Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world. 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. [Foxtrot] The foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band (usually vocal) music. The dance is similar in its look to waltz, although the rhythm is in a 4
    4
    time signature instead of 3
    4
    . Developed in the 1910s, the foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930s, and remains practiced today.
  • 4. [Salsa (dance)] Salsa is a popular form of social dance that originated in New York with strong influences from Latin America, particularly Colombia, 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.
  • 5. [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.
  • 6. [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 Phillip 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).
  • 7. [Viennese Waltz] Viennese Waltz (German: Wiener Walzer) is the genre of a ballroom dance. At least three different meanings are recognized. In the historically first sense, the name may refer to several versions of the waltz, including the earliest waltzes done in ballroom dancing, danced to the music of Viennese Waltz.
  • 8. [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.
  • 9. [Cha-cha-cha (dance)] The cha-cha-cha, or simply cha-cha, is the name of a dance of Cuban origin.
    It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in the early 1950s. This rhythm was developed from the danzón-mambo. The name is onomatopoeic, derived from the shuffling of the dancers' feet.
  • 10. [Quickstep] The quickstep is a light-hearted member of the standard ballroom dances. The movement of the dance is fast and powerfully flowing and sprinkled with syncopations. The upbeat melodies that quickstep is danced to make it suitable for both formal and informal events. Quickstep was developed in the twenties in New York and was first danced
  • 11. [Jive (dance)] In ballroom dancing, the jive is a dance style that originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930s. It was originally presented to the public in 1934 by Cab Calloway. It is a lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of Swing dance. Glenn Miller introduced his own jive dance in 1938 with the song "Doin' the Jive" which never caught on.
  • 12. [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.
  • 13. [Rumba (dance)] Rumba is a dance term with two quite different meanings.
    In some contexts, "rumba" is used as shorthand for Afro-Cuban rumba, a group of dances related to the rumba genre of Afro-Cuban music. The most common Afro-Cuban rumba is the guaguancó. The other Afro-Cuban rumbas are yambú and columbia.
  • 14. [Pasodoble] Pasodoble, or paso doble, (literal meaning in Spanish: double-step) is a Spanish light music, with a binary rhythm and moderated movement, probably based in typical Spanish dances of the 16th century. During the 18th century it was incorporated to comedies and was adopted as a regulatory step for the Spanish infantry, with a special feature
  • 15. [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).
  • 16. [Tango] Tango is a partner dance that originated in the 1890s along the River Plate, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay, and soon spread to the rest of the world.
  • 17. [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.
  • 18. [Ballroom tango] Ballroom Tango is a ballroom dance that branched away from its original Argentine roots by allowing European, American, Hollywood, and competitive influences into the style and execution of the dance.
  • 19. [Mambo (dance)] Mambo is a Latin dance of Cuba. Mambo was invented during the 1930s by the native Cuban musician and composer Arsenio Rodríguez, developed in Havana by Cachao and made popular by Dámaso Pérez Prado and Benny Moré.
  • 20. [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
  • 21. [West Coast Swing] West Coast Swing (WCS) 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.
  • 22. [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
  • 23. [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
  • 24. [Waltz (International Standard)] Waltz is one of the five dances in the Standard (or Modern) category of the International Style ballroom dances. It was previously referred to as Slow Waltz or English Waltz.
  • 25. [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.
  • 26. [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.
  • 27. [Waltz] The waltz (from Austrian: "Walzer") is a smooth, progressive ballroom and folk dance, normally in  triple  time, performed primarily in closed position.
  • 28. [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.
  • 29. [East Coast Swing] East Coast Swing (ECS) is a form of social partner dance. It belongs to the group of swing dances. It is danced under fast swing music, including rock and roll and boogie-woogie.
  • 30. [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
  • 31. [Folk dance] Folk dances are dances developed by groups of people that reflect the traditional life of the people of a certain country or region. They share some or all of the following attributes:
  • 32. [Peabody (dance)] Peabody was a foxtrot type ballroom dance in the United States of the beginning of the 20th century. It was essentially a fast One-Step danced under lively ragtime music.
  • 33. [One-Step] The One-Step was a ballroom dance popular in social dancing at the beginning of the 20th century.
    Troy Kinney writes that One-Step originated from the Turkey Trot dance, with all mannerisms of the latter removed, so that “of the original ‘trot’ nothing remains but the basic step”.
  • 34. [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
  • 35. [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
  • 36. [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.
  • 37. [Modern Jive] Modern Jive is a dance style derived from swing, Lindy Hop, rock and roll, salsa and others, the main innovation being to simplify the footwork - by removing syncopation such as chasse. The term French Jive is occasionally used instead, reflecting the origins of the style. The word modern distinguishes it from ballroom Jive.
  • 38. [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.
  • 39. [Josephine Bradley] Josephine Bradley MBE (24 March 1893 – 16 February 1985) was a ballroom dancer and dance teacher. Although born in Dublin, she was raised from an early age in London, the youngest of eight children. Bradley was among the first ballroom dance professionals of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) who standardised the
  • 40. [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.
  • 41. [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.
  • 42. [Vernon and Irene Castle] Vernon and Irene Castle were a husband-and-wife team of ballroom dancers who appeared on Broadway and in silent films early in the early 20th century. 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.
  • 43. [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.
  • 44. [Dance in Canada] A large variety of dance companies exist in Canada.
    Native Canadian dancing takes place at pow wows.
  • 45. [Samba de Gafieira] Samba de Gafieira (also called Gafieira) is a partner dance to the Brazilian samba musical rhythms. Unlike various street and club forms of Brazilian samba, it evolved as a ballroom dance (dança de salão, literally, "salon dance").
  • 46. [Hermes Pan] 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.
  • 47. [United Kingdom Alliance (UKA)] The United Kingdom Alliance (UKA) is a dance teaching and examination board based in Blackpool, England, and operating internationally. The UKA was established in 1902 and provides training in a range of dance styles, with examination syllabi for students, and training courses for people wishing to become certified dance teachers.
  • 48. [Merengue (dance)] Merengue (/məˈrɛŋɡ/) 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
  • 49. [Country-western two-step] The country/western two-step, often called the "Texas two-step" or simply the "two-step," is a country/western dance usually danced to country music.
  • 50. [Nightclub two step] Nightclub two step (NC2S, sometimes disco two step or california two step) is a partner dance 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.
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