IN CHOOSING WHAT DANCE YOU WANT TO LEARN, YOU MIGHT CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
First we dance, using steps from Salsa, Cha Cha, Tango and West Coast Swing.
Then we stretch and strengthen, using a combination of dance, pilates and yoga movements.
This gives you a chance to focus on your own body - challenge yourself and discover new ways to move!
Salsa music is filled with percussion rhythms.
Dancers primarily use a syncopated rhythm when dancing. The accented beat can vary depending on region.
Some dancers emphasize the 1st beat with the rock or breaking step, while others accent the 2nd beat.
I teach breaking on the 1st count.
It is moderately fast and smooth and uses lots of turns for both partners.
You can also add “Shine” steps (freestyle) to spice up the dance.
If you enjoy rhythm, you will love this dance!
Tango is traditionally danced to the music of the 1930’s and 40’s, but can also be danced to more contemporary “Nuevo Tango” music.
Either way, it is a dance which moves around the dance floor, intermingled with circular patterns in place with playful footwork.
Unique to Tango, is the freedom in the structure of the dance. There is no set rhythm or sequence of steps.
This give maximum freedom to respond to the music.
This dance originated in the brothels of Argentina. Hence the close embrace. However, it can easily be modified to be more appropriately danced with an acquaintance!
As you become more skilled, you learn to move smoothly together.
She listens and responds to his direction. Gradually, she is able to express what she feels in the music while maintaining their communication.
He guides her in the steps and rhythms. As he feels more comfortable, he tries more intricate or playful steps.
This is true with all dances, but none to the extent of Tango.
The varied movements and rhythms requires subtle communication.
West Coast Swing is danced to Pop, Country, R&B and Jazz music.
Similar to Tango, there is a variety of step patterns and rhythms.
In fact, dancers often make up new patterns spontaneously.
It is a smoother dance, compared to other Swing variations, such as Jive.
This dance uses counterbalance with a partner, which give the dance an elastic or “sling shot” feeling, and creates an elongated or linear shape when dancing.
The quintessential American slow groove dance, if you enjoy rhythm!
Merengue is a simple upbeat Latin dance with a regular even rhythm throughout.
This basic rhythm makes it an easier dance to learn for beginners.
It has a quick tempo with slow and fast turns for both partners.
Since the steps are easier, it allows the student to focus on how to lead/follow turns.
Bachata is a Latin dance with a syncopated rhythm.
The dancer takes 3 steps followed by a hip lift to accentuate the 4th beat.
Like Merengue, it is also an easier dance to learn for beginners.
It has the same rhythm as Salsa. However the tempo is slower, allowing the student to focus on learning the syncopated rhythm more easily..
Foxtrot is a casual relaxed dance. Think Sinatra, Buble or Astaire for the music.
The music often has an easygoing feel to it. Often jazz music or standards suit Foxtrot.
The movements match this easygoing sound. It is easy to chat and dance.
Slow dancing will never fade as long as there are weddings and piano bars.
If you watch any classic movie where a couple is dancing and talking, they are usually doing Foxtrot.
Rumba is a slow Latin dance. It is a beautiful Latin dance with lyrical music.
I combine steps from various styles.: International, American, Son, Danzon.
The slow pace of Rumba makes it a good starting dance for students.
This is a very sensual dance, given the slow pace & rhythm.
I think Waltz is the most elegant dance. The music often has a romantic quality.
I teach Waltz to a slow tempo, giving dancers a chance to enjoy the flow and shaping of the dance. The rhythm is 3/4 time: meaning 1,2,3 - 1,2,3
I combine steps from various styles: International, American, and Cross Step.
Samba is a Brazilian dance. Like most of the Latin dances, it has a syncopated rhythm.
It travels around the floor and incorporates turns.
If you enjoy Brazilian rhythms, you will enjoy this dance.
The partner dance looks nothing like true Brazilian dancers!
The tempo and hip movements are much more tame than in Brazil!
Cha Cha originally came from Mambo dancing.
A quick little triple step is added to accentuates the Cha Cha Cha sound in the music.
Learning Mambo or Salsa first, will give you a head start on this dance.
Nightclub is danced to slower contemporary music.
The songs are typically soft ballads. An example would be “The Lady in Red”.
I would categorize it as a slow dance, but there are plenty of turns for the woman.
A nice complement to swing dancing at a social event.
The rhythm for this dance is the same throughout, making it a little easier to learn.
Balboa is another style of Swing dancing.
It works well with Single Time Lindy Swing, so I teach them together.
This dance has a little bounce to it. Get ready to move your feet!
If you enjoy jazz music with a faster tempo or the big band music of the 30’s and 40’s, you might try this dance. I also use contemporary music when teaching this dance.