The Ballroom Dances

Ballroom dances are partner dances; generally those that fit into one of the several categories below. The term MPM stands fro Measures Per Minute.

American Style:

Waltz 28-30 MPM: a "smooth" dance to 3/4 music (meaning 3 even beats per measure) characterized by a "rise and fall" action, as well as continuous rotation.  Dancers must develop exceptional "floorcraft" as they learn to travel around the dance floor. Tango 30-32 MPM: this American version of the argentine classic dance came from Europe, having been danced to music with more dramatic rhythm; and patterns that strayed (often quite far) from their origins. the music is 2/4 time (2 beats per measure) and has a characteristic staccato feel, promoting a sharp look, with quicker steps. Foxtrot 30-32 MPM: This dance is entirely American in origin, first seen in the second decade of the 1900's. It is danced 4/4 time with a subtle up-down action (trot) Their are variations in technique from Basic Dance steps through intermediate that can make foxtrot the most challenging dance to master. Viennese Waltz 54-58 MPM: Harkening back to the classical waltzes, this 3/4 time dance is twice as fast as the waltz.  Mostly left and right turns moving down and around the dance floor in a straight line.  This is the timeless symbol of Ballroom Dancing.

ChaCha 28-30 MPM: a popular dance from Cuba.  Its characterized by sharp music, hip motions, fast pace, and a flirtatious attitude between the dancers.

Rumba 32-36 MPM: The American version of this music is more like the Cuban "Guajira". A medium tempo 4/4 time with more sensuality, with contrasting soft and sharp body actions. Mambo 48-51 MPM: A Cuban Social dance that took hold in New York both as Dance and song. Fast Paced with tight compact hip action as well as Pulse. Bolero 24-26 MPM: Both a song form and a dance. Boleros are long, slow songs, the dancers very close together, expressing both love and heartache.  This is an excellent dance socially and for showing off.
Merengue 29-32 MPM: a march style dance from Haiti/Dominican Republic is highly popular due to the ease steps and rhythm. These element can be found in partnership, group dances and line dances. Samba 52 MPM: From the Carnival of Brazil comes a dance of celebration and pulsating rhythms that is one of the most popular dances to watch or Dance, even though it is not normally taught in the beginning classes.  The American/International version of this dance borrows from numerous patterns found in the Viennese waltz, allowing couples to synchronize their movements with greater ease. East Coast Swing 34-36 MPM: This dance actually describes 3 different types of Swing: Single time (Jitterbug) Double Time (Be-Bop) and Triple Time (Rock n Roll, or Jive).  These Variations also refer to the speed of the music.  West Coast Swing 28-32 MPM: GI's from the East Coast stationed in California brought Swing  with them, but it evolved into a "slot" style dance, where the lady moves back and forth along a straight line.  It has become popular in country-western circles to relatively slow rock n roll songs, but is danced to much faster tempi as well.