What kind of dance do you teach?
We get this question a lot. The main style of dance we teach is International Ballroom.
Ever seen Dancing With the Stars? So You Think You Can Dance?
International Ballroom consists of ten dances in total, which are split into two categories — five Standard and five Latin, Following are some brief descriptions of each dance:
Beautiful and elegant, Waltz is one of the most defining dances of ballroom and is the first dance you'll learn in our club as a beginner.
Flirtatious and spicy, Cha-cha moves are quick and sharp and are always fun to watch. It is the usually first Latin dance beginner ballroom dancers learn.
A dance of spicy passion and intensity, Tango is often featured in Hollywood movies depicting two characters with sparks flying, which can be the case at advanced championship levels in International Ballroom, but not so much at lower levels.
Quick and energetic, this dance prefers flashy and exciting moves and spins on an upbeat tempo.
An exciting dance featuring quick, flashy movements of the feet, earning it its name.
Often called the dance of love, Rumba is slow and sensual with emphasis on hip movements.
A graceful, flowing dance with lots of shaping and movement. It shares many similarities with Waltz, and yet has just as many distinct differences.
A stylish dance with a noticeable rhythmic bounce. Samba combines the feelings of Cha-cha's spice and Rumba's sensuality into something completely different from both.
Viennese Waltz (Standard)
Stunning and vibrant, Viennese Waltz is often depicted in Hollywood movies as a couple spinning their way around the dance floor. Surprisingly, the only similarity it shares with Waltz is the timing of the music.
Paso Doble (Latin)
The dance of the Spanish bullfighters, Paso Doble is often depicted in Hollywood movies as a face-off between men. A truly unique dance that bears little resemblance to any other dance.
Other Partnered Dances
Outside of International Ballroom, we also offer a few other styles. Aside from Salsa, which we teach as part of our regular classes, these would be offered during occasional workshops that we hold during the year or in the Spring or Summer semesters (May-Jun and Jul-Aug respectively).
While Salsa is a relatively recent addition to our collection of dances that we teach during regular classes, we've been offering Salsa in workshops for several years. Salsa is a more casual dance featuring lots of fancy turns and spins and comes in many different flavours. Like the food it's named after, Salsa has no defined specifics past the basics and advanced dancers tend to have their own variations of different moves.
West Coast Swing
This style is quite distinct from regular Swing, and is usually danced on slower music and features more forward and back movements as opposed to side movements.
A bit more intimate, Bachata is a sensual dance like Rumba, but features less hip and more flair and styling.
Often compared to Jive, Swing can be described as Jive on slower music and smoother side to side movements. In fact, most moves done in the earlier levels of Jive can be done in Swing.
Kizomba is a style not often taught in the club, in part due to its intimate nature. It is even slower and more sensual than Bachata.
This dance is very unique because the movements of each partner are perpendicular to each other and the two continually cross each other's paths throughout the dance. The musical timing of Hustle is also quite different and takes some getting used to.
While it uses similar music to International Tango, the style of Argentine Tango is the apple to International Tango's orange, giving a feel that is less spicy passion and more flirtatious, with a closer connection and smoother moves as opposed to International's tendency towards quick and sharp staccato movements.
A very popular dance in Alberta, especially in Calgary, Two Step is sometimes called Country and is danced around the room on Country music. Cowboy boots and hats often accompany this style. The style is somewhat reminiscent of two people taking a stroll.
Sometimes we play specific songs that are associated with a particular line dance. The main draw of line dances is that they're done in formation and people tend to learn them on their own by watching other dancers, not to mention it draws lots of attention when several people suddenly start doing the same thing to a certain song.
By far the most popular line dance in Alberta, Cadillac Ranch is danced to the song by the same name, which is a distinct Country song. Cadillac Ranch is often one of the line dances taught in public schools, though UADC has created its own take on the dance that features a bit more moving and hopping. Whichever version you use, however, the dance timing is exactly the same, so feel free to use what you might already know!