We continue the amazing journey into the world of Ballroom.
You have read about the history of ballroom in the last blog and where it all began and I am sure you still have so many questions. We are dazzled every time we watch Strictly Come Dancing at all the variety of dances we see. People might ask, is Ballroom dancing still popular? Yes, it is! The Strictly boom with its glitz, glamour, sequins and fake tan has drawn thousands of people back to the dancefloor. Its as popular today as any of the most popular dance forms. There is an air of mystery to it all so here I am ready to show you around the dance floor step by step.
Let’s start with the most basic question.
What are the different types of ballroom dance?
There are 5 key Ballroom dances. Most ballroom competitions are divided into two sections, the Ballroom dances and the Latin dances. Today we are going to look at the Ballroom.
Is the Waltz a ballroom dance? Oh yes, it certainly is! When you mention ballroom dancing, most people would think of the Waltz. It is a truly classic dance and when it is done well it flows across the dance floor with little effort but great skill. Its history as we know comes from its popularity in Vienna. It actually caused a scandal with its need for close contact but it soon became a firm favourite across Europe.
The Waltz itself is danced with music that has 3 counts to the bar, when you choose your music to dance the waltz to its so important to get the right one so it flows and the steps fit. In future blog posts, I will talk about how the steps for all the dances are done so watch out for those.
What any judge will look for in couples dancing the Waltz will be the rise and fall and the sway. Some people have asked Is the Sway a ballroom dance? No, it isn’t, it’s a movement of the body and arms that we see in more than one of the classic ballroom dances including the waltz. Posture is something that is really important in the waltz and a beautiful frame which is basically the way the top half of the body is held and how the two dancers stand and hold each other. More of that in the later blog posts.
Another effortless and graceful dance and one we probably have seen the Incredible Hollywood icons Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing cheek to cheek. If you were asking, what is the hardest dance style to learn? This could be up there, it’s a technically difficult dance to do but it is often the favourite of the professional dancers. The slow, slow quick, quick, slow rhythm provides the seamless movements of the dancers.
Again the beautifully held posture and frame make this dance one of the most wonderful to watch.
The tango is a contrast to the grace and elegance of the Waltz and Foxtrot, it’s sexy, passionate and fiery! There is no rise and fall but moves flat across the floor the long steps are punctuated by sharp turns and head movements. The hold is closer and tighter. There is drama to the dance which shows itself through the movements and close contact. The ballroom tango is related but differs from the Argentine Tango which sits in the Latin dances. both of them originate from the streets of Buenos Aires.
The Viennese Waltz
The Viennese Waltz is best known for its spinning and turning. It still has the count of three as the Waltz but is much quicker in pace and movement. It moves around the dancefloor in a series of turns and spins. Its origins are in Austria (hence the name) and the glittering ballrooms would be filed with partners in ballgowns and white tie and tails spinning around to a live orchestra.
To this day there is a huge ball held every new year in City Hall in Vienna where the Viennese Waltz is shown off to amazing effect with hundreds of couples dancing together.
It’s Quick! It flies around the dance floor. Musically it has 50 bars to the minute compared to the sedate waltz that has 30. There are slides and skips and chasses and of course, the Charleston flicks and kick steps that pause the dance but are a mastermind of perfect timing. The dance is so fast that most of it is carried out upon the balls of the feet giving the impression that the couples are barely touching the ground.
So, there you have the 5 Ballroom dances, each unique, each requiring a different skill, all look truly amazing. They are all within your grasp.
Is Ballroom dancing easy and what is the easiest Ballroom dance to learn?
All the dances can be learned if you apply your mind and put in the training required. It takes dedication and the willingness to try hard and master a new skill but it really can be done.
Is it expensive to learn to ballroom dance?
Ultra Ballroom offers a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to learn one of the dances for free and perform in your own strictly style event. Take a look around this website and you can see how to make your own dance dream come true.