Our range of dances are devided up into the following categories:
Standard Ballroom
Latin American
New Vogue
Cuban Salsa

 

Standard Ballroom

The term "ballroom" is derived from the word ball, which in turn originates from the Latin word ballare which means "to dance". In times past, ballroom dancing was social dancing for the privileged, leaving folk dancing for the lower classes. These boundaries have since become blurred, and it should be noted even in times long gone, many ballroom dances were really elevated folk dances.

Standard ballroom dances has its roots early in the 20th century, when several different things happened more or less at the same time. The first was a movement away from the sequence dances towards dances where the couples moved independently. This had been pre-figured by the waltz, which had already made this transition.

The second was a wave of popular music, such as jazz, much of which was based on the ideas of musicians in the USA. Since dance is to a large extent tied to music, this led to a burst of newly invented dances. There were many dances crazes in the period 1910–1930.

The third event was a concerted effort to transform some of the dance crazes into dances which could be taught to a wider dance public in the USA and Europe.
Here, Vernon and Irene Castle were important, and so was a generation of English dancers in the 1920s, such as Josephine Bradley and Victor Silvester. Later, in the 1930s, the on-screen dance pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers influenced all forms of dance throughout the world.

These professionals analysed, codified, published and taught a number of standard dances. It was essential, if popular dance was to flourish, for dancers to have some basic movements they could confidently perform with any partner they might meet.

Today, standard ballroom consists of 5 dances and are performed completely in closed hold position. These 5 dances are:

  • Waltz
  • Foxtrot
  • Tango
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Quickstep


Standard ballroom dances are normally danced to western music (often from the mid-twentieth century), and couples dance counter-clockwise around a rectangular floor following the line of dance. In competitions, competitors are costumed as would be appropriate for a white tie affair, with full gowns for the ladies and bow tie and tail coats for the men.

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Latin American

Latin dance includes a wide range of dances originating in Latin America and Cuba. Latin american dances are often easily confused with street latin, which consists of dances like salsa, mambo, merengue, etc.

Latin american dances or international latin consists of the following five dances:

  • Cha Cha Cha
  • Samba
  • Rumba
  • Paso Doble
  • Jive


The last dance is not of Latin origin, and dance teaching organisations have used various terms. The ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) uses the phrase Latin American Dance; the IDTA (International Dance Teachers' Association) uses the term Latin; a good compromise is Latin and American.

Latin dances are commonly danced to contemporary Latin American music, and with the exception of a few traveling dances (e.g. Samba and Paso Doble) couples do not follow the line of dance and perform their routines more or less in one spot.
All other dances progress round the ballroom floor in an anti-clockwise motion.

Music for latin dance teaching is usually in 4/4 time, though most Cuban music is written in 2/4 time. This difficulty can be overcome by teaching steps in groups of four beats. Thus a typical Cuban dance of three steps to four beats covers two bars of 2/4 music or one bar of 4/4 music. Music may be Latin American or contemporary popular music; it is generally strict-tempo: a consistent and (for medals or competitions) a preset number of beats per minute.

Couples in the basic position stand face-to-face, and the basic hold is closed, with both hands holding partner, but with space between the partners. This differs from standard ballroom dance, where the couples' bodies touch, and the hold is described as closed.

In competitions, the women are often dressed in short-skirted latin outfits while the men outfitted in tight-fitting shirts and pants; the goal being to bring emphasis to the dancers' leg action and body movements.

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New Vogue

The New Vogue dance style is an Australian form of sequence dancing that originated in the 1930s. Since then it has become an important part in the Australian ballroom scene, holding as much importance in social and competition dancing as latin american and standard ballroom dancing.

There are a large number of New Vogue dances, although only a handful are common. All New Vogue dances are based on a sequence of dance steps which are continually repeated, usually until the music ends. Due to the nature of the dances they are much easier to pick up by beginners than, say, Latin dances (which have numerous types of steps that are combined into custom routines) and as such, beginner dancers are less likely to feel overwhelmed when learning them and can perform the dances to a respectable level within a short time of learning.

New Vogue dances can be danced at different levels, with higher levels requiring more precise steps and the addition of arm and torso movements, in a nutshell making the dances easy to pick up but hard to master. New Vogue dances are based on one of several sub categories, including viennese waltz rhythm, foxtrot rhythm, march rhythm and tango rhythm.

Out of the many New Vogue dances, 23 are recognised by Dancesport Australia for use in DanceSport competitions, where 15 of these can be performed at Dancesport Championship Competitions.


Dancesport Competition Dances:

  • Barn Dance - Slow Foxtrot Rhythm
  • B.G. Blues - Slow Foxtrot Rhythm
  • Canadian Three Step - March Rhythm
  • Militaire - March Rhythm
  • Cassius Quickstep - Quickstep Rhythm
  • Dorothea Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm
  • Empress Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm
  • Pride of Erin Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm


Dancesport Championship Competition Dances:

  • Merrilyn - Slow Foxtrot Rhythm
  • Charmaine - Slow Foxtrot Rhythm
  • Carousel - Slow Foxtrot Rhythm
  • Barclay Blues - Slow Foxtrot Rhythm
  • Excelsior Schottische - Slow Foxtrot Rhythm
  • Evening Three Step - March Rhythm
  • Gypsy Tap - March Rhythm
  • Tangoette - Tango Rhythm
  • La Bomba - Tango Rhythm
  • Tango Terrific - Tango Rhythm
  • Parma Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm
  • Swing Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm
  • Tracie Leigh Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm
  • Lucille Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm
  • Twilight Waltz - Viennese Waltz Rhythm


These dances vary in length and difficulty and as such the harder dances are performed at higher levels.

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Cuban Salsa

Modern Cuban salsa, commonly known as Rueda de Casino is a dancing style thatoriginated in Cuba in the 1950's. While not associated with the other salsa styles developed in the studios of Los Angeles and New York, it has recently experienced a surge of popularity around the world, known as a fun and easy dance style to learn.

Modern Rueda de Casino finds its origins in the ballroom dances from Cuba such as the Contradanza, from which the basic step of the Rueda de Casino are derived. The basic step consists of an alternating ‘one foot back and the other foot forward' pattern repeated over four musical times. This basic step of the Rueda de Casino, has also translated into a more modern expression of Cuban salsa and to other dances such as danzón and son cubano.

The main features that distinguish Cuban salsa from the LA and New York styles is that in Rueda de Casino and its more modern expressions, the dancing position is open, the ladies' right hand is held in the mans' left hand, leaving the other hand free for more independence and freedom for execution of movement.

Another unique feature of Rueda de Casino is that couples can dance in a circle formation known as a ‘Rueda'. This is where the dance gets its original name. In a ‘Rueda', one of the dancers or an external individual plays the role of the‘singer', who calls a number of core steps to other members of the Rueda, which they are expected to follow. These core steps are ones which all followers of Cuban salsa around the world are familiar with.

While this forms the basis of the Rueda, additional steps are commonly introduced and performed, if communicated to the other members and allows much room for creativity and complexity. Rueda de Casino is also a progressive dance, where the ‘singer' frequently asks the women to move from one partner to the next, giving the Rueda movement.

Rueda de Casino is a dance that has been around for more than 50 years. The parallel evolution and mutual influence of Cuban salsa with the other salsa styles, latin dances and hip hop, makes Cuban Salsa a modern and vibrant dancing style that lends itself to dancing in a Rueda and couples by people of all ages.

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References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballroom_dance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_dance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_vogue
http://ilivesalsa.com/blog/salsa-blog-2/style/the-styles-of-salsa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindy_Hop
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston

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