Argentine Tango

This is a social dance, originating from Buenos Aires. The dance consists of a variety of styles developed in South America and influenced by Europe and North America. Argentine Tango is danced in an embrace and can vary from very open to very closed, in which the connection is chest-to-chest. The dance explores and tests the relationship between man and woman. Dancers generally keep their feet close to the floor as they dance, with ankles and knees brushing as one leg passes the other. In this dance, both partners are equal suggesting that either partner may be seduced. Unlike most social dancing, Argentine Tango is not a set step, but an improvised dance. Pupils are taught complex figures, but broken down into simpler parts and then taught how to improvise their own figures. This makes for flexible, ever-changing patterns unlike those of conventional partner dances.


Ballroom dancing covers a group of partner dances, enjoyed socially and competitively as well as on stage, film and television. Other variations include American Smooth. The term 'ballroom dancing' originates from the Latin word ballare, which means 'to dance' and a ballroom is a large room designed for such dancing. Dances include Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Waltz. The Foxtrot originates from the early 20th century and was originally danced to ragtime, today however, it is usually accompanied by the same big band music to which swing is also danced. During the 1940s it was the most popular fast dance and even during the 50s, rock and roll songs were released as "Foxtrots". The Quickstep originated from England as a 'faster foxtrot', evolving in the 1920s from a combination of other dances, but has now become quite distinctive and is danced to the fastest tempo of all the ballroom dances. The dance has evolved into a dynamic one with many advanced patterns including hops, runs, quick steps and rotation. The Quickstep (like the Foxtrot) is elegant with the dancers appearing to be very light on their feet. This dance is very energetic. The Waltz is a ballroom dance originating from Austria and performed primarily in a closed position, in which partners hold each other while facing toward each other. Holding is not limited to handholds, closed position can mean body contact. The Waltz is characterized by the pendulum swing body action and is a slow dance with measured steps, moving around the room in a controlled way with lots of figures. The Viennese Waltz is a fast dance with lots of rotation and is the oldest of the current ballroom dances. Most people associate the Viennese Waltz with 'The Blue Danube' of Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866.

Latin Dances

Latin dances include a wide range of dances originating from Latin America and Cuba. Dances include, Cha-cha-cha, Jive, Paso Doble, Rumba and Samba. The Cha-cha-cha is a fun and versatile (Cuban) dance that draws its name from the rhythm of the feet on the floor. Jive is a lively dance which originates from the Jitterbug brought to this country by GIs during the Second World War. Paso Doble is a lively style of dance, modeled after the sound, drama and movement of a Spanish Bullfight. The man is the Matador whilst the woman takes the part of the flowing provocative cape. Slowing right down comes the Rumba, often referred to as the 'Queen' of Latin dances. This dance provides the setting for the sensual and passionate duel between the man and the woman on the dancefloor. Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance from Brazil.

Line Dancing

Originating from North America in the 1800s, Line dance, as the name suggests, is a dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people dance in lines or rows. It is performed to a set routine with no connection between dancers, a distinguishing feature of this dance. Although originally men and women often danced in separate lines, today's dances are often done in mixed lines, which helps to avoid the imbalance of male/female. Line dance is mostly associated with Country & Western music and is rapidly growing and progressing all the time. Other forms of this dance include, Round dances, Square dances and Partner Country & Western dances.

Salsa Dances

Salsa dances include Mambo, Merengue and Salsa itself. A forerunner of Salsa, Mambo was invented in the 1930s in Havana, Cuba. Heavily influenced by Jazz musicians and accompanied by fast and fun moves. Mambo dancing can be seen in the film 'Dirty Dancing'. Merengue is a dance with a two-step beat, with partners holding each other in a closed position. Originating from the Caribbean, many of the movements are like those of Salsa but slower, making it easier to learn. The Salsa is a fun, simple and lively dance with origins from Cuba. It is normally a partner dance but there are recognised solo forms. Salsa is popular throughout the world.

Rock 'N' Roll

Rock 'N' Roll was introduced in this country in 1957 with the advent of the recording of 'Rock Around the Clock' by Bill Haley and the Comets. Rock 'N' Roll changed the face of dance in this country for ever. Teenagers of the day deserted the traditional ballroom style in their droves.