Sharing The Joy Of Dancing

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SMOOTH DANCES


One of the most important things that you should learn as you discover the wonders of Ballroom Dancing is that every type of dance should feel and look different otherwise they might as well be the same dance! The following are some of the differences that create that unique feeling of the dance.

WALTZ

The feeling of Waltz is a swooping up and down movement and the timing is 3/4 - Quick, Quick, Quick. The music is played at 28 - 30 MPM (measures /minute) x 3 = 84 - 90 BPM (beats /minute) The primary characteristics are: Slow, Rise/Fall, and Sway. The three types of rise/fall are: Foot/Ankle, Leg, and Body (major up and down body movement). You should travel down line of dance on the "1" beat, Rise/Fall and transition to new dance position ("closed" to "promenade" to "outside partner" etc.) on the "2nd" and "3rd" beat. On the forward step you lower straight down on supporting leg, free leg moves under partner then body weight moves to new foot. The body moves on the"1" beat and rises and lowers on the "2nd" and "3rd" beat.

VIENNESE WALTZ

The feeling of Viennese Waltz is a gliding, flowing, turning, movement and the timing is 3/4 - Quick, Quick, Quick. The music is played at 54 MPM x 3 = 162 BPM. The primary characteristics are: Fast, Swaying Rotating Movement. The two types of rise/fall are: Leg, and Body (slight up and down body movement). You should travel down line of dance on the "1" beat, finish rotation and prepare to travel again on the "2nd" and "3rd" beat. On the forward step you should lower straight down rotating towards line of dance on supporting leg, free leg moves under partner then body weight moves to new foot. The body moves on the"1" beat and rotates and prepares to move again on the "2nd" and "3rd" beat.

FOXTROT

The feeling of Foxtrot is a slow, gliding, continuous movement and the timing is 4/4 - Slow, Quick, Quick (Slow uses two beats of music). The music is played at 30 MPM x 4 = 120 BPM. The primary characteristics are: Slow, Smooth Flowing Constant Movement. The two types of rise/fall are: Foot/Ankle and Leg (NO up and down body movement). You should travel down line of dance on the "1st" and "2nd"beats, continue to travel and transition to new dance position on the "3rd" and "4th" beats. The slow step takes "2" beats to move body weight from one foot to the other and on the forward step open both legs at the same time allowing the body weight to be smoothly and evenly transferred to the new foot. The body moves at an constant rate in spite of the Slow and Quick movements of the feet.

QUICKSTEP

The feeling of Quickstep is a quick, gliding, continuous movement and the timing is 4/4 - Various combinations of Slows and Quicks). The music is played at 50 - 52 MPM x 4 = 200 - 208 BPM. The primary characteristics are: Fast, Smooth Flowing Constant Movement. The two types of rise/fall are: Foot/Ankle and Leg (NO up and down body movement). You should travel down line of dance and transition to new dance positions on various beats. The slow step takes "2" beats to move body weight from one foot to the other and on the forward step open both legs at the same time allowing the body weight to be smoothly and evenly transferred to the new foot. The body moves at an constant rate in spite of the Slow and Quick movements of the feet.

TANGO

The feeling of Tango is a sharp, stopping, powerful movement and the timing is 4/4 - Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick. The music is played at 30 MPM x 4 = 120 BPM. The primary characteristics are: Flat Staccato Movement, knees bent maintaining constant contact with partner's knees. The type of rise/fall is: No Rise/Fall (NO up and down body movement). You should travel up or down line of dance and transition to new dance positions on various beats. The slow step moves the body weight to next foot on the "1st" beat and hold on "2nd"beat (this causes the staccato movement) and on the forward step lower straight down on supporting leg, free leg moves under partner then move body weight quickly to the new foot and hold. The body moves on the"1" beat and holds on the "2nd" beat.