Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world, and growing all the more popular in North America. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television.

Ballroom dance may refer, at its widest definition, to almost any type of partner dancing as recreation. However, with the emergence of dancesport in modern times, the term has become narrower in scope, and traditionally refers to the five International Standard and five International Latin style dances (see dance categories below). The two styles, while differing in technique, rhythm and costumes, exemplify core elements of ballroom dancing such as control and cohesiveness. Developed in England,

the two styles are now regulated by the World Dance Council (WDC). In the United States, two additional variations are popular: American Smooth and American Rhythm, which combine elements of both traditional Latin and Ballroom dances.
There are also a number of historical dances, and local or national dances, which may be danced in ballrooms or salons. Sequence dancing, in pairs or other formations, is still a popular style of ballroom dance.

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  • 1. [Dancesport] Dancesport denotes competitive ballroom dancing, as contrasted to social or exhibition dancing. In the case of wheelchair dancesport at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair.
  • 2. [Glossary of partner dance terms] This is a list of dance terms that are not names of dances or types of dances. See List of dances and List of dance style categories for those.
    This glossary lists terms used in various types of partner dances, leaving out terms of highly evolved or specialized dance forms, such as ballet, tap dancing, and square dancing, which have their own elaborate terminology. See also:
  • 3. [Partner dance] Partner dances are dances whose basic choreography involves coordinated dancing of two partners, as opposed to individuals dancing alone or individually in a non-coordinated manner, and as opposed to groups of people dancing simultaneously in a coordinated manner.
  • 4. [World Dance Council] The World Dance Council Ltd (WDC), is a registered limited company, and the legal successor to the International Council of Ballroom Dancing, and was established at a meeting organised by P.J.S Richardson on 22 September 1950 in Edinburgh. For a period from 1996 to 2006, the WDC was known as the World Dance & Dance Sport Council Ltd (WD&DSC).
  • 5. [Blackpool Dance Festival] The 8-day Blackpool Dance Festival is the world's first and most famous annual ballroom dance competition of international significance, held in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England since 1920. It is also the largest ballroom competition: in 2013, 2.953 couples from 60 countries took part in the festival.
  • 6. [Salsa (dance)] Salsa is a popular form of social dance that originated in New York with strong influences from Latin America, particularly Cuba and Puerto Rico. The movements of salsa have its origins in Cuban Son, Cha cha cha, Mambo and other dance forms, and the dance, along with the salsa music, originated in the mid-1970s in New York.
  • 7. [Pasodoble] Pasodoble, or paso doble, (literal meaning in Spanish: double-step) is a traditional couple's dance from France and straight away adopted by the Spanish community. It is danced to the type of music typically played in bullfights during the bullfighters' entrance to the ring (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. It corresponds to the pasodoble dance (traditional and ballroom).
  • 8. [Social dance] Social dance is a major category or classification of danceforms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing. Social dances can be danced with a variety of partners and still be led and followed in a relaxed, easy atmosphere.
  • 9. [World DanceSport Federation] The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), formerly the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF), is the international governing body of dancesport and Wheelchair DanceSport, as recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
  • 10. [Competitive dance] Competitive dance is a popular, widespread activity in which competitors perform dances in any of several permitted dance styles—such as acro, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, modern, and tap—before a common group of judges. This is in contrast with other activities that involve competition among dancers based on purpose, or specific dance style, such as pom squad and dancesport.
  • 11. [Lindy Hop] The Lindy Hop is an American dance that evolved in Harlem, New York City, in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. It was very popular during the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or
  • 12. [Argentine tango] Argentine tango is a musical genre of simple quadruple metre and binary musical form, and the social dance that accompanies it. Its lyrics and music are marked by nostalgia, expressed through melodic instruments including the bandoneón. Originating at the ending of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, and Montevideo, Uruguay, it quickly
  • 13. [West Coast Swing] West Coast Swing (WCS aka Push or Whip) is a partner dance with roots in Lindy Hop. It is characterized by a distinctive elastic look that results from its basic extension-compression technique of partner connection, and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor. The dance allows for both partners to improvise steps while dancing together, putting West Coast Swing in a short list of dances that put a premium on improvisation.
  • 14. [Mambo (dance)] Mambo is a Latin dance of Cuba. Mambo music was invented during the 1930s by Arsenio Rodríguez, developed in Havana by Cachao and made popular by Dámaso Pérez Prado and Benny Moré.
