Home Videos Photos Contact Us Partners
Articles by Topic Search News and Reviews
Dance Topics
Diet and Nutrition

Dance Styles
Classical Ballet
Jazz Dance
Modern Dance
Tap Dance
Hip Hop
Social Dance

Dance Appreciation
Dance History
Dance Biographies

Dance Guides
Dance Dictionary
Q&A: Dance Advice

Dance Reviews
Dance Events
Dance Products
Press Releases

Dance Opportunity
University Dance
Dance Employment
Dance Auditions
Master Classes

Video Gallery
Photo Gallery

Mission Statement
Note from The Editor

RSS Feed
rss feed

Add to your
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator
Add to Google
Home > Dance History

The Wide World of Ballroom: A Short History

On Friday night I decided to take a tango class. I was lucky that the teacher was willing to dance with me since I didn’t bring a partner… It was that draw of romance, passion and partnering that drew me there. A few couples came to learn and I noticed how delighted and alert they looked while they perfected their dance together. I observed the couples gazing in each others eyes, and moving in perfect opposition yet in sync. After a few basic movement displays, I picked it up and found myself being swept away by my partner’s knowledge of the language. He knew where to go next, and he knew how to move me; he just required my trust and my “letting go”. There was something so seductive about it: the passionate movement, the trust it required, and the flow it brought. I was hooked…

Tango Dancers

Tango, and Ballroom Dance in general have swept dance lovers worldwide. We see ballroom dancing coming out of the closet, and taken backout for a spin. There is something about the sleek movement, the bright and beautiful costumes mixed with the homegrown factor and the sociability and of it that makes ballroom look so tempestuous yet achievable!

Ballroom was derived from folk dancing and was always defined by the era in which it was created. Historically, ballroom was an un-choreographed type of popular dancing which required a “leader” and a “follower” as well as partner contact.

Ballroom Dancers

Though Ballroom Dancing does refer to any form of social dancing, some relate it directly to Dancesport which is a ballroom competition organization. We have a wide variety of ballroom dance competitions today, all stemming from the originator Dancesport which is categorized as follows:


International Standard
  • Slow Waltz
  • Tango
  • Slow Foxtrot
  • Quickstep
  • Viennese Waltz

    International Latin
  • Cha Cha
  • Samba
  • Rumba
  • Paso Doble
  • Jive


    American Style

  • American Smooth
  • Waltz
  • Tango
  • Foxtrot
  • Viennese Waltz

  • American Rhythm
  • Cha Cha
  • Rumba
  • East Coast Swing
  • Bolero
  • Mambo

    These competitive ballroom styles are well known today due to televised competitions as well as shows such as Dancing with the Stars. This FOX show couples celebrities with seasoned ballroom dancers, who train and perform until the couples are narrowed down to the “winner” of the competition.

    This show as well as a handful of movies such as Strictly Ballroom, Dirty Dancing, Lambada, Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, Shall We Dance?, Swing Kids, and Stepping Out (among many others) caused ballroom to gain popularity throughout the years.

    Dirty Dancing

    Before ballroom found itself in the competition, television/film and stage circuit, it was merely a social type of dance that the general public created and enjoyed. Each style of ballroom dances had a set step of patterns which dance couples freely used in their own freestyle dances. A lot of ballroom dancing found it's way into nightclubs and social events around the country:

    Historical Folk Ballroom

  • Waltz
  • Polka
  • Tango
  • Foxtrot
  • Schottische

    General Latin

  • Salsa
  • Merengue
  • Samba
  • Bachata
  • Cha Cha
  • Mambo
  • Bolero
  • Paso Doble
  • Argentine Tango
  • Forro
  • Samba
  • Milonga
  • Lambada
  • Pagode
  • Habanera



  • Hustle
  • Swing
  • Lindy Hop
  • Disco
  • Two-step Country
  • Charleston
  • Shimmy
  • Twist
  • Square Dancing

    Country Dancing

    There are so many styles, and variations of styles coming from various backgrounds, competition standards, and the even coming from the nightclub scene. Each style continues to evolve and to be adopted by dancers worldwide. Ballroom was once just that: a room where the “ball” or the dance would be held.

    Ballroom has always been a social and fun way to bring people together as well as create beautiful displays of movement and lifting. Today we continue the ballroom dance craze more then ever and bring it to new levels like history has never seen before. If you don’t “get” the craze, then take a tango class for starters, you might just fall in love.

  • Sponsors
    Email This Page to a Friend:
    Your Name: Send to friend
    Friend's Email:


     Subscribe in a reader

    Subscribe via Email:

    Vegas Dance Auditions
    Do you have the guts for VEGAS??

    Hats off to the masters of choreography!

    "Dance is the hidden language of the soul." More Dance Quotes

    fred astaire ginger rogers
    See our tap dance video gallery.

    martha graham
    See our modern dance photo gallery.

    See our ballet photo gallery.

    Ward off tendonitis.

    L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
     photo Then_Now_Onward2.jpg
    Review on LACDC
    Full Article...

    The Eco-Friendly Dancer
    10 ways to save cash, stay green, and inspire others in today’s climate.
    Full Article...

    Dancehelp Reviews Toepads
    Pointe Pads
    Read our pointe toepad reviews!
    Full Article...


    Check out the best summer dance intensive programs in your area
    Full Article...

    Should dancers avoid carbs?
    Dieting Myths Debunked
    Full Article...

    How do I improve a low arch?Practice working...
    Q: How can I strengthen my point and make my arch more flexible?
    Full Article...

    Brush up on Your Dance Trivia!
    Dance Quiz
    Take this short dance trivia quiz, how do you score?
    Full Article...

    STOMP Tours US!
    Stomp dancer
    STOMP is no ordinary performance, it's a rhythmic masterpiece.
    Full Article...