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We currently offer instruction in the following Ballroom Dances:
Created in 1912 by Harry Fox, the Fox Trot was the first dance that permitted people to hold each other closer than arm's length. If you think the term "dirty dancing" was a product of the 80s, think again. The Fox Trot was at first to be tagged "indecent behavior". Today it's still the most popular of all social dances. Some people refer to the Fox Trot as the "Slow Dance" or the "Two-Step", or a "Conversational Dance" because of it's closeness and conversation ability at the same time. The Fox Trot is good for developing "smoothness" and "ease of movement".
An offshoot of the Mambo, the Cha Cha (originally the cha-cha-cha) evolved out of popular movement in slow-tempo Mambo called the Triple Mambo. By 1954 it had evolved into a dance all its own. It's a must style to know, the all time favorite Latin dance that can be done to both contemporary music and traditional Latin sounds.
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. Another says a returning war hero, a General Maringie, danced dragging an injured leg. Whatever its origin, today's exciting rhythm of the Merengue inspires dancers all over the world to move to its intoxicating beat. Considered too scandalous when it was introduced to the United States in 1941, the Merengue went into hiding until 1957 when Xavier Cugat resurrected it. Merengue music is written in 2/4, 4/4/ or 6/8 time. The rhythmical accent will occur on the first beat of each measure. Merengue songs and artists include:
Hot, Hot, Hot - Buster Poindexter
Jump In The Line - Harry Belafonte
Cuban Pete - Jim Carey
This "mother of all dances" originated in Italy in the 1600's as a round dance called the Volte. It arrived America in the early 1800's and was the first social dance in which a woman was actually held in a man's arms. Learning to Waltz is elegant. The Waltz develops "graceful movement" and "poise". Every wedding reception, social "black-tie" formal and holiday party includes Waltz steps.
First known as the Lindy (in honor of Charles Lindberg and his historic hop across the Atlantic), this perennially popular dance emerged the late 1920's. lt combined steps from the Black Bottom; it was also the Bop and Push, the Hustle and Boot Scoot, Shag, Charleston and Hop. During the war years it re-emerged on the East Coast as the Jitterbug-jive and on the West as Swing. You can Rock and Roll with Swing.
In the 1940's Americans became fascinated by Latin American rhythms. The original Mambo music, El Guardia Con El Tolete, had its beginning in 1944 as a Rumba with a riff improvisation. Introduced by band leader Anselmo Sacaras in 1944, the Mambo - didn't really catch on until the 1950s and it remains very popular today. The Mambo combined American Jazz with the Afro-Cuban beat. As the parent of Cha Cha and Salsa, the Mambo is an exciting challenge of all dancers.
Mambo music is written in 4/4 time with each measure divided into four beats with the important musical accents occurring on the first and third beats. This dance can be done over a wide range of tempos.
Mambo songs and artists include:
Tequila - The Champs
Mambo #5 - Perez "Prez" Prado
Cherry Cherry - Neil Diamond
Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
Rudolph Valentino single-handedly danced this Latin import into nationwide popularity beginning in 1910. Although widely believed to have originated in Argentina, it actually may have come from Spain. It's dramatic, exciting and known as the Dancer's Dance. The Tango with all its staccato movements, greatly improves a man's lead or a woman's ability to follow (respond) and develops a strong sense of feeling for music.
Discotheques (Discos) with high quality sound systems and flashing lights became a popular form of entertainment in Europe and America in the late 1960's and throughout the 70's. In the early 1970[s a new dance craze became popular on the crowded dance floors of New York. This "Touch Disco" was the Hustle. The Hustle marked a return to the popular dances where couples dance touching each other. The popularity of modern and "retro" music with "disco" beat keeps this dance fresh, exciting and full of energy for today. Finding the familiar sounds of the 70's is all too common in this dance. Hustle being closely related to Swing, is one of the easiest dances to learn and can be done in very short amount of time. It's perfect for a wedding reception, or large groups of people! Best of all, this dance is also appropriate for modern day techno, hip-hop or pop music. Disco music is normally written in 2/4 or 4/4 time with a strong bass beat. The melody and beat are based on rhythm and blues and the accent on each of the bass beats makes the music hard to resist.
Hustle songs and artists include:
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Last Dance - Donna Summer
Believe - Cher
This national dance of Brazil became the rage of its society in the 1930's but began as an exhibition dance in Paris in 1905. A street Festival dance that originated in Brazil, the Samba was introduced to the United States in the late 1920's in a Broadway play called "Street Carnival." Movie star and singer Carmen Miranda is credited with
making the dance popular in the U.S. in the early 1940's. Today's Samba music is influenced by Jazz and Latin rhythms. It is written in 2/4 or 4/4 time. The music is festive and fast paced with a sound associated with Rio's Carnival. The basic count is "Slow a Slow" or "1 and 2".Samba songs and artists include:
One Note Samba - Antonio Carlos Jobim
Macarena - Los Del Rio
Copacabana - Barry Manilow
Quando, Quando, Quando - Engelbert Humperdinck
The Rumba is an ever increasingly popular romantic Latin dance dating back some 400 years ago, and is better known as the Latin get acquainted dance or the dance with the wiggle. The Rumba sometimes substitutes for those in-between tempos and features a subtle or relaxed (lateral) hip motion and Latin styling. Rumba hip movements are used in most of the popular Latin dances as well as the free-style of disco and night club dancing...
A peppery and more relaxed version of the Mambo laced with steps from other Latin dances. The Salsa is performed to a fiery, faster tempo. Some call it a form of Latinized Rock and Roll. It's high-energy and all the rage at Salsa Clubs around the country right now.