STYLES WE TEACH
Bolero is one of the most beautiful, graceful, romantic dances ever created, danced to very slow Rumba music and counted Slow, Quick-Quick. Originally a Spanish dance, the music is frequently arranged with Spanish vocals and a subtle percussion effect, usually using Congas or Bongos. Unlike the rest of the Rhythm dances, the Bolero basic is danced in a closed dance position similar to many of the Smooth dances.
Cha Cha is an exciting, syncopated Latin dance that originated in the 1950’s, as an offshoot of the Mambo. The dance gets its name and character from its distinct triple, repetitive foot rhythm. This consists of 3 quick steps (cha-cha-cha) and 2 slower steps on the 1 and 2 beats. The Chacha styling is very similar to the Rumba and the Mambo. It is a high-energy, flirty dance and is flashy, sassy and full of itself.
East Coast Swing
East Coast Swing is a 6-count style of Lindy Hop. It can be danced to Jazz, Swing, Bop, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Disco and Country. It is characterized by an up-tempo, carefree, relaxed style that is easily adaptable to a wide range of tempos from moderately slow to very fast music. The East Coast Triple Step and Single Step Swing tend to be very circular in their movements and work more on a 6-count beat basic.
As “Fox’s Trot” was embraced by the social dancers of the time, it became simply the Foxtrot. Foxtrot is both, beautiful and romantic, yet playful. It is most often danced to any syncopated 4/4 rhythm. Foxtrot is a great dance for beginners; it feels like a stroll in the park with rhythm thrown in. The basic rhythm of Foxtrot is Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick.
Hustle was originally created in the 1970’s as a line dance, but has since developed into a partner dance. It is a fast, yet smooth dance. Hustle is dancing in a slot rather than rotation, and is characterized by its 3 count basic step. The partner spins almost continuously, while their partner leads them back and forth in a “slotted” linear formation. It can be used widely for club dancing to popular 4-count music.
Jive is the European version of East Coast swing. Six and eight count patterns make up this dance, as in East Coast swing but it is quite bouncy with very sharp kicks and flicks. Jive is danced to a faster tempo swing music and is primarily for competitive style dancing.
The Lindy Hop is an American dance that evolved in Harlem, New York City in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. Lindy is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. It is frequently described as a jazz dance and is a member of the swing dance family. Lindy Hop is an energetic, free-spirited dance that hops to a syncopated jazz rhythm.
Mambo, as with most Latin dances, the hip-movements are the key to looking authentic. The Mambo gained in popularity in the 1950’s and was taught in dance studios, resorts, and nightclubs in New York and Miami. Mambo is the forefather of Cha-Cha. It also shares many patterns in common with the other Latin dances: Rumba and Bolero. Mambo is fun and flirty and socially is a great dance to learn if you like Latin music.
The Merengue is a popular dance of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and is a lively Latin dance. It is a an easy dance for beginners. The Merengue is walking step with a step, taken on every beat of the music. The simple march tempo is easy to hear and feel, and lends itself to a spontaneous, improvisational style of dance. Learning the Merengue is a good way to start familiarizing yourself with Cuban Motion, which is common to almost all the Latin dances.
Night Club Two-Step
Night Club Two- Step, is one of the most practical and versatile social dances ever conceived. It is designed to be used with contemporary soft rock (“Love Song”) music. This type of music is common just about everywhere: nightclubs, radio, etc. The rhythm of the dance is very simple and rarely changes from the 1 & 2 count. It’s attractive, romantic, and a real asset to learn since it will be used often.
Paso Doble originates from Spain. It was developed based on movements performed by the matadors during the bullfights. In Paso Doble a partner (as the matador) is in focus more than in any other dance. The other partner is left with playing a role of a cape or a bull, depending on circumstances. The dance came into fashion around 1920.
Quickstep is a lively and energetic dance, characterized by a variety of kicks, hops, skips, lock steps and chasses. In the twenties many bands played the slow-foxtrot too fast, which gave rise to many complaints. Eventually they developed into two different dances: Slow-Foxtrot tempo has been slowed down, and Quickstep became the fast version of Foxtrot.
Rumba, is the spirit and soul of Latin American music & dance and is considered the sexiest of the Latin dances. The Rumba was originally a courtship, marriage, and street dance that was African in origin. The characteristic feature is to take each step without initially placing the weight on that step. Steps are made with a slightly bent knee which, when straightened causes the hips to sway from side to side, in what has come to be known as “Cuban Motion.”
Salsa is danced on music with a recurring eight-beat pattern, i.e. two bars of four beats. The dance structure of salsa is largely associated with mambo type patterns. However, while Mambo movements are typically sharper and more staccato, Salsa is a smoother, more fluid dance. Salsa is a spot dance, meaning the couple does not travel over the dance floor much, but rather occupies a fixed area on the dance floor.
The Samba originated in Brazil. It is danced as a festival dance during celebrations. The festive style and mood of the dance has kept it alive and popular to this day. Samba is a fun dance that fits many of today’s popular songs that typically have a very distinct bass line.
The Tango originates from Buenos Aires (Argentina) where it was first danced in “Barria de Las Ranas." It is a romantic, yet dramatic dance that combines long, striding steps with close, geometric dance figures. The sultry motion, the stylish look, and the haunting sense of passion make Tango a fascinating dance.
The romantic, graceful Waltz was born outside of Vienna, in the alpine region of Austria. From the old German word walzen to roll, turn, or to glide, it is a ballroom dance in 3/4 time with strong accent on the first beat and a basic pattern of step-step-close.
West Coast Swing
West Coast Swing is a distinctive “slot dance” using a 6 count basic and originating from the dancehalls of San Diego as far back as 1938. While sometimes referred to as Sophisticated Swing, WCS styles can vary considerably. Modern WCS can be danced conservatively with upright posture, be smooth and warm, or be a funky, hot partnered-jazz dance.
Formerly a court dance of aristocrats from Austria, this is the fastest of the Waltz tempos. With its smaller smooth turns, dancers seem to glide across the floor with grace and ease. The nature of this dance requires both the leader and the follower to maintain a good frame.
Pop & Lock
Popping is a street dance adapted out of the earlier Boogaloo cultural movement in Oakland, California. The dance steps are quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk or can be a sudden stop in the dancer's body, referred to as a pose, pop or a hit.[
Urban Dance could be mistaken as hip-hop, but in reality it is a wide genre open for many different style influences. The choreography is simply based on how the choreographer interprets the music and creates a routine with influences of various dance styles.