  • 15. [Samba (ballroom dance)] The international Ballroom version of samba is a lively, rhythmical dance with elements from Brazilian samba. It has recently been exposed to the American public in television programmes such as Strictly come dancing and Dancing with the stars. It differs considerably from the original samba styles of Brazil, in particular it differs from Ballroom Samba
  • 16. [Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing] The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is a dance teaching and examination board based in London, England, and operating internationally. Established on 25 July 1904 as the Imperial Society of Dance Teachers, it changed to its current name in 1925 and is now a registered educational charity. The ISTD provides training in a
  • 17. [Formation dance] Formation dance is a style of ballroom dancing. It is pattern or shadow team dancing by couples in a formation team. The choreography may be based on a particular dance or a medley of dances. Formation dancing may be done for exhibition or for competition between teams.There is also a type of formation in Bhangra.
  • 18. [British Dance Council] The British Dance Council was formed in 1929 as the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing (OBBD). The name was subsequently changed in 1985 to the British Council of Ballroom Dancing and in 1996, the name was changed to British Dance Council. The BDC is the recognised governing body for Ballroom, Latin, Sequence dancing & Freestle/Disco dance in the United Kingdom.
  • 19. [Sequence dance] Sequence dancing is a form of dance in which a preset pattern of movements is followed, usually to music which is also predetermined. Sequence dancing may include dances of many different styles. The term may include ballroom dances which move round the floor as well as line, square and circle dances.
  • 20. [Folk dance] Folk dances are dances that share some or all of the following attributes:
    More controversially, some people define folk dancing as dancing for which there is no governing body or dancing for which there are no competitive or professional institutions. The term "folk dance" is sometimes applied to dances of historical importance in European culture and
  • 21. [British Sequence Championships] The British Sequence Championships are ballroom dancing championships for adults and children held annually in Blackpool, England.
    The championships for adults take place as part of the Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival and have been running since 1949. They are held in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. Dancers compete in up to five
  • 22. [Arthur Murray] Arthur Murray (April 4, 1895 – March 3, 1991) was an American dance instructor and businessman, whose name is most often associated with the dance studio chain that bears his name.
  • 23. [Hustle (dance)] The Hustle is a catchall name for some disco dances which were extremely popular in the 1970s. Today it mostly refers to the unique partner dance done in ballrooms and nightclubs to disco music. It has some features in common with swing dance. Its basic steps are somewhat similar to the Discofox, which emerged at
  • 24. [Skating system] The Skating system is a method of compiling scores in ballroom dance competitions. It was introduced by the British Official Board of Ballroom Dancing (now British Dance Council) in 1937. It was first used during the Blackpool Dance Festival and has gradually been adopted in ballroom competition around the world as well as by other dance competitions, e.g., by the World Salsa Federation.
  • 25. [Concert dance] Concert dance (also known as performance dance or theatre dance in the United Kingdom) is dance performed for an audience. It is frequently performed in a theatre setting, though this is not a requirement, and it is usually choreographed and performed to set music.
  • 26. [Vernon and Irene Castle] Vernon and Irene Castle were a husband-and-wife team of ballroom dancers of the early 20th century, who appeared on Broadway and in silent films. They are credited with reviving the popularity of modern dancing. Vernon Castle (2 May 1887 – 15 February 1918) was born William Vernon Blyth in Norwich, Norfolk, England. Irene Castle (17 April 1893 – 25 January 1969) was born Irene Foote in New Rochelle, New York.
  • 27. [Victor Silvester] Victor Marlborough Silvester OBE (25 February 1900 – 14 August 1978) was an English dancer, author, musician and bandleader from the British dance band era. He was a significant figure in the development of ballroom dance during the first half of the 20th century, and his records sold 75 million copies from the 1930s through to the 1980s.
  • 28. [New Vogue (dance)] The New Vogue dance style is an Australian form of sequence dancing that originated in the 1930s. Since then it has become an important part in the Australian ballroom scene, holding as much importance in social and competition dancing as Latin or International Standard dances.
  • 29. [Hermes Pan (choreographer)] Hermes Pan (December 10, 1909 – September 19, 1990) was an American dancer and choreographer, principally remembered as Fred Astaire's choreographic collaborator on the famous 1930s movie musicals starring Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
  • 30. [Historical dance] Historical dance (or early dance) is a term covering a wide variety of Western European-based dance types from the past as they are danced in the present. Historical dances are danced as performance, for pleasure at themed balls or dance clubs, as historical reenactment, or for musicological or historical research purposes.
  • 31. [Nightclub two step] Nightclub Two Step (Nightclub Two-step, NC2S, sometimes Disco Two Step or California Two Step) was initially developed by Buddy Schwimmer in the mid-1960s. The dance is also known as "Two Step" and was "one of the most popular forms of contemporary social dance" as a Disco Couples Dance in 1978. It is frequently danced to mid-tempo ballads in 4/4 time that have a characteristic Quick-Quick-Slow beat. A classic example is the song Lady In Red.[1]
  • 32. [Merengue (dance)] Merengue (/məˈrɛŋɡeɪ/) is a style of Dominican music and dance. Partners hold each other in a closed position. The leader holds the follower's waist with the leader's right hand, while holding the follower's right hand with the leader's left hand at the follower's eye level. Partners bend their knees slightly left and right, thus making
  • 33. [Polonaise] The polonaise (Polish: polonez) is a dance of Polish origin, in 3/4 time. Its name is French for "Polish."
