International Ballroom Dances
Harry Fox was the first dancer/comedian to use the slow step as a freestyle move. During the Ragtime period, this move became all the rage and marked a brand new phase of ballroom dancing, where people danced much more intimately. By 1915, another new era was coming into its own as pop songs took center stage. People loved the change of music as well as dance, enhancing their ability to show off their individual expression. Although more modern than it used to be, the Fox Trot still has a smooth and sophisticated feel in the ballroom.
With the roots of the Quickstep originating from the mid-1920s, this Ragtime dance began as a slow, individual interpretation. Later when a partner was added, it developed into the combination of walks and chases that sped up the dance as you will see in any ballroom today.
Tango first made its debut during the period of great American dance evolution around 1910 and instantaneously became a hit. The Tango’s asymmetrical and sophisticated patterns add a touch of elegance and romance to nearly any music with which it’s paired. As a modernized style of the original Argentine Tango, you will find many varieties of this progressive dance containing movements such as high knee steps with poised stops.
Known for its charisma and social grace, the Viennese Waltz can be characterized by the carefree grace and beauty of its steps. Unlike many other dances, the close proximity of dancers during this Waltz can be quite startling. This dance requires a great amount of control and stamina to stay on tempo to the music it is paired with.
Although the Waltz started as a Bavarian country dance more than 400 years ago, it didn’t make its way into the English ballrooms until 1812, where it was looked upon with rage and disgust. People did not like seeing a man’s hand on a lady’s waist, and it was widely rejected by non-elite citizens. Because of its stigma for being a wicked dance, it did not become popular in the US until 1840 where there were no blue-blooded castes. Serving the Ragtime era, the Waltz became known for its walks, struts, and whirling patterns.
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