Ballroom Dancing

Couples Ballroom Dance Techniques

Smooth Dances: Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Rumba, Tango, and Bolero

The man leads with his body, making sure that his hips remain above the stepping foot. If he instead only moves his foot, the lady’s following ability is hampered. The hip lead gives the lady an early anticipation of the man’s intention. This leads to perfection in the couple’s unity of motion. The lady should rarely have to use her eyes to follow the man’s lead.

The result is the man’s hip leading makes it easier for the untrained lady partner to follow, and it allows the trained lady partner to enjoy an enhanced blending with her partner in harmony with the music. Spectators will be delighted to see more artistic dancing and the compliments will be plentiful.

The man should avoid aggressively “making” the lady change positions and directions. Instead, his hip-leading “gives her permission” to follow his body’s changes in movement and direction.

The most important skill the lady can learn is following. The lady should not initiate any steps. She should only move her feet or her body when the man leads her. Even if she knows what the next step will be, or if she thinks the man is taking a wrong step, both partners will dance better – and look better – if the lady follows exactly as she is led. There are exceptions to this rule, where a lady experienced in a particular dance pattern is given a cue by her partner to initiate her independent motions and then return to the lead-follow routine.

Rhythm Dances: Rumba, Cha-Cha, Meringue, Mambo, and Bolero

The main characteristics of Latin dancing are (1) the Cuban hip-roll and (2) Stepping with the inside or outside of the foot and never with the heel.

Focus points for every style of Dance

  • Poise and Posture
  • Styling
  • Personal Style
  • Music Interpretation
  • Balance
  • Body and Hand Leading
  • Lead/Follow
  • Timing/Rhythm
  • Personal Style
  • Dance Position Hold
  • Animation
  • Control
  • Blending/Feeling


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