Dance Descriptions


The Argentine Tango is a beautiful yet dramatic social dance that was developed in Buenos Aires over the last century. It is a true dance of leading and following, and relies heavily upon improvisation. The Argentine Tango is danced in closed dance position and is more of an embrace, with the couple’s upper bodies close, and their legs far apart. With its dramatic use of leg and foot movements, the Argentine Tango is danced to slow and sultry music.


A classical dance form characterized by grace and precision of movement using formalized steps and gestures in a setting of intricate, flowing patterns to create expression through movement. As theatrical entertainment, ballet dancing and music along with scenery and costumes are combined to tell an emotional story.


Belly Dancing is an artistic and sensual dance originating in the Middle East. It’s typically performed by a woman and involves undulating movements of the belly and rapid gyration of the hips. There are many styles of belly dance done throughout the world. In the United States, belly dancing is often infused with other styles of dance including jazz, ballet and Latin dance.


Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is danced widely all over the world and has become very popular. The basics to the dance are side-to-side steps with a Cuban hip motion, ended with a “pop” in the hips. The dancers change directions after the fourth beat. Just like in other Latin dances (Salsa, Merengue, etc.), the knees should be bent so the performer can sway the hips naturally. Often typified by a broken chord guitar sound and simple arrangements played in 4/4 time.


In the dance style known as American Rhythm, Bolero is also one of the five main competition dances. The first step is typically taken on the first beat, held during the second beat with two more steps falling on beats three and four. In competitive dance the music is in 4/4 time and will range between 96 and 104 beats per minute. This dance is quite different from the other American Rhythm dances in that it not only requires “Cuban Motion”, but a rise and fall as found in Waltz. The music is frequently arranged with Spanish vocals and a subtle percussion effect.


Cha Cha is an exciting syncopated Latin dance. Cuban in origin, the Cha Cha rhythm is found in much of today's popular music. The Cha Cha gathers its personality, character, rhythm and charm from its 1-2-3, step-step rhythm.


Contemporary dance is a genre of performance dance that employs compositional philosophy, rather than choreography, to guide un-choreographed movement. Using dance techniques and methods found in ballet and modern dance, it also draw from other philosophies of movement that are outside the traditional realm of classical dance technique. The hallmark of contemporary dance is an awareness of the limitations of form.


The Country Two-Step, often called the “Texas Two-Step” or simply the “Two-Step”, is a country and western dance usually danced to country music in 4/4 time. It’s a progressive dance that proceeds counter-clockwise around the dance floor. Considered part of the Foxtrot "family", it is distinguished by the constant changing of the follow’s position while they travel around the dance floor with the follow executing many characteristic spins and turns.


Also known as American Swing, Jitterbug and Single Time Swing, this dance is frequently referred to as Triple Step Swing due to the rhythm of the basic triple step. This dance consists of six and eight count patterns, which is done with a rock step by the leader and the follower. It is a circular dance that is danced with a subtle bounce and is very grounded and not high in the legs. East Coast Swing is a lively dance and is the basis for all swing dances.


Foxtrot is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is enjoyed by all age groups for its natural movement and smooth style. Foxtrot music is played by most social dance orchestras and is one of the easiest dances to learn in the American Style. The Foxtrot remains a very popular social dance.


Hip Hop dance refers to dance styles primarily danced to Hip Hop music or that has evolved as part of the Hip Hop culture. Examples of Hip Hop dance are breaking, popping, locking and krumping. What separates Hip Hop dance from other forms of dance is that it is often improvisational and utilizes impromptu competitions also known as “battles”.


The Hustle is a fast, smooth dance, derived from the swing dances. One of the easiest dances to learn, it can be danced just about anywhere. It has a distinct look utilizing bold and flamboyant styling. Its great accomplishment was to bring partner-style dancing back into vogue among nightclub dancers in the 1970's. A typical dance has the follow spinning and arm styling, while the leader draws the follow in close and sends the follow away. Hustle is the perfect dance for fast contemporary dance music and fits right in on the nightclub dance floor. The New York style of hustle or the three-count hustle is the most popular style of hustle today and dominates all major competitions and teaching programs.


Jazz dance is a classification shared by a broad range of dance styles. It originated as an African American vernacular dance, later evolving into a new genre with roots in Caribbean traditional dance. Jazz dance later evolved on Broadway into the new, smooth style that is taught today and known as modern jazz. The performance style of jazz dance was popularized to a large extent by Bob Fosse’s work on Broadway shows. Modern Jazz dance continues to be an essential element of musical theatre, and it can often be seen in pop culture.


An increasingly popular, dancing phenomena. Kizomba, meaning ‘to party’, originates from Angola. It is a fusion of Semba from Angola and Zouk from the French Caribbean Islands. It is a very sensual dance characterized by smooth, seductive rhythms.


