Dance Styles at Dance Manhattan


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The five most popular Ballroom dances in the world are Foxtrot, Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, and Swing.

Smooth Ballroom refers to the "traveling" dances: Waltz, Foxtrot, American Tango, & Viennese Waltz. It does not include "spot" dances, which don't travel, like Swing. The dancing of Fred Astaire is one of the most well-known examples of Smooth Ballroom. Prominent among these Smooth dances in our program are the Foxtrot and American Waltz.

Foxtrot is the classic social Ballroom dance- in most old movies when you see a large crowd dancing close with their partners to a big band, they are doing Foxtrot. The Foxtrot is built around two basic rhythms: slow-quick-quick, slow-quick-quick rhythm at the slower tempo, and slow-slow-quick-quick rhythm at a somewhat faster pace. Foxtrot is danced to jazz or Big Band music, the same style of music that you can dance Swing to. Speed is usually the deciding factor that makes a song better for Foxtrot (slower tempos) or for Swing (faster tempos), but you can usually dance a slow swing to any Foxtrot tune. In fact it is fun and not too difficult to go back and forth between Swing and Foxtrot in the same dance.

Waltz is danced to music in 3/4 time. It is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and rise & fall. Graceful and elegant, Waltz dancers glide around the floor almost effortlessly. The American style is punctuated with lavish open movements, underarm turns, and solo spins.

Smooth Latin Dances (such as Cha Cha, Merengue, Rumba, etc.) are also taught within our program or in private lessons with our talented instructors. There are also other social latin dance styles that are not 'strictly ballroom' but rather "fun" although "non-traditional." They include the hustle, salsa / mambo, merengue and bachata.


Sophie Cazeneuve dances a beautiful Waltz!

Our friends, Gene & Danielle, doing a fun Quickstep

Suzanne Temple in a lovely, social Viennese Waltz

Jonathan Murdock and partner demo a social same sex Cha Cha

This and future months’ Ballroom dance class schedule.