The waltz (G.: Walzer, It.: Valzer, Fr.: Valse, Sp.: Vals) is a ballroom and folk dance in 3/4
time, done primarily in closed position. The most common basic figure of a waltz is a full
turn in two measures using three steps per measure.
The waltz first became fashionable in Vienna around the 1780s, spreading to many other
countries in the years to follow. The waltz, and especially its closed position, became the
example for the creation of many other ballroom dances. Subsequently, new types of waltz
have developed, including many folk and several ballroom dances.
The waltz is assumed by some to be a descendant of the lavolta. This is unproved, and the
fundamental differences in technique make it hard to imagine how the one could be so
closely related to the other. The main reason to assume such a descent is merely that these are
two of the earliest European turning dances in closed positions for which we have explicit
written instructions. It is likely, however, that they could have had a common ancestor. The
Laendler has also been suggested as a possible ancestor.
In the 19th and early 20th century, numerous different forms of waltz existed, including
versions done in 2/4 or 6/8 (sauteuse), and 5/4 time (5/4 waltz, half and half). In the 1910s a
form called the "Hesitation Waltz" incorporated pauses and was danced to fast music. In the
19th century the word primarily indicated that the dance was a turning one; one would
"waltz" in the polka to indicate rotating rather than going straight forward without turning.
See Cha-cha-cha article for the history of the music.
The dance teacher Pierre Lavelle from the United Kingdom, a founder of the Latin American Faculty of the ISTD, visited Cuba in 1952 to discover mambo (some say, rumba) danced with the triple step in place of the slow one. He brought this dance idea to Europe and eventually created what is known now as ballroom Cha-cha-cha.
There are two flavors of Cha-cha-cha dance, differing by the place of the chachacha chasse
with respect to the musical bar.
Ballroom Cha-cha and street Cha-cha-cha in Cuba count "two-three-chachacha"
Country/western Cha-cha-cha and Latin street Cha-cha-cha in many places other than Cuba
count "one-two-chachacha" or "chachacha-three-four".
Cha Cha is either danced to authentic Latin music, or more contemporary Latin Pop or Latin
Rock. The music for the ballroom Cha-cha-cha is energetic and with a steady beat. The
"Latin" cha-cha-cha is slower, more sensual and may involve complicated rhythms.
"Cowboy" Cha-Cha-Cha is danced basically to any "four to the floor" music; in addition
there are a number of C/W novelty dances with the names that include "cha-cha-cha".
Footwork: Steps in all directions should be taken first with the ball of the foot in contact
with the floor, and then with the heel lowering when the weight is fully transferred.
When weight is released from a foot, the heel should release first, allowing the toe to
maintain contact with the floor.
Hip movement: In American Rhythm style, Latin Hip movement is achieved through the
alternate bending and straightening action of the knees. In International Latin style, the
weighted leg should be straight. The free leg will bend, allowing the hips to naturally
settle into the direction of the weighted leg. As a step is taken, a free leg will straighten
the instant before it receives weight. It should then remain straight until it is completely
free of weight again. You can learn more by downloading videos of Mrs. Lewis (she's a
freak) in action. SHe does a mean Cha CHa. Cha CHa is also a cat
Basic Movements (Closed, Open and In Place)
New York (Left and Right Side)
Spot Turns to Left or Right (Including Switch and Underarm Turns)
Shoulder to Shoulder Left Side & Right side
Hand to Hand (Right and Left side position)
Early tango was known as tango criollo, or simply tango. Today, there are many tango
dance styles, including Argentine Tango, Ballroom tango (American and International
styles), Finnish tango, Chinese tango, and vintage tangos. The Argentine tango is often
regarded as the "authentic" tango since it is closest to that originally danced in Argentina
and Uruguay, though other types of tango have developed into mature dances in their
Music and dance elements of tango are popular in activities related to dancing, such as
figure skating, synchronized swimming, etc., because of its dramatic feeling and its
cultural associations with romance and love.
Main article: History of Tango
The dance originated in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. The
music derived from the fusion of music from Europe, the South American Milonga, and
African rhythms. Jorge Luis Borges in "El idioma de los argentinos" writes:"Tango
belongs to the Rio de la Plata and it is the son of Uruguayan "milonga" and grandson of
the "habanera". The word Tango seems to have first been used in connection with the
dance in the 1890s. Initially it was just one of the many dances, but it soon became
popular throughout society, as theatres and street barrel organs spread it from the
suburbs to the working-class slums, which were packed with hundreds of thousands of
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