Ballroom Dancing – A Brief History

When you think of Ballroom dancing, you generally think of flowing gowns and dark tuxedos. You also think of beautiful, willowy, women and tall, dark, handsome men waltzing their way around the dance floor. However, ballroom dance is not just the Waltz, it is a lot more. From the elegant and stately waltz, a hot, sultry and sexy Tango or Paso Doble, or a good bit of lively fun like the Fox Trot, Jive or Quick Step, ballroom dancing is all of these.

Technically, ballroom dancing is defined as “Any of various, usually social dances in which couples perform set moves”. However, the word “ball” (not the child’s toy) comes from the Latin “ballare” meaning to dance and forms the base for the word ballroom (a room for dancing), ballet (a dance), and ballerina (a dancer).

Ballroom dancing was very popular among the gentry (or upper class) of England, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and didn’t really catch on with the working class until the late 19th and early 20th century.

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