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.
Waltz is usually the first dance in the Dancesport competition rounds. It is danced exclusively in the closed position, unlike its American Style counterpart.
The Waltz originated as a folk dance from Austria. Predecessors include the "Matenick" and a variation called the "Furiant" that were performed during rural festivals in Bohemia. The French dance, "Walt", and the Austrian Ländler are the most similar to the waltz among its predecessors.
The "king of dances" acquired different national traits in different countries. Thus there appeared the English Waltz, the Hungarian Waltz, and the Waltz-Mazurka. The "Waltz" is derived from the old German word "walzen" meaning "to roll, turn", or "to glide". Waltz was danced competitively since 1923 or 1924.
International Standard Waltz is a Waltz dance and danced to slow waltz music, preferably 28-30 bars per minute (84-90 beats per minute). Waltz music is in 3/4 time and the 1st beat of a measure is strongly accented.
Like all Standard category dances, Waltz is a progressive dance, meaning that dancers travel along a path known as the line of dance. It is characterized by pendulum swingmovements and incorporates general elements of ballroom technique such as foot parallelism, rise and fall, contra body movement and sway.
Most of the basic figures have one step per beat (three per measure), whereas advanced figures have four to six steps per measure. The faster pace of the advanced figures, especially when combined with dance turns, results in fast-paced, dynamic dancing despite the relatively slow music tempo. Slow steps and elegant poses are often used to contrast fast-paced dance segments, resulting in what is sometimes referred to as light and shade.
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.
The dance was premiered in 1914, quickly catching the eye of the husband and wife duo Vernon and Irene Castle, who lent thedance its signature grace and style. The exact origin of the name of the dance is unclear, although one theory is that it took its name from its popularizer, the vaudeville actor Harry Fox. Two sources credit African American dancers as the source of the Foxtrot: Vernon Castle himself, and dance teacher Betty Lee. Castle saw the dance, which "had been danced by negroes, to his personal knowledge, for fifteen years, [at] a certain exclusive colored club".
W. C. Handy ("Father of the Blues") notes in his autobiography that his "The Memphis Blues" was the inspiration for the Foxtrot. During breaks from the fast paced Castle Walk and One-step, Vernon and Irene Castle's music director, James Reese Europe, would slowly play the Memphis Blues. The Castles were intrigued by the rhythm and Jim asked why they didn't create a slow dance to go with it. The Castles introduced what they then called the "Bunny Hug" in a magazine article. Shortly after, they went abroad and, in mid-ocean, sent a wireless to the magazine to change the name of the dance from "Bunny Hug" to the "Foxtrot." It was subsequently standardized by Arthur Murray, in whose version it began to imitate the positions of Tango.
At its inception, the foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime. From the late teens through the 1940s, the foxtrot was certainly the most popular fast dance and the vast majority of records issued during these years were foxtrots. The waltz and tango, while popular, never overtook the foxtrot. Even the popularity of the lindy hop in the 1940s did not affect the foxtrot's popularity, since it could be danced to the same records used to accompany the lindy hop.
When rock and roll first emerged in the early 1950s, record companies were uncertain as to what style of dance would be most applicable to the music. Notably, Decca Records initially labeled its rock and roll releases as "foxtrots", most notably "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets. Since that recording, by some estimates, went on to sell more than 25 million copies, "Rock Around the Clock" could be considered the biggest-selling "foxtrot" of all time. Today, the dance is customarily accompanied by the same big band music to which swing is also danced.
Over time, the foxtrot split into slow and quick versions, referred to as "foxtrot" and "quickstep" respectively. In the slow category, further distinctions exist between the International or English style of the foxtrot and the continuity American style, both built around a slow-quick-quick rhythm at the slowest tempo, and the social American style using a slow-slow-quick-quick rhythm at a somewhat faster pace. In the context of International Standard category of ballroom dances, for some time the foxtrot was called "Slow Foxtrot", or "Slowfox". These names are still in use, to distinguish from other types of foxtrots.
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.
The present day ballroom tango is divided into two disciplines: American Style and International Style. Both styles are enjoyed as social and competitive dances, but the International version is more globally accepted as a competitive style. Both styles share a closed dance position, but the American style allows its practitioners to separate from closed position to execute open moves, like underarm turns, alternate hand holds, dancing apart, and side-by-side choreography.
