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Introduction

Jean and Chuan Chee competing in Latin Jean and Chuan Chee competing in Standard

Benefits of Dancing
Ballroom/DanceSport Dances
Salsa/Latin and other Nightclub Dances
Social and Other Dances
Solo Dance: Tap, Irish, Bollywood
Dance History
Videos of Various Dance Styles

Benefits of Dancing

There are so many benefits for learning how to dance. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Have fun at social dances, weddings, cruises, and vacations
  • Boost self-confidence and self-image
  • A great way to meet new friends and form new relationships
  • Good form of exercise (improved fitness) and stress relief
  • Learn how to interact socially with the opposite sex
  • Spice up an existing relationship
  • Improve posture and poise
  • Experience some etiquette
  • Gain music appreciation
  • ...
  • What else can you think of?

Dance Descriptions

Ballroom/DanceSport Dances

There are two major styles of Ballroom Dancing or DanceSport: International and North American. Each style has two divisions.

Ballroom/DanceSport Dances
Style International North American
Division StandardLatin SmoothRhythm
Dances Waltz
Tango
Foxtrot
Viennese Waltz
Quickstep
Cha Cha
Rumba
Jive
Samba
Paso Doble
Waltz
Tango
Foxtrot
Viennese Waltz
Cha Cha
Rumba
Swing
Bolero
Mambo
Note: Some people spell Viennese Waltz as Vienesse Waltz.

Although the two styles may have the same dances (e.g., Rumba), the dance figures and speed of music are different.

For a description of the International style dances with a few dance figures, click on Standard and on Latin.

There is also Ballroom Line Dancing.

Toronto Dance ™ concentrates on the International style since it is standardized around the world. The North American style is mostly danced in USA. However, for Latin-Ballroom level 1, we teach the North American style of Foxtrot, Waltz, and Tango since they are easier to start with.

Here are some videos of Latin-Ballroom/DanceSport dance competitions:

  • 2003 Australian Standard Dance Championship (MC speaking in Australian-English):
  • 2006 Kiev (Ukraine) Standard DanceSport Championship (MC speaking in Ukrainian):
  • 2007 Masters Bercy Standard DanceSport Championship (MC speaking in French):
  • 2007 Masters Bercy Latin DanceSport Championship (MC speaking in French):
  • 2004 IDSF Grand Slam (in Singapore) Latin DanceSport Championship (MC speaking in English):
  • 2006 Worlds Masters Latin DanceSport Championship (MC speaking in English):

Click on www.ballroomdancers.com so see other information and videos.

Salsa/Latin and other Nightclub Dances

There are three major styles of Salsa and many sub-styles:

  • Salsa-on-1 (or LA style)
  • Salsa-on-2 (or NY style)
  • Cuban
  • Rueda
Click here for a good description of Salsa from Wikipedia.

Click here for a recent article about the Salsa scene in Toronto.

Salsa

Check the following site for a list of the most recent favourite West Coast Swing music:

Social and Other Dances

Social and Nightclub dances include Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Mambo, (East-Coast) Swing, West-Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Hustle, Nightclub 2.

These dances are very popular with the modern generation since they are adaptable to the current popular music. There are no syllabus (structured) figures so it is possible to make up the steps as you go along or "steal" steps/movements from other dances. These dances are the easiest to learn, the most fun, and does not require a minimum set of figures before you can start dancing.

Social and Nightclub Dances
Style Swing Nightclub /
Latin club
Other
Division Fast SwingSlow Swing
Dances East Coast Swing
- Triple
- Double
- Single
Lindy Hop
Jitterbug
West Coast Swing
Carolina Shag
Hand Dancing
Salsa
Merengue
Bachata
Salsa Rueda
Argentine Tango
Nightclub 2
Hustle
Line Dances (ballroom)
Line Dances (country)
Brazilian Samba
Lambada
Theatre Arts
Cajun/Zydeco
Note: Nightclub 2 only started around year 2000. It was formerly called Nightclub 2-Step.

Latin Hustle

Latin Hustle (or New York Hustle) is a catchall name for several disco dances which were extremeliyi popular in the 1970s. Today it mostly refers to a unique partner dance done in ballrooms and nightclubs. It has some features in common with swing dance and salsa. It's basic steps are somewhat similar to the Discofox, which emerged at about the same time and is more familiar in various european countries.

East Coast Swing

East Coast Swing or Swing (as it is generally known) is the easiest of the Swing family of dances.

West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing is the hardest of the Swing family to learn since both the male and female have different steps to do at the same time; i.e., the steps are not mirror image of each other. This type of swing is the most popular in the west coast of North America.

Check the following site for a list of the most recent favourite West Coast Swing music:

Lindy Hop - Savoy Style

This is the grandfather of ALL swing dances. Originating back in the 1920/1930’s in the ‘Savoy Ballroom’ in Harlem, NY. This a fun, playful and high energy dance really swings, which allows you and your partner to add your own personality to the dance. Lindy Hop is one of the most popular social dances done today.

Balboa - Bal-Swing

A smooth eight-count dance done in a tightly closed position with subtle and intricate footwork. This dance originated in Southern California. Solomon Douglas teaches the Maxie Dorf style of Balboa. He was responsible for the creation of "Bal-Swing" - a combination of basic Balboa (traditionally done in a hug-like position) and sending your partner into a variety of open connections. Maxi Dorf was known for adding this whole new layer to this already fabulous variation of Swing!

The Balboa is an important part of the Swing Dance family. The original Balboa is a hybrid of the Charleston, Jig Trot, Swing and appropriated steps from the Collegiate Shag (1920's), which later Arthur Murray would try to refine in the mid 1930's thru his studio chain but his version became stale and way to boring. Later, many dancers started to add steps, twists and kicks back into the dance held at Balboa Island in Newport Beach, California (Balboa Pier). This dance is now a very popular swing dance and is done all around the world.

Solo Dances: Tap, Bollywood, Ballet, Jazz, Irish

Tap

The classes offer basic "rhythm" and "hoofin" styles in this wonderful and popular dance style. There is emphasis on sound quality, technique, as well as basic improvisation.

Bollywood

Bollywood dance is the most recent popular form of Indian dance that has been introduced to the existing genres. It incorporates folk, classical, modern, latin, hip hop and r & b styles. This type of dance is featured in Indian movies and is a way that the story line is portrayed through music and movement.

If you are interested in taking classes, please click here.

Irish Step, Ceili, Set

The main styles of Irish dancing are Step, Ceili, and Set. Toronto Dance ™ is currently offering classes in Irish Step dancing.

Irish Step dance became internationally popular with the ever-popular shows called Riverdance and Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance.

Videos of Various Dance Styles

The Evolution of Dance - extremely funny!


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