Stereotypes have been shattered, and enrollment is up dramatically at dance schools across the country. Women everywhere have fallen for self-proclaimed “geek” Benji Schwimmer and surprisingly graceful NFL star Emmitt Smith.
Although some of the new dance shows feature hip hop, contemporary, and other forms of dance, the focus is definitely on the ballroom. From the smooth elegance of the Viennese Waltz, to the sultry Salsa, to the high energy Jive, ballroom dance has become a national phenomenon.
What does this mean for the average guy? Well, it means that if you want to impress your girl, it might be a good idea to take some lessons. Drunk staggering across a nightclub floor is not the same thing as dancing. The ballroom dances require strength, agility, and balance, as well as the ability to properly lead, and are most easily learned in a group class setting.
There is a lot of technical terminology involved in labeling specific dances as one style or another. For the beginner, it can be quite confusing. Therefore, we will focus on some broad general categories to help you determine what classes you might want to take.
Latin dances are sultry and suave. Five are formally recognized in the competitive ballroom world as International Latin: Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive, and Samba. Depending on your instructor’s preferences, Argentine Tango may also fall into this category. The Latin dances are fast-paced and highly expressive, and are generally performed time. They also allow for more revealing costuming and athletic/gymnastic moves such as lifts.
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