Dances You Can Learn

Footnotes Ballroom Company offers a variety of American Smooth & Rhythm, International Standard & Latin and Social dances

Dance Styles

International Standard

  • Waltz
  • Foxtrot
  • Tango
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Quickstep

International Latin

  • Cha Cha
  • Rumba
  • Samba
  • Paso Doble
  • Jive

American Rhythm

  • East Coast Swing
  • Bolero
  • Mambo
  • Rumba
  • Cha Cha
  • Samba

American Smooth

  • Waltz
  • Foxtrot
  • Tango
  • Viennese Waltz

Social Night Club Dances

  • Salsa (On 1 & On 2)
  • Bachata
  • West Coast Swin
  • Night Club 2 Step
  • Hustle
  • Country 2 Step
  • Zouk
  • Argentine Tango
  • Merengue

About the Dances

From the old German word “walzen”, to roll, turn, or glide. Danced to ¾ time, the Waltz is characterized by elegance and grace. Characteristics such as rise & fall and sway, give way to creating such elegance on the dance floor. Once scandalized by the European high courts for its closed hold, scandal led way to popularity. As such, we have the Waltz we know today.

Sample Songs: Bryan Adams-Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman : Shania Twain-From This Moment : Journey-Open Arms : Norah Jones-Come Away With Me

A dance created for ragtime music, the Foxtrot has developed throughout the years. Harry Fox is given credit for creating this super jazzy dance. The jerkiness and jumps of the original dance have since been ironed out, leaving us with the smooth, gliding steps, with which we are now familiar. Foxtrot has two styles: social and competitive. Social Foxtrot has more of a bouncing action, while competitive is smoother.

Sample Songs: Michael Buble-The Way You Look Tonight : John Legend-All Of Me

Deriving from the Lindy Hop in previous generations, it made its way to the West Coast and there it came into its own. West Coast Swing is danced in a slot and is very smooth. It allows for syncopated footwork and plenty of improvisation. It can be danced to a variety of music including pop, R & B, disco, rock, and country.

Sample Songs: Alannah Myles-Black Velvet : Coldplay-Magic : Daya-Hideaway

Born in the slums of Buenos Aires, the mixing of two cultures (Argentine gauchos and migrating blacks) in the Barrio de las Ranas, perpetuated the birth of the Tango. It is a dramatic dance, with a stealthy, cat-like feel. It sets itself apart from the other smooth dances, as it is danced with a lower center of gravity and focuses heavily on Contra Body Movement.

Sample Songs: Ballroom Nights -Objection Tango : Adele-Set Fire To The Rain : Immigrante-Tanghetto

Allegedly, Cha-Cha got its name due to the sound of women’s shoes shuffling across the floor. This dance is lively and fun! It is also a non-progressive dance that emphasizes Cuban Motion.

Sample Songs: Rob Thomas-Smooth : Joe Cocker-Fever : Senor Coconuts-Kiss

Brazilian in nature, Samba is a fun, up-beat and energetic dance. It’s characterized by its bounce and rolling hip action. Starting as a solo art form with rapidly moving hips and quick changes of weight, it became a partner dance when it was standardized as a ballroom dance in 1956.

Sample Songs: Gloria Estefan- Turn The Beat Around : Enrique Iglesias-Duele El Corazon : Selena Gomez-Spotlight

Closely related to its sister, the Waltz, the Viennese is twice as fast and requires greater technique. Austrian composers Johann Strauss and Franz Lanner increased the number of measures per minute in their Waltzes during the late 1800s, thusly leading to the creation of the Viennese Waltz. Also elegant and graceful, it has a dreamy quality to it.

Sample Songs: John Mayer-Daughters : Edwin McCain-I’ll Be

This is a non-progressive dance (meaning it stays in one place on the dancefloor), distinguished by its romantic feel and sensual hip action. It is sometimes referred to as the “dance of love,” as it is characterized as a romantic Latin style dance with Afro-Cuban origins.

Sample Songs: Enrique Iglesias-Ring My Bell : Michael Buble- Everything : Temptations-My Girl

Reaching its popularity in the 1950s, Mambo was taught in dance schools, night clubs, and resorts all over the nation. This rhythm dance with fast, staccato movements features strong Cuban Motion. This makes the Mambo an extremely fun dance!

Sample Songs: Lenny Kravitz- Thinking Of You : Marc Anthony- Valeo La Pena : Tito Puento-Ran Can Can : Tequila- The Champs

Just as the delicious sauce is a mixture of different vegetables, so is the dance that has become so popular of late. Consisting primarily of breaks (back, front, and side), Salsa can be danced on the 1 or the 2 of the beat and varies from region to region. With styles varying from Puerto Rican, New York, Los Angeles, Cuban, Miami, Colombian, Cali, and Ballroom, there’s no denying that this dance has staying power.

Sample Songs: Lenny Kravitz- Thinking Of You : Marc Anthony- Valeo La Pena : Tito Puento-Ran Can Can : Tequila- The Champs

Bachata has Dominican Republic origins as well. Its influences include Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, and Cuban Bolero. It is danced to 4/4 time and includes a 3-step side chasse. A fun loving, and sensual dance, Bachata is great for beginners as it is easy to learn and impressive on the dance floor.

Sample Songs: Usher-Promise : Prince Royce-Stand By Me : Prince Royce-Darte un Beso

Legend has it that it gained its look from an elderly war hero who, while dancing couldn’t help but limp to one side. In respect to him, all the villagers started dancing with a limp. It originated in the Dominican Republic in the 1800s, and thusly became their national dance. Made of a simple marching-esque basic, the Merengue is great for beginners!

Sample Songs: Elvis Crespo-Suavamente : Pitbull-Fireball : Shakira-Rabiosa

Known as “America’s Fun Dance,” East Coast Swing is the epitome of dance evolution. With origins in the 1920s, the dance was then known as the Lindy Hop. It is a fun, up-beat dance, characterized by its bounce, rock-step, and “swing hip action.”

Sample Songs: Grand Funk Railroad-Some Kind Of Wonderful : Uma Thurman-Fallout Boy : Gold on The Ceiling- The Black Keys

Bolero is a Spanish dance with Moroccan roots. Characterized by slow, smooth, gliding movements, delicate turns, and dramatic arm styling, one can see why Bolero would be termed as the “Cuban Dance of Love.”

Sample Songs: Coming Soon

The Hustle was created in the ever-timeless discotheques of the 1960s and 70s. It was created by a subculture of teenagers in New York City who were competing in the discos, in various dance competitions. The Hustle is characterized by its unique count (&123, &456) and elastic or ropey frame.

Sample Songs: Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna-What You Came For : Bruno Mars- Uptown Funk

Evolving from the Foxtrot, the Country Two-Step is a fast and fun dance with a Quick, Quick, Slow, Slow basic. It is danced all over the nation in Country night clubs and dancehalls. This dance is danced down the line of dance and features lots of turns for the female and fast footwork for both partners.

Sample Songs: Coming Soon

Nightclub Two-Step is an easy to learn and fun dance that was conceived by Buddy Schwimmer. It consists of a rock step followed by a side step. He decided there needed to be a dance that filled the gap between where ballroom dances end and social dances began. He created a simple dance that could be danced to modern country/rock/pop love songs. The Nightclub Two-Step was born!

Sample Songs: Mariah Carey-Without You : Charlie Puth- One Call Away

Start Learning one of these Amazing Dances!

No matter your learning style, we have you covered! With a variety of group lessons, progressive series, and private lessons available, you choose how you learn. Check out our Introductory Package to get started today.

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