International Style Standard
You may hear the terms Standard, Modern and Smooth in relation to the Ballroom dances and wonder how they differ. They all represent the dances with the man holding the lady in his arms and moving around the floor. The term “Standard” has replaced “Modern” as the name for the International Style dances. “Smooth” is the term used for dancing in the American Style.
SLOW WALTZ: Danced in European courts in the mid 1700s, the romantic Slow Waltz is an offspring of the faster Viennese Waltz in 3/4 time. The rhythm was gradually slowed down over time as songwriters of ballads and love songs chose to compose in a slower and more comfortable tempo. This dance has continued to rise in popularity at anniversaries, graduations, and weddings.
TANGO: The Tango originated in the bordellos of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is done in a slightly different manner than other dances. The hold is very different, with the lady's arm under the man’s, which creates a tighter hold for a quick staccato action and stylized poses. (Not to be confused with Argentine Tango.)
VIENNESE WALTZ: The Viennese Waltz is a fast Waltz which originated in Austria. Joseph Lanner and Johann Strauss wrote the first waltzes in the early 19th century. In the middle of the 20th century, the German, Paul Krebs choreographed the Viennese Waltz style to which we dance today. The dance enjoyed a great deal of popularity not only in Europe, but also in America, and has been used in many Hollywood productions.
FOXTROT: The Foxtrot is one of the most deceiving dances. It looks very easy, but is one of the most difficult dances to do. The dance originated in 1913 when a vaudeville performer by the name of Harry Fox performed a little trot which appealed to the social dance teachers in New York and thus the Foxtrot was born. It has gone through many changes since that time, and is now comprised of more soft and fluid linear movements.
QUICKSTEP: As the name implies, the Quickstep is a very quick and lively dance, comprised of hops, skips and kicks. The dance began as a quick version of Foxtrot mixed with the Charleston, and musical “Jazz” influences.