BOLERO: Originally a Spanish dance in 3/4 time, it was changed in Cuba into 2/4 time, then eventually into 4/4 time. It is now presented as a very slow type of Rumba rhythm. The music is frequently arranged with Spanish vocals and a subtle percussion effect, usually using Congas or bongos.
CHA CHA: An exciting, syncopated, Latin dance, which originated in the 1950’s as a slowed-down Mambo. The Cha Cha gathers its personality, character, rhythm, basis, and charm from two major dance sources. It is a derivation of the Mambo through its Latin music, and it is also a stepchild of the Swing, as it is danced to a 1-2-3- step rhythm. The Cha Cha gets its name and character from its distinct repetitive foot rhythm.
CHINESE JITTERBUG: Originally called Taiwanese Three-Step. This is a lively dance in the swing family with a fast tempo. The dance patterns can be in three or four counts with a unique "touch step" at the third count, which allows a dancer to their breath or show off a stylish pose. Chinese Jitterbug is gaining ipopularity in ballroom studios because of its cheerful rhythm and relaxing style. While often danced to a fast Chinese rhythm, it can be danced to any type of fast swing music.
CHINESE TANGO: Also known as Slow Tango, this dance originated in Taiwan. With the application of the International Tango technique, the dance pattern consists of four counts, but it is danced with a slower tempo than International Tango. The dance has a lot of open choreography with checks and dips. . It can be danced with any Tango music that has a slow tempo.
EAST COAST SWING: This dance is sometimes referred to as Triple Step Swing due to the rhythm of the basic triple step. This dance consists of six- and eight-count patterns, which require a rock step back by both leader and follower to begin. It is a circular dance that is danced with a bounce and is very grounded and high in the legs. The bounce requires the dancers to stay very smooth and not jump around much. East Coast swing is the base for all swing dances.
FOXTROT: The Foxtrot is one of the most deceiving dances. It looks very easy, similar to walking, but is one of the most difficult dances to do well. The dance originated in 1913 when a vaudeville performer named Harry Fox performed a little trot which appealed to the social dance teachers in New York, and thus the Foxtrot was born. It has gone through many changes since that time, and is composed of soft and fluid movements. Both International and American style Foxtrot are popular at Allegro.
HUSTLE: The Hustle (Disco) is a member of the Swing family, and is like the West Coast Swing in pattern. It has a distinct flavor, utilizing Disco-style music and revived partner style among nightclub dancers in the 70’s. Hustle is danced to the contemporary pop dance music of the last 20 years. It is a fast, smooth dance, with the lady spinning almost constantly, while her partner draws her close and sends her away.
JIVE: Jive originated in the United States in the 1940's and was significantly influenced by African Americans. It is a lively version of the jitterbug, a form of swing dance. It is one of the five International Latin dances. Many of its basic patterns are similar to East Coast Swing, with the main differences being its fast pace, energetic kicks and syncopated rhythm of the triple steps.
LINDY HOP: This dance came about with the big band era and is danced to fast-tempo swing. All Lindy steps are eight-count patterns done in a circular fashion with a lot of kicks, flicks, hops, lifts, and drops. It’s been said that this dance gained its name from Charles Lindbergh and his flight to the United States.
MERENGUE: The Merengue is a popular dance of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and is a truly lively Latin dance. There is an old tale about a very brave and famous military officer who was wounded in battle and developed a limp. A celebration dance was given for the great hero returning from the war. Rather than embarrass their hero, who limped on his wounded leg while dancing, all the men present favored their leg as well, and thus the Merengue was born.
NIGHT CLUB TWO-STEP: Night Club Two-Step, not to be confused with country western two-step, is one of the most practical and versatile social dances. It is designed to be used with contemporary soft rock music. This type of music is common just about everywhere, at nightclubs and on the radio. The rhythm of the dance is very simple and rarely changes from the 1&2 count.
QUICKSTEP: As the name implies, the Quickstep is a very lively dance, comprised of hops, skips and kicks. The dance began as a quick version of Foxtrot mixed with the Charleston, and musical “Jazz” influences.
RUMBA: The Rumba was originally a courtship, marriage, and street dance that was African in origin. The Rumba met some opposition from society’s upper crust because of the suggestive body and hip movements. The characteristic feature is to take each step without initially placing the weight on that step. Steps are made with a slightly bent knee which, when straightened causes the hips to sway from side to side, in what has come to be known as “Cuban Motion”.
SALSA: The word Salsa means sauce, denoting a “hot” flavor, and is best distinguished from the Latin music styles by defining it as the New York sound developed by Puerto Rican musicians in New York. The dance structure is largely associated with mambo-type patterns and has a particular feeling that is associated mainly with the clave and the montuno.
SAMBA: The Samba is a lively Brazilian dance which was first introduced in 1917 and was finally adopted as a ballroom dance by Brazilian society in 1930. It is sometimes referred to as a Samba, Carioca, a Baion or a Batucado. The difference is mainly in the tempo, since the steps in all four dances are very similar. The style is to bounce steadily and smoothly in 2/4 meter.
TANGO: Ballroom Tango originated in the bordellos of Buenos Aires as Argentine Tango, but soon acquired a European and then an American style. It is done in a slightly different manner than the other ballroom dances. The hold is very different, with the follower’s arm under the leader’s, which creates a tighter hold for a quick staccato action and stylized poses. Both International and American style ballroom Tango are popular at Allegro.
VIENNESE WALTZ: The Viennese Waltz is a fast Waltz which originated in Austria. Joseph Lanner and Johann Straus wrote the first waltzes in the early 19th century. In the middle of the 20th century, Paul Krebs of Germany choreographed the Viennese Waltz style which we dance today.
WALTZ: Danced in European courts in the mid 1700’s, the romantic Slow Waltz is an offspring of the faster Viennese waltz in 3/4 time. The rhythm was gradually slowed down over time as songwriters of ballads and love songs chose to compose in a slower and more comfortable tempo. This dance is popular at anniversaries, graduations, and weddings.
WEST COAST SWING: This dance consists of six-and eight-count patterns, which are done in a slot. The follower no longer rocks back as in East Coast swing, but instead walks forward on count one. This dance is usually done to medium-tempo swing music, frequently slower than East Coast swing. This dance has no bounce and a very smooth feel.