CHA CHA CHA
The Cha Cha is another fun and versatile Latin dance and ranks amongst the five dances competed at international level. The dance draws its name from the rhythm of the feet on the dancefloor - 'cha cha cha' - and today's version resembles the original Cuban Cha Cha.
When Elvis Presley came on at that last wedding reception party you went to, the guests probably took to the dance floor with the Jive. However, there are many different styles of Jive that have adjusted to the various music phases throughout the decades. The 1920s Lindy Hop, 1930s Jitterbug and Boogie Woogie, 1940s Swing, 1950s and 1960s Rock 'n' Roll and French Jive are all styles of Jive. The dance is one of the International Latin American competition dances.
During the Paso Doble, the dancefloor becomes a Spanish bullfighting arena; the man is the matador; and the woman - the flowing provocative cape that entices the bull. This dance, with its constant echoing of the Spanish Flamenco, is one of the five International Latin competition dances.
The Rumba provides the setting for sensual and passionate duel between man and woman on the dancefloor. With its pulsating and rumbling rhythms, the Rumba is the slow dance of the Latin world and often referred to as the 'Queen' of all Latin dances. The Rumba is one of the five dances used in International competition style Latin American.
The Samba leapt from the street of Rio, Brazil. However, the Samba danced in the International competition style Latin American is very different to the original Bralizian party dance.
The Foxtrot is a slow and graceful dance rooted in the Tin Pan Ally of the 1920s. The dance's elegant and beautiful movements make the Foxtrot a challenging dance for ballroom dancers to master. The Foxtrot features in the five International Ballroom competition dances.
The first dancers to take the Foxtrot to a faster tempo introduced the Quickstep. There are echoes of Charleston in the Quickstep with the dance's nimble hops and kicks, making it a lively and energetic expedition to the dancefloor. The Quickstep is one of the five international ballroom competition dances.
The Ballroom Tango is one of the five dances belonging to the International Ballroom Competitions. Many see it as the austere European relative of the raw and compelling Tango Argentino.
The world reknown Waltz captures romance and marks special occasions for dancers everywhere. Originally an 18th century Austrian folk-dance, the Waltz is one of the five dances of International Ballroom competitions. The dance is called the 'slow' or 'English' Waltz in countries where the Viennese Waltz is known as the Waltz.
The Viennese Waltz harks back to days when the Viennese aristocracy danced to the music of Strauss and other classical composers. Today the Viennese Waltz is still danced socially, but the 'slow' or 'English' Waltz is more standard. Elegant and classic, the Viennese Waltz is one of the International Ballroom competition dances.
Salsa is a fun and flirtatious Latin American dance, fuelled by Afro-Caribbean rhythms and all-night partying. The dance fuses Cuban, Puerto Rican and Columbian styles into simple and lively movements. Salsa dancers fill venues all over the UK, revelling in this hot Latin dance.
As with any style of dance, Country & western dancing did not just begin - it evolved. It is a combination of many different forms of dance and cultures. It has been strongly connected to Folk Dancing and heavily influenced by European Immigrants travelling to North America in the mid 1800’s. Their style of round and square dances together with the folk dances practised by the multi-cultural American West at this time resulted in the development of a new style; a cocktail of a wide variety of cultures produced Country & Western Dance, the birth of line dance as we know it today, which is rapidly growing and progressing. Other influences include the dances from the film Saturday Night Fever and growth in western dance music from the film The Urban Cowboy, plus the crossover of Disco and Country music and the popularity of performers such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Jimmy Nail, Shania Twain, the Mavericks and Lee Ann Rimes
The most popular forms incorporated:
1. Line Dance. As the name suggests, dancing in ‘lines’ all performing a set routine.
2. Round dances. Where people dance around the floor with partners performing set routines.
3. Square dances. Where couples dance in formation to a caller.
4. Partner Country & Western dance or “Freestyle”, including Two Step, Waltz, Schottische and Swing. The leader indicates the movement by the shaping of his arms and body.
As Line Dance continues to develop we see several different trends emerging: Traditional, Funky/Disco/Techno/Hip-Hop, Irish and Latin American.