rumba rhythm. This is a left turning dance based on a "slip pivot" (a slip pivot is a rotation of the body on the ball of the supporting foot creating a pivot either forward or backward). Bolero has body rise only (no foot rise). This coupled with the slip pivot and slow dreamy music gives Bolero a very slow, smooth, powerful, romantic look and feeling. The foot patterns are similar to Rumba but have a very different feeling. An example of Bolero music is Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On."

    Mambo (Ballroom American Rhythm)

    Mambo has its origins in the religious ritual dances of West Africa. The word "Mambo" is the name of a voodoo priestess. The dance is similar to Salsa and spread to the United States from Haiti in 1948. There are three forms of Mambo: single, double, and triple. The triple has five(!) steps to a bar, and this is the version that evolved into the Cha-Cha. Basic Mambo timing is quick, quick, slow. Make sure to break on the "2" in Mambo, not the "1" as you would in Salsa dancing. Songs you can Mambo to include Mambo#5(Lou Bega) and Tequila(The Champs)




    Country Western Dances

    Originating in the wild west and influenced by the Europeans, Country dance has evolved into a strong and recognized social avenue.


    Triple Two Step

    This is a romantic dance. It would be like walking hand in hand through a park with your loved-one. It is used in Country competitions and its technique is more complex than Double Shuffle. It flows around the floor with a graceful sway.


    This is the fastest / liveliest dance of all the Country Dances. Its Country style differs from the German sytle Polka that some people may be familiar with. It has a lilt and rise but keeps grounded without skipping up off the floor.

    Nightclub Two Step

    Night Club Two Step is also called the bedroom dance. it is a smooth dance with a sway and counter sway motion like a flower moving back and forth in the wind. Night Club is considered the bedroom dance because it is supposed to have the look and feel of a romantic engagement in the bedroom with candle lights, rose petals and soft romantic music playing in the background.

    Cha Cha

    This dance is all about passion and being flirtatious. It is a rhythm, latin style dance and is danced at a slightly slower tempo within the Country style. It can be known within the country circuit as a Country Cha Cha and though it's style of dance also suits latin, it can be danced to many Top 40 hit songs. Both have Cuban motion.


    Waltz is an elegant dance whether Country or Ballroom. The American style is danced with many open partner positions rather than all in a closed dance frame like the International style. This is a smooth dance and has rise and fall when done properly.

    Two Step

    Your classic Country dance. The proper way of Two-Stepping is unlike what you might see at the local bars. This dance feels like walking, it is not a smooth or rhythm style dance. It travels around the floor in a counter-clockwise direction even while the lady is turning.

    East Coast Swing

    A lively dance from the Swing/Jive family. East Coast Swing is the Country style of Swing/Jive. It is danced at a slightly slower tempo than Jive or American Swing. A fun dance that would suit a lot of music played at most functions you may attend.

    West Coast Swing

    This dance will get you hooked! Not an easy dance to start with, but this dance is very versatile and works with pretty much any music style out there, It originates from Blues music but is now danced to Pop / Rock / Ballards and many more types of music. There is a big community of dancers that just focus on West Coast Swing. It differs because, unlike most dances where the male and female steps mirror each other, in this dance most steps do not.

    Double Shuffle

    This dance follows along the same lines as Two-Step, as you can use many of the same dance patterns. This dance though has a triple step instead of the slow, slow count. It"s a great alternative for live band music where dancing a Two-Step would be too slow.

    Line Dance

    Danced in a line to a variety of songs ranging in levels of difficulty from newcomer to advanced. Working on 1 wall, two wall or four wall configuration.

    Country Swing

    Danced in the country bars around north america Country Swing is a mish mash of dances combining Two Step and Jive with a varietry of lifts and drops that the younger generation are drawn too.




    Latino Dances

    Dances Influenced by African and South American music.



    Salsa is similar to Mambo in that both have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The dances share many of the same moves. In Salsa, turns have become an important feature, so the overall look and feel are quite different from those of Mambo. Mambo moves generally forward and backward, whereas, Salsa has more of a side to side feel. While Mambo breaks on the "2" beat, Salsa breaks on the "1." Portland's "Satin and Latin" studio specializes in Casino Rueda: essentially salsa dancing in a group circle.


    Merengue is a Ballroom as well as a club dance that is done to really fast Latin music. It consists of very simple steps organized into sets of 8 to 2/4 music, and features a characteristic hip swing with graceful arm flourishes. Merengue choreography is as follows: Men and woman hold each other in a closed position and step to their side in what is known as "Paso de la Empalizada" or "Stick-Fence Step". They can then turn clockwise or counterclockwise. In Ballroom Merengue (Merengue de Sal"n) the couples never separates. There is also what is called Figure Merengue (Merengue de Figura) in which dancers make turns individually, but never let go of their partner's hands. The latter is most popular in the Portland area. Buster Poindexters "Hot Hot Hot" is an example of Merengue music.


    Another Latin Style Dance. With some Cuban motion between the couple as they dance close together (but not necessary) and a hip bump to the side after each set.


    A new dance emerging from a mixture of Latin style music. A sensual and romantic dance with a swing motion side to side.

    Argentine Tango

    Argentine Tango is exceptionally popular at the moment, especially in Portland! You've seen Argentine Tango in many hit films, including Al Pacino's "Scent of a Woman," Madonna's "Evita," and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis's "True Lies." Argentine Tango is the original Tango, not to be confused with its ballroom derivatives American Tango (with its dramatic arm postures) and International Tango (with its staccato body movement). It has an intimate, compact hold and features intricate footwork and a sensuous, passionate character. Tango was the first couple dance ever seen in Europe that involved improvisation. It was the arrival and popularity of Tango that really defines the beginning of couple dancing as we understand it.




