These include latin dances, classic Ballroom dances, Country Western, Tango, Swing and everything in between!
The MOST important thing to know about learning to dance with us is that we make it fast, easy and fun. And - we teach couples or singles - you do NOT need a partner to dance with us - we supply them and we specialize in people with 'two left feet'!
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Social dancing refers to a more relaxed form of dancing, as opposed to competitive dancing. You're likely to see some of these dances in nightclubs and social gatherings.
The classic Wedding and social event dance – Everyone should know how to waltz!
There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance that would evolve into the waltz that date from 16th century Europe, including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim. The French philosopher Montaigne wrote of a dance he saw in 1580 in Augsburg, where the dancers held each other so closely that their faces touched. Kunz Haas (of approximately the same period) wrote, "Now they are dancing the godless Weller or Spinner". "The vigorous peasant dancer, following an instinctive knowledge of the weight of fall, utilizes his surplus energy to press all his strength into the proper beat of the bar, thus intensifying his personal enjoyment in dancing."
The cha-cha-chá, or simply cha-cha in the U.S., is a dance of Cuban origin. It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrin in the early 1950s. This rhythm was developed from the danzón-mambo. The name of the dance is an onomatopoeia derived from the shuffling sound of the dancers' feet.
The dance was premiered in 1914, quickly catching the eye of the husband and wife duo Vernon and Irene Castle, who lent the dance its signature grace and style. The exact origin of the name of the dance is unclear, although one theory is that it took its name from its popularizer, the vaudeville actor Harry Fox. Two sources credit African American dancers as the source of the Foxtrot: Vernon Castle himself, and dance teacher Betty Lee. Castle saw the dance, which "had been danced by African Ammericans, to his personal knowledge, for fifteen years, a certain exclusive club".
In the early years, dancers in discos danced in a "hang loose" or "freestyle" approach. At first, many dancers improvised their own dance styles and dance steps. Later in the disco era (1970s and 80s), popular dance styles were developed, including the "Bump", "Penguin", "Boogaloo", "Watergate" and the "Robot". By October 1975 The Hustle reigned. It was highly stylized, sophisticated and overtly sexual. Variations included the Brooklyn Hustle, New York Hustle and Latin Hustle. Disco hustle is still danced whenever a “Saturday Night Fever” type song is played!
The quickstep is a light-hearted member of the standard ballroom dances. The movement of the dance is fast and powerfully flowing and sprinkled with syncopations. The upbeat melodies that quickstep is danced to make it suitable for both formal and informal events. Quickstep was developed in the twenties in New York and was first danced by Caribbean and African dancers. Its origins are in combination of slow foxtrot combined with the Charleston, a dance which was one of the precursors to what today is called swing dancing.
The Jive is one of the five International Latin dances. In competition it is danced at a speed of 176 beats per minute, FAST!
Many of its basic patterns are similar to those of the slower East Coast Swing with the major difference of highly syncopated rhythm of the Triple Steps (Chasses), which use straight eighths in ECS and hard swing in Jive. To the players of swing music in the 1930s and 1940s "Jive" was an expression denoting glib or foolish talk, that may well be where it got its name from since Jive music is a playful, foolish expression of Swing.
The late 1940s, Perez Prado came up with the dance for the mambo music and became the first person to market his music as "mambo", meaning" conversation with the gods" in the Kongo language, spoken by Congolese. After Havana, Prado moved his music to Mexico, where his music and the dance was adopted. The original mambo dance was characterized by freedom and complicated foot-steps. Some Mexican entertainers became well known dancers like Tongolele, Adalberto Martínez, Rosa Carmina, Tin Tan and Lilia Prado. Most of the se accompanied Prado in live presentations or were seen in Mexican films.
Today Salsa has taken over from Mambo and is among the most popular of all social dances. Salsa is a little bit quicker than Mambo and the dances accent a different beat in the music but the moves originate from the same source - Cuban Son, Cha-cha-cha, Mambo, Puertorican Bomba & Plena. Salsa took off in the 1970s, mainly with the popularization of latin culture and music in NYC.
"Swing dance" is a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1940s, with the origins of each dance predating the popular "swing era". During the swing era, there were hundreds of styles of swing dancing, but those that have survived beyond that era include: Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, Jive, and Charleston. Today, the most well-known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, which originated in Harlem in the early 1930s. While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, a swing era dance, like Balboa, developed outside of these communities.
Today there are two main styles of Swing Dance called East Coast and West Coast; the latter being more popular on the West coast. It is danced to slower ‘blues type' music – it is a sexy nightclub type dance and should be part of every competent dancers repertoire.
The dance known as Bolero is one of the competition dances in American Rhythm ballroom dance category. This dance is quite different from the other American Rhythm dances in that it not only requires ‘cuban hip' motion but rises and falls such as found in waltz. The bolero is danced to popular ballad type music – Its lyrical but because its difficult to learn is not usually danced by beginners.
Tango is a partner dance that originated in the 1880s along the River Plata, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay, and soon spread to the rest of the world. Early tango was known as tango criollo (Creole tango). Today, there are many forms of tango extant.Popularly and among tango dancing circles, the authentic or Argentine tango is considered to be the one closest to the form originally danced in Argentina and Uruguay. In the US a form of the dance called American Tango is taught and in the rest of the world a more aggressive style called International Tango.
Today Argentine Tango is the most social popular dance in the world –Over 50,000 dancers swarm to Buenos Aires to witness the annual World Tango Championship every August. Tango is a partner dance that originated in the 1880s along the RiverPlata, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay, and soon spread to the rest of the world. Early tango was known as tangocriollo (Creole tango). Today, there are many forms of tango extant.Popularly and among tango dancing circles, the authentic or Argentinetango is considered to be the one closest to the form originally danced in Argentina and Uruguay. In the US a form of the dance calledAmerican Tango is taught and in the rest of the world a more aggressive style called International Tango.
TodayArgentine Tango is the most social popular dance in the world –Over 50,000 dancers swarm to Buenos Aires to witness the annual WorldTango Championship every August.
Merengue is a style of Dominican music and dance. Partners hold each other in a closed position where it's all about the hips. The music, steps, spins and attitude are all fun and Merengue is a must learn for any latin party.
Originally, the term rumba was used as a synonym for "party" in northern Cuba, and by the late 19th century it was used to denote the complex of secular music styles known as Cuban rumba. Since the early20th century the term has been used in different countries to refer to distinct styles of music and dance, most of which are only tangentially related to the original Cuban rumba. The two styles of Rumba taught at GDA schools both represent the sensual beginnings of this dance.
The standard country dance found in every CW club in the world. The dance is probably the only one named for the step movements rather than the music – So the first thing to learn is that the leader starts with two steps forward – Then … well it becomes more interesting!
Paso Doble is based on music played at bullfights during the bullfighters' entrance (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. The leader of this dance plays the part of the matador. The follower generally plays the part of the matador's cape, but can also represent the shadow of the matador. (The follower never represents the bull, although it is commonly thought this way).
The dance relates back to a French military march with the name "Paso Redoble." This was a fast-paced march, which is why this is a fast-paced Latin American dance modeled after the Spanish bullfight. Bullfighting was well known around this time. Today the paso doble is a show dance that is usually only seen on the competition or showcase dance floor.
Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style, with its roots in Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly of Angola and the Congo. Although there were various forms of samba in Brazil in the form of various popular rhythms and regional dances that originated from drumming, samba as a music genre is seen as originally a musical expression of urban Rio de Janeiro. Today Samba is a lively dance for both studio parties and competitions.
Most GDA member studios offer Dance fitness, stretching or well-being classes – All taught by professionals!