Generally, ballroom dancing (BD) is any form of social dancing by couples or set of partners mainly for recreation or entertainment during social gatherings. By this definition, almost all forms of sets or sequences may be listed under types of BD. However, especially with the emergence of dancesport, it became more specific and the category excluded other types which do not conform to the style standard.
Today, when one says BD, one would likely refer to the ten dances of International Style regulated by the World Dance Council (WDC) or the ten dances listed under the American Style BDs. These are used for both competitions and social dancing. So, it’s good to learn both styles.
Specifically, International Style is the umbrella term for International Standard and International Latin dances which originated and developed in England. This style is often used in international competitions like the Olympic games. In the US and Canada, the American Style further categorized into American Smooth and American Rhythm listed new inclusions of dances (usually of Western influence). Dance competitions in America of course feature American Style.
American Smooth is an equivalent of the International Standard while American Rhythm corresponds to the International Latin. Usually, American Smooth and Rhythm are danced to the tune of the mid-20th century Western Music.
Thee techniques for both types listed under International and American Styles are basically the same, however, International Standard strictly adheres to closed positions as opposed to American style that allows closed, open and separate dance movements. Moreover, International Latin and American Rhythm are governed by different syllabi, thereby both styles have distinct patterns or styles. Furthermore, in both standard and smooth dances, the set of dance partners follow the line of moving or gliding counter-clockwise in a rectangular floor.
In the UK, sequence dancing in pairs or formation is also regarded as one type of BD. Also in Europe, Mambo, Argentine Tango,ãEUREURLindy Hop, Swing Boogie or Nostalgic Boogie and Disco Fox are among the Latin Swing dances category. Nightclub Dances which include Salsa, Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Nightclub Two Step and Merengue are also considered as BD.
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