    Other Dances

    Standard & Smooth Dances are often thought of and referred to as Ballroom Dances. Foxtrot, Slow Waltz, Viennese Waltz, and Tango are found in both disciplines. Quickstep, long considered to be a Standard Dance, has recently enjoyed a Smooth makeover with the prevalence of shows such as Dancing with the Stars. The most notable difference between American Smooth and International Standard is that in Smooth you will see the partners release dance hold to perform a variety of underarm turns, and side-by-side or shadow figures. When dancing Standard, the dance hold is maintained throughout the entirety of the dance. While American Smooth is flashier and generally speaking, more interesting to watch, International Standard retains a level of elegance that is unrivaled in the dance world.



    Hustle is today's version of Disco Dancing. It"s fast and rotary, with lots of spins, and is danced to popular music with a pulsing beat. Hustle styles vary widely in the Portland area. Most popular count is "and 1,2, 3" which can be difficult for beginners. Some dancers count and dance to "1,2, and 3" which is easier for beginners. Still others count and dance Hustle with six counts: "and 1,2,3 and 4,5,6." Any of these counts work well. This dance isn't very popular at public ballroom dances in Portland, but is fun to do. You can dance Hustle to most of the quintessential 70's anthems: I Will Survive(Gloria Gaynor), Le Freak(Chic), Stayin' Alive(BeeGee's).


    Nightclub Two-Step is popular on the West Coast, but is almost unheard of on the East Coast. When we requested a Nightclub Two-Step at a dance in New York City, the DJ didn't know what music to play. It"s a beautiful dance with an eight beat basic step. Examples of songs you can dance this to include Sailing(Christopher Cross), When A Man Loves A Woman(Percy Sledge), Drive(The Cars), Coming Around Again(Carly Simon). Typically it"s danced in American-style dance position with a more relaxed hold than typical ballroom dances. The leader rocks back on his left foot, the follower on her right, for one beat. Then both partners replace weight on the second part of the first. On the next beat, the leader takes a step to the left and the follower to the right. Then both partners repeat, but on opposite feet (the man rocks back on his right foot and moves to the right). The "official" rhythm for the basic step is quick-quick slow, although some prefer to start on the slow, usually on beat two of the music. Other rhythms for Nightclub Two-Step are also possible.

    Slow Rhythm

    Slow Rhythm, sometimes referred to as Slow Fox Trot is the "go to" dance for wedding dances. It is a very easy dance to learn and execute and has a variety of patterns and variations that make it suitable for a wide variety of song choices.




    Swing Dances

    Swing Dance is a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1950s, the origin of the dances predating popular "swing era" music. The most well-known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, a fusion of jazz, tap, breakaway, and Charleston, which originated in Harlem in the early 1920s, but includes a number of other styles such as Balboa, Shag, West Coast Swing, and Boogie Woogie to name a few.[1] While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, some swing era dances such as West Coast Swing and the Balboa developed in white communities. Swing dance was not used as a blanket term for this group of dances until the latter half of the twentieth century. Historically, the term "Swing" referred to the style of Jazz music, which inspired the evolution of the dance.


    East Coast Swing

    A lively dance from the Swing/Jive family. East Coast Swing is the Country style of Swing/Jive. It is danced at a slightly slower tempo than Jive or American Swing. A fun dance that would suit a lot of music played at most functions you may attend.

    West Coast Swing

    West Coast Swing is popular on the West Coast of the United States, as its name implies. During our last 20 trips to New York City, where we receive our coaching, we have seen West Coast Swing growing in popularity there. West Coast Swing is a "slot dance" in which the partnership and figures revolve almost magnetically over a one-dimensional line on the floor. This "dancing in a slot" approach derives from San Diego dancehalls as far back as 1938. 50's rhythm and blues music is readily-identifiable West Coast Swing music. West Coast Swing is extremely different from Single Swing, Lindy, and other 'big-band'-type swing styles. We host West Coast Swing Dances every Sunday night at The Ballroom Dance Company, as well as the 3rd Friday of every month. Examples of West Coast Swing music include Stray Cat Strut(Stray Cats), California Girls(David Lee Roth), Morning Train(Sheena Easton).

    Lindy Hop (Jitterbug)

    Lindy Hop is the authentic Afro-Euro-American Swing dance. It is an unabashedly joyful dance, with a solid, flowing style that closely reflects its music -- from the late 20's hot Jazz to the early 40's Big Bands. Just as Jazz combines European and African musical origins, Lindy Hop draws on African and European dance traditions. The embracing hold and the turns are from Europe; the breakaway and solid earthy body posture are from Africa. The dance evolved along with the new swing music, based on earlier dances such as the Charleston and the Black Bottom, by black people in Harlem.


    The original Balboa dance is a form of swing dance that started as early as 1915 and gained in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. It is danced primarily in close embrace, and is led with a full body connection. The art of Balboa is in the subtle communication between the lead and follow, including weight shifts, which most viewers cannot see. As a result, Balboa is considered more of a "dancer's dance" than a "spectator's dance". Its exact origins are obscure, especially as most of the original Balboa dancers have since died.

    Carolina Shag (Shag)

    The basic step in Carolina Shag is a six-count, eight-step pattern danced in a slot. The rhythm is similar to six-count Swing in that it is triple step, triple step, rock step or counted as "one-and-two, three-and-four, five-six". There are eight shag dance steps. The "one-and-two" and "three-and-four" steps should take about as much time to complete as the "five-six."




    We offer private lessons for individuals of ALL dancing levels who are eager to learn and improve their dancing skills in a one-on-one teaching environment. This is the best way to become the dancer you want to be as quickly as possible! Whether you're a total beginner or a national competitor, we individually tailor each lesson to each student - reducing weaknesses and developing strengths.


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    For more information please Cindy or call: (403) 228-5765

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