Dances

English Waltz

The English Waltz is danced in 3/4, with a smooth, gliding motion. It developed from an Austrian folk dance, and the name is derived from the Old German "walzen", meaning "to roll, turn or glide".

Tempo: 28-30 measures per minute
Taught in: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): All levels

Tango

The Tango originated in the bars and ports of Argentina and Uruguay in the early twentieth century. The modern ballroom tango was codified in England in 1922, and is highly stylised, charactised by stalking movements and staccato head turns.

Tempo: 31-33 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Viennese Waltz

The Viennese Waltz was the first ballroom dance to be performed in closed hold. It is a rotary dance, where the couple is contantly turning to the leader's right or left, with a change step to alter the direction of rotation.

Tempo: 58-60 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Slow Foxtrot

The competitive Slow Foxtrot was standardised in England, after being popularised by the American Broadway couple Vernon and Irene Castle. It is characterised by long, flowing, continuous movements around the floor.

Tempo: 28-30 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Quickstep

The Quickstep evolved from a mixture of the foxtrot and some of the swing dances, and was codified in England in 1927. The dance is fast-paced, with lots of syncopated steps and involves plenty of momentum and rotation.

Tempo: 50-52 measures per minute
Taught in: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): All levels

Cha Cha

The Cha Cha originated in Cuba in the 1950s, and the name is onamatopoeic, derived from the sound of the g├╝iro and the dancers' feet. The competitive steps were developed by Walter Laird and other championship dancers in the 1960s.

Tempo: 30-32 measures per minute
Taught in: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): All levels

Samba

The ballroom Samba takes elements of the Brazilian carnival dance, and weaves them into a partner dance that travels around the floor. The samba also uses several different rhythmical patterns, including cross-rhythms, to add interest.

Tempo: 50-52 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Rumba

The Rumba evolved from a pre-revolutionary Cuban dance, the bolero-son, to fit the fusion of big band music and Afro-Cuban rhythms popular in the 1930s. With it's slow rhythm and exaggerated hip movements, the rumba depicts falling in love.

Tempo: 25-27 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Paso Doble

Developed in southern France, the Paso Doble is the only competitive Latin dance to originate in Europe. Danced to a 2/4 march tempo, drawing heavily from the music played in the bullring, the dance tells the story of a Spanish bullfight.

Tempo: 60-62 measures per minute
Taught in: Extension, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): Intermediate+

Jive

Adopted as the fifth competitive Latin dance in 1968, the Jive evolved from the jitterbug and other swing dances. It is danced with a double bounce action that gives it a crisp, energetic look and a great sense of fun.

Tempo: 42-44 measures per minute
Taught in: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate
Competed (university circuit): All levels