American style tango
American style tango’s evolutionary path is derived from Argentina to the United States, when it was popularized by silent film star Rudolph Valentino in 1921, who demonstrated a highly stylized form of Argentine tango in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As a result, the Hollywood style steps mixed in with other social dance steps of the times began this branch away from the Argentine style. Meanwhile, the tango was also making its own inroads into Europe.
International style tango
In 1912 tango was introduced to British audiences, showcased in the successful musical comedy The Sunshine Girl. Concurrently, the dance became popular elsewhere in Europe, particularly in Paris. and Europeans began to inject their own culture, style and technique into the dance.
In an effort to teach a standardized version of the tango, the English eventually codified their own version of tango for instruction in dance schools and for performance in competitions in 1922. The resulting style was referred to as English style, but eventually took on the name International style, as this became the competitive ballroom version practiced around the world.
Eventually, championships in the international style tango were organized all over Europe with numerous participating countries. Adjudicators were able to judge against a standardized syllabus and book of techniques, thereby creating a more objective means of picking the champions, even though artistic interpretation remains an important element of competition.
Initially, the English dominated the International style tango, but eventually, technicians from other backgrounds, most notably the Italians, have chipped away at the English standard and created a dynamic style that continues to raise the competitive bar.
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 by Caribbean and African dancers. Its origins are in combination of slow foxtrot combined with the Charleston, a dance which was one of the precursors to what today is called swing dancing.
The quickstep evolved in the 1920s from a combination of the foxtrot, The Chase G Chug, Charleston, shag, peabody, and one-step. The dance is English in origin, and was standardized in 1927. While it evolved from the foxtrot, the quickstep now is quite separate. Unlike the modern foxtrot, the man often closes his feet and syncopated steps are regular occurrences (as was the case in early foxtrot). Three characteristic dance figures of the quickstep are the chassés, where the feet are brought together, the quarter turns, and the lock step.p126
This dance gradually evolved into a very dynamic one with a lot of movement on the dance floor, with many advanced patterns including hops, runs, quick steps with a lot of momentum, and rotation. The tempo of quickstep dance is rather brisk as it was developed to ragtime era jazz music which is fast-paced when compared to other dance music.
By the end of the 20th century the complexity of quickstep as done by advanced dancers had increased, due to the extensive use of syncopated steps with eighth note durations. While in older times quickstep patterns were counted with "quick" (one beat) and "slow" (two beats) steps, many advanced patterns today are cued with split beats, such as "quick-and-quick-and-quick, quick, slow", with there being further steps on the 'and's.
The quickstep is elegant like the foxtrot and should be smooth and glamorous. The dancers should appear to be very light on their feet. It is very energetic and form-intensive. The quickstep is danced to 4/4 music of 48-52 measures per minute.
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.
What is now called the Viennese Waltz is the original form of the waltz. It was the first ballroom dance performed in the closed hold or "waltz" position. The dance that is popularly known as the waltz is actually the English or slow waltz, danced at approximately 90 beats per minute with 3 beats to the bar (the international standard of 30 measures per minute), while the Viennese Waltz is danced at about 180 beats (58-60 measures) a minute. To this day however, in Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and France, the words Walzer (German for "waltz"), vals (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish for "waltz"), and valse (French for "waltz") still implicitly refer to the original dance and not the slow waltz.
The Viennese Waltz is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning either toward the leader's right (natural) or toward the leader's left (reverse), interspersed with non-rotating change steps to switch between the direction of rotation. A true Viennese waltz consists only of turns and change steps. Other moves such as the fleckerls, American-style figures and side sway or underarm turns are modern inventions and are not normally danced at the annual balls in Vienna. Furthermore, in a properly danced Viennese Waltz, couples do not pass, but turn continuously left and right while travelling counterclockwise around the floor following each other.
As the Waltz evolved, some of the versions that were done at about the original fast tempo came to be called specifically "Viennese Waltz" to distinguish them from the slower waltzes. In the modern ballroom dance, two versions of Viennese Waltz are recognized: International Style and American Style.
Today the Viennese Waltz is a ballroom and partner dance that is part of the International Standard division of contemporary ballroom dance.