The bevy of beautiful women and men in formal suits may be the image you see when ballroom dance is mentioned. This type of dancing can be elegant and sophisticated (like the Waltz) but it can also be hot, sultry and sexy (like the Tango or Paso Doble), or a good bit of lively fun (like the Fox Trot Jive or Quick Step).
If we look at the definition by Webster’s dictionary, for ballroom dancing, it is â€œany of various, usually social dances in which couples perform set moves”, it seems that the scope is wide and varied. It is interesting to note that the word ball originated form the word â€œballareâ€ which means to dance in Latin. This is the base for ballroom (a room for dancing), ballet (a dance), and ballerina (a dancer).
In the late 18th and 19th century this form of dance is a craze among members of the upper class in England. The working class really didnâ€™t catch fire with this form of activity until the early 20th century. The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing is set up with the purpose of standardizing the modern day ballroom dance.
One can enjoy the elegance of Waltz, the passion of tango and the liveliness of the Quickstep, the slow Fox trot and the Viennese Waltz as forms of modern day ballroom dancing. When American Latin ballroom Dance comes to mind, here are some names of famous dances Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Cha-Cha and the Jive. Make it a point to note that the word Latin America actually refers to the Latin and American styles, not just the South American countries.
Modern day ballroom dances do vary considerably in tempo, and rhythm and still they all consists of couples dancing closely together. Normally, there are five points of contact. His left hand would be holding her right hand while the other rests on her shoulder blade. The other two points of contact are her left elbow resting on his right elbow and the right side of her chest touching the right side of his chest. This makes a very elegant posture that starts from the early days of the English Royal court.
The strange right to right contact comes from an era when men danced while wearing their swords which was placed on the left side. The strange counter clockwise movement is also explained this way, and it helps prevent the sword stabbing any of the people watching or the dancers as he gracefully waltzes by. In Latin American ballroom the postures vary from dance to dance with some using the closed hold and others where the partners hold each other with only one hand. Like the Modern Ballroom dancing, the Latin American Ballroom has been standardized for instruction purposes and has a set, internationally recognized vocabulary, technique, rhythm and tempo.