Merengue

There are two schools of thought as to how this captivating dance began. One says it started as a peasant dance in the Dominican Republic by African slaves. The dragging of one leg relieved chafing of leg irons. Another says a returning war hero, a General Maringie, danced, dragging an injured leg. Today the exciting rhythms of the Merengue inspire dancers all over the world to move with the intoxicating beat of the Merengue.

Rumba

The Rumba was the beginning of Cuban and Latin American dance crazes. Danced to music inspired by African rhythms and Spanish melodies, the Americanized Rumba was the basis for the Mambo and Cha Cha in the U.S. Music called Salsa perpetuates the popularity of the Rumba all over the world.

Argentine Tango

The Argentine Tango was exported out of Argentina by Europeans in the early 1900's ending up at the Imperial country club in France. There it was refined and popularized by Monsieur Camile de Rhynal under the supervision of Grand Duchess Anastasie of Russia. From Paris, it immediately went to London where it began its process of methodic analysis by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, soon reaching a state of orderliness and standardization that was to lay the foundation for the style of dance today.

Jitterbug

The Lindy picked up where the Charleston left off. It had "swing-outs", "break-aways" and "shine-steps". With the birth of "Swing," music in the mid-1930's the Lindy climbed the social ladder. In August of 1935, at the Palomar Ballroom, bandleader Benny Goodman played a Fletcher Henderson arrangement of "Stompin' at the Savoy". The rest, as they say, is history. The dance craze swept the nation depending on where you lived, it was the Jitterbug, the Lindy, or the Swing.

Tango

The Tango began in the West Indies and found its way to Argentina where it was stylized by the Gauchos to its present form. It became the romantic rage in 1921 after silent screen star Rudolph Valentino brought the dance millions in "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". Today it is considered a "dancer's dance" and is a favorite of all who learn to dance the Tango. The Tango is one of the most beautiful of all the dances and is earthy and dramatic.

Samba

The national dance of Brazil became the Rage of Brazilian society in the 1930's but began as an exhibition dance in Paris In 1905. Movie Star & Singer Carmen Miranda is credited with making the dance popular today because it is easily adaptable to different tempos. Everybody who lands in Rio must know how to dance the Samba.

Swing

The Lindy picked up where the Charleston left off. It had "swing-outs", "break-aways" and "shine-steps". With the birth of "Swing," music in the mid-1930's the Lindy climbed the social ladder. In August of 1935, at the Palomar Ballroom, bandleader Benny Goodman played a Fletcher Henderson arrangement of "Stompin' at the Savoy". The rest, as they say, is history. The dance craze swept the nation depending on where you lived, it was the Jitterbug, the Lindy, or the Swing.

Foxtrot

In 1913 Harry Fox, a Vaudeville Comedian, introduced a trot to a ragtime song in the 1913 Ziegfeld Follies that pushed other trots into the background. It became America's most popular dance and remains so to this day as the standard social dance. The Fox Trot is the foundation for all dances and therefore is often called the "get-acquainted" or "first impression" dance.

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Mambo

In the 1940's Americans became fascinated with American rhythms. The Mambo combined American Jazz with the Afro-Cuban beat. For dancers, the Mambo was an exciting challenge. Today, the Mambo is exciting to dance and to watch.

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Cha Cha

Probably the most popular Latin dance in the U.S., the ChaCha began as a part of the Mambo. It was so easy and so much fun, it became the rage of the early 1950's. Its infectious one-two, one-two-three, rhythm demands that sitters become dancers. Everybody can learn the ChaCha, and they should!

Hustle

The Hustle marked a return to popular dances where couples danced touching each other. In the early 1970's a modified Lindy Hop or Jitterbug became popular on the crowded dance floors of New York. It was called The Hustle; it is still popular today and is danced to modern "disco" music based on Rhythm & Blues.

Viennese Waltz

The Viennese Waltz is a fast waltz which originated in Germany and was taken from there to France by Napoleon as part of the spoils of war. The English, who were at war with France and not wanting to be outdone, adopted it; and in true Anglo fashion ultimately put it through a process of discriminating analysis. Finding its way quickly to America, the dance enjoyed a great deal of popularity at the turn of the century. Besides being recognized as the "Mother of Social Dance" it has also served an important role in the development of theatre dance, having been frequently utilized in theatrical and Hollywood productions. The word Waltzen (derived from the Latin Volvere) meaning to revolve, succinctly describes the key characteristics of this picturesque dance, particularly when viewed from elevation. Perhaps one of the most breathtaking spectacles of a Dancesport event is the panorama of thirty or forty couples beautifully attired in traditional tails and ballgowns revolving collectively around the ballroom in a harmonious display.


Waltz

It is considered the Mother of our present dances. Waltz began in southern Germany in the seventeenth century. The popularity of the Waltz grew with the music of Johann Strauss and eventually blossomed in the 20th century as the Hesitation Waltz. It is the basis for many dances and is popular today, all over the world. The Waltz gives dancers the opportunity to develop balance and to move lightly with ease.

West Coast Swing

A stylized Swing dance popularized west of the Mississippi from Kansas to California. It is danced in a slot, to medium - slow Swing or Disco music and it is characterized by slow movements, such as taps and shuffles, coaster steps, push and pull actions.

Salsa

Salsa is a fun, upbeat Latin Dance created back in the 70's from Puerto Rican orchestras that wanted to express the Rhythmical Latin feel that pulsated through their veins. With its Afro-Cuban origins, this steamy nightclub dance boasts a lot of energy and can be danced with many styles including Cali (Columbia), LA, New York, Miami, and Puerto Rico.