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Archive for Dance Dictionary


The Foxtrot

The Foxtrot is classic, fun and timeless. Steeped in early jazz roots, this smooth dance that is produced by smooth gliding steps with an easy going controlled movement. The Foxtrot is danced to the counts of Slow Slow Quick Quick and Slow Quick Quick with a rhythm of 4/4.

The story of the Foxtrot begins around the turn of the 20th Century when musicians began to compose syncopated ragtime music. Smooth dances such as the Waltz would no do for this “risque” new music, which demanded jerky steps and the emulation of the wild abandon and walk of animals. When the Foxtrot traveled to England, the jumps and high jinks of the dance were smoothed out to what now is more reminiscent of the Waltz than that of the Foxtrot’s hyperactive past.

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The Tango

Often referred to as the “angry lover’s” or a “romantic quarrel,” Tango is a one of the most passionate and sultry dances. It is characterized by a compact and close hold, a low center of gravity and Contra Body Movement. The movement in Tango is very predatory and cat like. The count in tango is “Slow-Slow-Quick,Quick. “Slow-Quick,Quick. Slow-Quick,Quick-Slow.” with a rhythm of 4/4 or 2/4.

 Tango was born in the 19th Century among the Argentine slums of Buenos Aires, and originally this passionate dance was shunned by the respectable classes of society for its controversial close hold. The Tango became popular right before the First World War, as numerous Tango Dance halls opened and couples even danced in-between courses at finer dining establishments. Eventually the Tango was standardized in the 1920s by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

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The Waltz

The Waltz is elegant, graceful, sophisticated and full of romanic feeling. A smooth dance, the Waltz is characterized by its signature rise, fall and sway. The dancer’s feet remain in contact with the floor creating a smooth, gliding appearance. The count for the Waltz is “1-2-3. 1-2-3″ and can typically be heard in the music as Boom Tick Tick, Boom Tick Tick and has a rhythm of 3/4.

Before the 18th century most court dances such as the Minuet, were an elaborate mix of bows and curtsies, and very little physicalcontact between the dancers. When the Waltz first came about everything changed. The word Waltz is derived from the Italian word “Volver,” translating to revolve. Because of its closed position the Waltz was denounced as scandalous and immoral. The Waltz dominated the dance scene in Europe and America until the First World War, and then gained competition from the Foxtrot and Tango.

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