was a Spanish dance during the 1700s, and it became popular in the
United States in the 1930s. Round dancing picked up this rhythm
in the 1990s. Bolero
is characterized by a closer hold, and by one of the slowest tempos
feature of bolero is a heaviness and a connection between the partners.
You have a tone that connects you to your partner, and each helps
the other take each step. There is a dragging kind of feel and a
consequent smooth flow.
of Bolero dance songs: Smooth Operator, Wind Beneath My Wings,
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
with the rumba and mambo, the cha cha developed in Haiti and in
Cuba and migrated to the United States in the 1950s. These rhythms
are closely related.
cha is a popular Latin rhythm that is danced with a loose hold and
with smooth, flowing movements. The tempo of cha cha is about the
same as that of rumba, but we are fitting five steps into a measure
instead of only three in rumba, so cha cha feels a good bit faster.
of Cha Cha dance songs: La Bamba, Never on Sunday, Pretty Woman
early days of the Twentieth Century, during the Ragtime Era, a whole
flock of "animal dances" were briefly popular, formed
out of the earlier two-step. There was the Squirrel, in which dancers
assumed closed position and took small, mincing steps. The Duck
Waddle involved quick walks swaying the upper body left and right.
There was the Lame Duck, the Chicken Scratch, the Kangaroo Hop,
a Horse Canter, and a Horse Trot. And of course, there was the Fox
tells of Harry Fox, a burlesque comic, who worked on a stage scattered
with scantily clad women in static poses. His act involved a fast,
comical dance to 4/4 ragtime music from one woman to the next where
he would deliver his jokes. The act was popular, the music was widely
marketed, and Fox's "Trot" became popular in dance halls
and dance studios.
earliest days, the Fox Trot was not the smooth: slow, quick, quick,
of today (which if you think about it, is nothing like a "trot").
1916, the Fox Trot had evolved into a much slower, more elegant,
floating kind of dance. It used long passing steps that kept the
dancer up, stretched, and extended.
the Jazz Age of the 20s, the Fox-trot was sped up again. It acquired
some of the jazzy hops and skips of the Charleston and became our
present-day Quickstep. Of course, it didn't replace the slow Fox-trot,
but joined it, a close cousin. The slow, elegant, gliding Fox-trot
is a rich and sophisticated rhythm and is one of the most popular
of Fox Trot dance songs: I Left My Heart In San Francisco, Mack
the Knife, Stardust
originated in Cuba more than four hundred years ago as a fast and
erotic dance that left little to the imagination.
came to the U.S. around 1913. In the 1920s, it was slowed down by
the big dancers of the time, Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire. Today,
rumba is a slow, Latin rhythm that is danced with smooth, flowing
movements. Keep your feet close to the floor as though you are sliding
or gliding. Rumba is a level dance, with little rise and fall.
early days in the United States, the rumba was danced "quick,
quick, slow." The International Ballroom community and Round
Dancing still use this beat rhythm. However, American studios gradually
changed to a "slow, quick, quick" rhythm, and you will
find this altered rhythm at some freestyle ballroom events.
of Rumba dance songs: Begin
the Beguine, Besame Mucho, Black Magic Woman, Brown-Eyed Girl, Save
the Last Dance for Me, Spanish Eyes
also known as East Coast Swing or Jitterbug, is derived from Lindy.
Often people start with Swing and then progress to Lindy. Both dances
can be danced to the same music.
began with the birth of Swing music in the mid to late '20s. The
dance evolved from the Charleston in the ballrooms of Harlem before
sweeping across the US and Europe. Characterized by a carefree,
relaxed style, Swing soon came to represent a whole generation and
time, when Big Band music was popular and musicians were judged
by how well their music could swing. As it spread it became known
by many names including Jitterbug and Jive. Over the decades that
followed, Lindy evolved into many other Swing dance styles including
West Coast Swing, Hand Dance and Swing. Lindy itself has also evolved
and today it is danced to a great variety of music, including Big
Band, Jazz, Blues and Rock 'n' Roll, and to a wide range of tempos.
of Swing dance songs: All Shook Up, Party Doll, Great Balls
originated in Argentina during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,
and of course this was the Argentine Tango, a Latin rhythm. It reached
Paris ballrooms in 1909 and quickly became popular in England and
in America prior to World War I. Rudolph Valentino danced the tango
in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in 1921, and millions swooned.
Tango is so changed from its origins that it is considered a Smooth
or Standard rhythm, rather than Latin.
of Tango dance songs: La Paloma, Blue Tango
grew out of the nineteenth century gallop, a social dance characterized
by a variety of skipping and hopping steps, and became popular in
the US toward the end of the 1800s and in the early 1900s. The patriotic
music of John Phillip Sousa provided some of the stimulus for its
of Two Step dance songs: Looking for Love
of the Waltz go back hundreds of years. The rhythm came to Vienna
in the early 1800s, and the Viennese Waltz was first exhibited in
America in 1834 in Boston. Especially at the beginning of the 20th
century the slower Modern Waltz, danced at about half the original
tempo, developed along with the Viennese Waltz. The Modern Waltz
is smoother, less frantic, and more varied.
of Waltz dance songs: Could I have this Dance, Tennessee Waltz,
Please be sure to bring soft-soled dance shoes or clean dry sneakers
(smoother soles have less traction and are better, allowing for
No hard soled, or black rubber soled shoes that leave marks.
Gallery and Cruise News
Gunn and Don were teaching on the
Pacific Princess cruise from Dubai
Gunn and Don taught aboard a Silver Whisper cruise
between Ft. Lauderdale and Rio
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