Ballroom Dance refers to a collection of dance types as listed below.     There are 2 major styles of Ballroom Dance in the world today.    There is the ‘International Style’ and the ‘American Style’.    The most popular style in Canada, United States, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world is the International Style.    However, the American Style is gaining popularity as well.     Most of the dancing you will see on television is based on the International Style.    Aside from the two styles having a different syllabus of steps (which is only a ‘skin deep’ difference), they both are quite similar to each other when danced properly.

Originally, people dancing International Style were doing so for the purpose of entering dance competition.    By contrast, people dancing American style were doing so for the purpose of social dancing (that is, for fun only, without the stringent rules).    In recent years, however, there has become a blur between the two styles in terms of the approach dancers have taken.    There are dance competitions now in American Style and more and more people dance International Style socially.    The American Style has drawn from the International Style in the area of its technique, discipline, and standardization.     The International Style has drawn from the American Style in terms of some of its flamboyance, open mindedness, and entertainment value.

The International Style can be divided into Standard and Latin dance types.    The American Style can be divided into Smooth and Rhythm dance types.     There is another popular sub category, sometimes referred to as ‘Club Style’, which even further blurs the categorization of the dances, and which in the broadest context is often thought of a representing a number of Ballroom Dance satellite dances.

International Style:      ‘Standard’ –  Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Viennese Waltz.

International Style:      ‘Latin’ – Rumba, Cha Cha, Samba, Jive, and Paso Doble

American Style:             ‘Smooth’ – Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz.

American Style:             ‘Rhythm’ – Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, Samba, Mambo (and several other satellite dances).

Club Style:                      Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Street Hustle, West Coast Swing, Argentine Tango, and several others.

To learn more on this topic, click here to read about ‘Latin Dance’, ‘Swing Dance’, and ‘Salsa Dance’.

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