Styles of Dance
Ive decided to break down a few styles of dance since I always get asked questions about different styles during my lessons. Each style of dance matches a certain rhythm of music and each dance has different levels of difficulty ranging from entry level to more advanced levels of dance. Each dance has a unique set of rules which govern the style once these rules are understood they can be bent.
What is the difference between Street Dance and Ballroom Dance?
Street dance comes from the Street, The focus of street dancers is to focus on improving the movement through natural expression by pushing the boundaries of the possible. Street dancers are flexible and do everything to increase their freedom of expression including stretching the body to it’s absolute limit of self expressed movements even if it does not adhere to techniques. Basic principle is to make mistakes until those mistakes become refined into nice natural efficient movements. Street dancers use all sound layers in the music to interpret the dance using their whole bodies. Street dancers move closer to expression of the music in what they hear and blend in their character
Ballroom dance is Dance from the ballrooms, Usually Ballroom is developed from a set of prescribed techniques and guidelines in movement mechanics and technique to achieve optimal movements in regards to aesthetics. Ballroom dancers train on strict tempo practicing aspects such as clarity in movement through repetition. Stylising movements in front of a mirror to achieve optimal impact, a ballroom dancer will correct their posture and movements through polishing and refining isolated movements. Once these isolated movements are perfected, they construct the dance using these elements and dance naturally within the rehearsed function. Expression comes from modification of styling to suit, however underlying structural elements remain true to the dance style.
Bachata, Merengue – Bachata and merengue both orginate from dominican republic, The dances have african roots from the tribal beats. these dances are the easiest latin category dances to learn. Bachata is known to be sensual because it is danced close and hip to hip. it resembles dry humping at times. Merengue is more a fun easy two step and offers alot of freedom of interpreation.
Cumbia – Cumbia is the root of salsa, Before salsa became mixed cumbia was danced regionally across South America. Each country has their own version of folkloric dances which blend into their shared cumbia heritage at family gatherings. The afrocuban influences from the slave trade are evident.
Salsa – Salsa is the evolved and mixed version of mambo, The term salsa represents a mix of everything as with the sauce. Mambo was a previous form that continually sped up as people tried to impress each other. Cuban Salsa came first from the Rueda casino style rotational dances with the Guapea Basic and Paso espanol, Later the salsa was adapted to LA style through a circus trope doing performances with alot of spinning and showcase, They designed LA style for hollywood cameras, and LA Style inherently does not look good from the back angle. NY style adapted to more sharp syncopated beats and jazz phrasings. On 2 styles came about to take advantage of the rhythm instead of the percussion. Colombian styles and puetorican styles took advantage of the kick and tap embelishments of footwork.
Cha Cha – Cha Cha was developed because During the mambo Era, The dancing got fast and complicated to out do each other, Therefore the musicians added two extra beats to slow the music down. The characteristic sound of cha cha is the shuffle of the feet in the straight basic chasse step. The movement requires some movements like arrogance and sharp fast clean steps.
Rumba – Rumba is danced to Boleros, The emphasis is on the hip seduction, and sensuality. It is danced on two to take advantage of smooth rhythm instead of percussion. Rumba is danced slow and romantically. Rumba emphasises the romantic and vertical expression of horizontal desire.
Waltz – Waltz has European roots, Based on french minuets and aristocratic dances, The musical renaissance lead to the dance halls and ballrooms. it is danced to 3/4 Music and is characterised by a rise and fall in the dance motion. Waltzes are danced in frame and slow in nature.
Quickstep is like a slow foxtrot, Usually danced to swingtype music.
Foxtrot – is a slow striding dance, we can see that the dance prides itself on the sneaking walks and slow slow quick quick slow rhythms.
Tango – is a staccato dance. based on Walks,