    The polonaise had a rhythm quite close to that of the Swedish semiquaver or sixteenth-note polska, and the two dances have a common origin.
  • 34. [Ball (dance)] A ball is a formal dance.
    Attenders wear evening attire, which is specified on the invitation as black tie or white tie (the most formal). Social dance forms a large part of the evening; actual ballroom dancing may or may not occur.
  • 35. [Positions of the feet in ballet] The positions of the feet in ballet is a fundamental part of classical ballet technique that defines standard placements of feet on the floor. There are five basic positions in modern-day classical ballet, known as the first through fifth positions. These five positions were codified by French choreographer and dancer Pierre Beauchamp in the late
  • 36. [Mazurka] The mazurka (in Polish, mazurek) is a Polish folk dance in triple meter, usually at a lively tempo, and with accent on the second or third beat.
  • 37. [Turnout (ballet)] In ballet, turnout (also turn-out) is a rotation of the leg which comes from the hips, causing the knee and foot to turn outward, away from the center of the body. This rotation allows for greater extension of the leg, especially when raising it to the side and rear. Turnout is essential to classical ballet technique and is the basis on which all ballet movement follows.
  • 38. [White tie] White tie (or full dress, evening dress, full evening dress; slang top hat and tails or white tie and tails, tailsuit, tails) is the most formal evening dress code in Western fashion. It is worn to ceremonial occasions such as state dinners in some countries, as well as to very formal balls and evening weddings.
  • 39. [Fred Astaire] Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, choreographer, singer, musician and actor. His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films and several award winning television specials and issued numerous recordings. He was named
  • 40. [Polka] The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia. Polka is still a popular genre of folk music in many European countries and is performed by folk artists in Poland (Clarinet Polka), Latvia,
  • 41. [Discofox] Discofox or disco fox is a social partner dance which evolved in Europe in the mid-1970s as a rediscovery of the dance hold in the improvisational disco dance scene dominated by solo dancing, approximately at the same time when the hustle emerged in the United States. Both dances were greatly influenced by Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. In various regions, it is also known under different names: disco hustle, swing fox, disco swing, and rock fox.
  • 42. [Vintage dance] Vintage dance is the authentic recreation of historical dance styles. Vintage dance includes the re-creation of the dances of the English Regency (1795–1820), American Civil War (1860s), Victorian, and Ragtime eras.
  • 43. [Schottische] The schottische is a partnered country dance, that apparently originated in Bohemia. It was popular in Victorian era ballrooms as a part of the Bohemian folk-dance craze and left its traces in folk music of countries such as Argentina ("chotis" and "chamamé"), Finland ("jenkka"), France, Italy, Norway ("reinlender (no)"), Portugal and Brazil (xote, Chotiça (pt)),
  • 44. [Quadrille] Quadrille is a historic dance performed by four couples in a rectangular formation, and a precursor to traditional square dancing. It is also a style of music. A derivative found in the Francophone Lesser Antilles is known in the local Creole as kwadril.
  • 45. [Basse danse] The basse danse, or "low dance", was the most popular court dance in the 15th and early 16th centuries, especially at the Burgundian court, often in a combination of 6/4 and 3/2 time allowing for use of hemiola. The word basse describes the nature of the dance, in which partners move quietly and gracefully in
  • 46. [Branle] A branle (pronounced bran(ə)l)—also bransle, brangle, brawl, brawle, brall(e), braul(e), or (Scot.) brantle (OED)—or brainle—is a 16th-century French dance style which moves mainly from side to side, and is performed by couples in either a line or a circle.
  • 47. [Thoinot Arbeau] Thoinot Arbeau is the anagrammatic pen name of French cleric Jehan Tabourot (March 17, 1519 - July 23, 1595). Tabourot is most famous for his Orchésographie, a study of late sixteenth-century French Renaissance social dance. He was born in Dijon and died in Langres.
  • 48. [Ginger Rogers] Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McMath; July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an American actress, dancer and singer who appeared in films, and on stage, radio, and television throughout much of the 20th century.
  • 49. [Tailcoat] A tailcoat is a coat with the front of the skirt cut away, so as to leave only the rear section of the skirt, known as the tails. The historical reason coats were cut this way was to make it easier for the wearer to ride a horse, but over the years tailcoats of varying
  • 50. [Minuet] A minuet (/ˌmɪnjuːˈɛt/; also spelled menuet), is a social dance of French origin for two people, usually in 3/4 time. The word was adapted from Italian minuetto and French menuet, and may have been from French menu meaning slender, small, referring to the very small steps, or from the early 17th-century popular group dances called branle à mener or amener.
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