The Lindy Hop is a fun, energetic dance based on the popular Charleston and evolved in Harlem in the 1920s and ‘30s. Lindy is a fusion of many dances that preceded it, and is a member of the swing dance family. Partners are connected in open or closed position, while relating closely to the music in feeling, improvisation and phrasing. The tempo of the dance can range anywhere from slow to fast tempos. Lindy Hop is also fun to watch with its flips, tricks and advanced aerials.


The Merengue is a lively social dance from the Dominican Republic, danced throughout Latin America. It's a simple step danced to a two-step beat that has been described as marching rhythmically. Although the tempo of music may be fast, the upper body is kept majestic and turns are executed slowly often in 4 beat increments. Merengue is now said to be the most popular dance music in all of Latin America.


Nightclub Two Step was developed by Buddy Schwimmer in the mid-1960s. The dance is also known as "Two Step" and is perfect for certain types of slower music. It is frequently danced to mid-tempo ballads in 4/4 time that have a characteristic Quick-Quick-Slow beat. A classic example is the song Lady In Red. The dance position for Nightclub Two Step is with a more relaxed hold rather than that of typical ballroom dances.


Modern Jive also known as LeRoc and the trademarked name Ceroc, is a free-form dance derived from American Lindy Hop, Swing and Rock n’ Roll. Made popular in the U.K., its roots come from the late 1930’s, when American soldiers brought over Swing music and dancing to Europe. It is danced to popular music and there is no footwork making it an easy dance to learn.


The Quickstep is an International Style ballroom dance that is danced to the fastest tempo of the ballroom dances. With its hops, skips and kicks, the Quickstep is a very lively dance. From its early beginning as a faster Foxtrot, the Quickstep has become quite distinctive.


Rumba is a slow and sensuous ballroom dance that expresses a romantic intention through body movement. 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, cause the hips to sway from side to side in what has come to be known as "Cuban Motion." Well-known for its pronounced hip movement and sudden motions, Rumba has been a popular dance enjoyed in Latin America and the United States since its introduction to mainstream entertainment in the early 1920s.


Samba is a lively Brazilian dance. The style is to bounce steadily and smoothly. Unlike the other Latin dances that are stationary, it has a traveling action around the floor with lots of spins and controlled bounces.


Salsa is a very popular Latin social dance that is hot, exciting, and easy to learn the basics to. Similar to Mambo, both have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The dances also share many of the same figures. The timing of the dance can be either danced on the one beat or the two beat. Salsa music typically has 160 to 220 beats per minute and involves African-style percussion based around one of four types of clave rhythm, which is a syncopated rhythm. The style of dancing varies greatly depending on how and where the music is played.


Tango is an earthy and dramatic dance. Although walking movements dominate, Tango walks have "stalking" characteristic, and is unlike the walks of other ballroom dances. Movements are sometimes slow and slinky, and other times sharp and staccato, such as a quick foot flick or a sharp head snap.


Tap dance is a dance form characterized by using one's shoes, as well as the floor, as a percussive instrument. Two major variations on tap dance exist today, Jazz tap and Broadway tap. Broadway tap focuses more on dancing and movement, and is performed as a part of musical theater. Jazz (rhythm) tap focuses on musical aspects and align themselves as part of the Jazz tradition.


The Viennese Waltz is a fast waltz dance where the dancers are constantly turning. Originating in Austria, the music is fast in tempo and sends the couples whirling around the floor. The dance enjoys a great deal of popularity in America and has been used in many Hollywood productions.


The Waltz is a smooth, progressive ballroom dance performed primarily in closed dance position in ¾ time. The dance is characterized by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and a rise and fall. Graceful and elegant, Waltz dancers glide around the floor almost effortlessly. The American style is punctuated with lavish open movements, underarm turns, and solo spins. The tempo is slow, but the expressive quality of the music often invites very powerful and dynamic movement from dancers.


West Coast Swing is one of the more difficult dances to learn and is derived from the Lindy Hop. It is characterized by a distinctive elastic look that results from its basic extension-compression technique of partner connection, and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor. The dance allows for both partners to emphasize musicality and to improvise their steps while dancing. Typically the follower walks forward on the first two counts of each pattern, and ends with an anchor step. The dance consists of six and eight count patterns, and can be danced to blues and contemporary music of varying tempos. The dance has no bounce, and has a very smooth look and feel to it.


A smooth and elegant dance with flowing and romantic movements. When Lambada music faded in popularity, dancers adapted the moves to the newer and more popular Zouk music and transformed it to what it is today.


An infectious accordion-driven dance music of the Creole and African-American communities of southwest Louisiana and gulf coast Texas.