Ballroom dancing involves dancing a variety of social dances with a partner. This type of dancing is when a couple follow a pattern of dance steps. For a couple to dance well requires that they are connected and that the man is firm in the lead, and the woman is flexible in following the lead. The purpose is for the two dancers to become one being dancing to the music.
All that is required to learn the dance steps is patience, practice and a desire to learn.
Ballroom dancing combines different dances. Modern ballroom includes Latin dances and American-style dancing that feature a lot of turns and quick movements. The dances can be slow or fast depending on the type of dance you are doing. Although the dances are different, they do have similarities.
Forward and On the Spot Dances
Dances that involve a continuous forward movement are danced in a line counter clockwise around the dance floor e.g. Waltz, Foxtrot, and Tango.
Dances that involve dancing on the spot are danced in the centre of the dance floor e.g the Jive, Mambo, Rumba and Cha cha cha.
Group lessons from a dance studio or club is enough to learn the basic steps and get to know the dances. In a group, I get to dance with different partners and progress faster than if I were to dance only with one partner.
I also find that I learn faster when I repeat the dance level (e.g. bronze 1) I have just completed at the same time as taking the next level (e.g. bronze 2). I get to see what I missed the first time around which helps me to begin to really master the fundamentals.
Ballroom dance shoes help the beginner learn as they make the dancing easier.
Some music seems easier to dance to than others. I learn more quickly when the music I am dancing to has a clear beat and I know what the timing of the music is. I have started a list of dance music that I like and has an obvious rhythm.
Dancing ballroom has also evolved into a competition sport. Even though beginners can compete with each other, this is not for me right now! I am not fit enough and I think it might take the fun out of learning to dance.
World Dance Culture
Dancing has always been part of human cultures. There are ancient cave paintings illustrate that the first humans danced in some form. Today, people still like to rhythmically move their bodies in time with music. There are many, many dance styles throughout the world that are used as a form of expression, socializing or performance. Every dance style has something in common. They tend to involve flexible body movement and are based on physics and geometry.
Within this world dance culture, ballroom dance is a classical style of dance along with ballet and tango. Classical dancing teaches the qualities of grace, balance and poise, and fulfills the human need for physical intimacy and contact.
At the same time there are other dances where dancers are not in physical contact with each other. Line dancing is a dance with a repeated sequence of steps, in which a group of people dance in one or more lines, all facing the same direction and doing the dance steps at the same time. Belly Dancing is a traditional folk dance from the Middle East and is a dance style that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Hip hop dancing to hip hop music is freestyle in nature and includes breakdancing and krumping.