The waltz (from German: “Walzer”) is a smooth, progressive ballroom and folk dance, normally in About this sound triple time, performed primarily in closed position.
The American Style Waltz, part of the American Smooth ballroom dance syllabus, in contrast to the International style StandardWaltz, involves breaking contact almost entirely in some figures. For example, the Syncopated Side-by-Side with Spin includes a free spin for both partners. Open rolls are another good example of an open dance figure, in which the follower alternates between the lead’s left and right sides, with the lead’s left or right arm (alone) providing the lead. Waltzes were the staple of many American musicals and films, including “Waltz in Swing Time” sung by Fred Astaire.
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 1910’s, the Foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930’s, and remains practiced today.
A beautiful, romantic dance, the Foxtrot is composed of fairly simple walking steps and side steps. The dance combines slow steps, which use two beats of music, and quick steps, which use one beat of music. The footwork timing is usually “slow, quick, quick” or “slow, slow, quick, quick.” The Foxtrot must be danced very smoothly, with no jerking of the body. Timing is also a very important component of the Foxtrot.
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. It is earthy and dramatic. Although walking movements dominate, Tango walks, having a “stalking” or “sneaking” character, are unlike the walks of other Ballroom dances. Movements are sometimes slow and slithery, and other times sharp and staccato, such as a quick foot flick or a sharp head snap to promenade position. Tango has the same counter clockwise flow of movement around the dance floor, but with a lesser sense of urgency in comparison to the smoother and more continuous Ballroom dances.
The Viennese Waltz is a genre of Ballroom Dance. It is actually the original form of the Waltz. It’s the oldest of all Ballroom dances, emerging in the second half of the 18th century influenced by German and Austrian dance styles.
The Viennese Waltz was quite the scandalous dance style when it first emerged. Not only were ankles visible from the ladies, but both men and women were in dance hold for the very first time! However it later gained acceptance and even popularity amongst the upper class. This dance style differs from the Waltz mainly in its speed. The Viennese Waltz has about 180 beats to the minute whereas the Waltz has only about 90.