DANCES WE TEACH
The Arthur Murray Schools of Dance are dedicated to ensuring the syllabus we teach is current with trends and authentic to each country of origin, while still keeping the patterns and technique fun and accessible. Our dance board collaborates to provide a mix of classic material and cutting edge dance techniques to provide the best possible resources to our students.
Whether you would like to dance salsa comfortably at clubs or desire to smoothly and gracefully sweep the floor in a magical waltz, the Arthur Murray Schools of Dance have the ability to help you reach your dancing goals.
The dances we teach are categorized in the following groups:
Social dances include anything that is hot and popular on the dance floor right now, or dances that fit popular music selections. Whether you are in the club or dancing at a wedding, these are the essential, recommended dances to be a comfortable social dancer:
- Country Western Two-Step
Smooth dances are what typically come to mind when you think of classic ballroom dancing. Made popular by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rodgers, and Arthur & Katherine Murray, these are the iconic dances that portray to spectators a fairytale on the dance floor:
- Viennese Waltz
- Argentine Tango
- Paso Doble
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray’s performance in “Dirty Dancing” demonstrated the passion and rhythm of Mambo to the world, electrifying audiences and inspiring new trends in social dancing. Nearly every popular hollywood movie portraying ballroom dancing features one or more of the hottest rhythm dances from Cuba, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and more. Creative expression, body movement, and of course rhythm are essential to the DNA of these dances:
- Cha Cha
- East & West Coast Swing
These dances and more are what you can expect to learn at the Arthur Murray Schools of Dance. If you are interested in a particular dance that is not listed here, give us a call because more than likely, our certified instructors have it in their repertoire. For social dances, show-quality smooth dances, and passionate rhythm dances, Arthur Murray Schools of Dance are the place to learn!
The Cha Cha finds its roots in the Mambo, having evolved out of the popular movements of that dance. In 1954, the Cha Cha became known as a dance of its own, distinctively different than its cousin dance, Mambo. A fun choice to dance to modern music and authentic cha cha songs, this dance is a must for social dancers and a top choice as a latin dance.
Disco / The Hustle
Affectionately known as “the only good thing that survived the 70’s, the Disco has roots in Swing, Samba, Cha Cha, Mambo, Merengue, Foxtrot, and Tango. Because of those ties, the hustle is perhaps the most versatile of all dances — nearly every song you hear on the radio or on the dance floor can be suitable for a hustle. The most popular version, the hustle (originally made famous in “Saturday Night Fever”) allegedly traces its roots back to New York and is one of the most popular free form styles of dance in night clubs and other social hot spots.
Invented by Harry Fox in 1912, the Foxtrot broke social norms as the first dance allowing people to hold each other closer than arm’s length. Because of the nature of the dance, the Foxtrot was labeled “indecent behavior” for it’s time. Today however, it is one of the most popular smooth social dances of all time. It bears titles such as “the slow dance,” conversation dance,” and even the “two-step.” It is classically characterized by smoothness and ease of traveling movements.
The Mambo, considered the parent of Cha-Cha and other rhythm dances, was first introduced by a band leader by the name Anselmo Sacasas in the early 1940’s. Although it did not really become popular till the 50’s, the Mambo remains popular today. The dance combines body movements and actions from both Swing and Rumba.
Merengue gained a scandalous reputation when first introduced to the United States in 1941. After a brief hiatus in popularity, the Merengue regained appeal in 1957, resurrected by Xavier Cugat. Although Haiti and the Dominican Republic both claim original ownership of the dance, the Merengue clearly reflects elements of both cultures and is quite fun and exciting to dance socially. Whether danced to popular club music or in tropical climates to beachier vibes, the Merengue is one of the easiest to learn and very adaptable to social scenes.
Quickly becoming a vastly popular Latin social dance, the Rumba originated some 400 years ago and is a perfect slow, romantic dance for couples or social settings. The Rumba is slow enough to hold an engaging conversation, and also to display your cuban motion to the rhythm of the music. Ever wonder what to dance to those in-between tempos or popular wedding ballads? Most likely, the Rumba is the right fit for those songs.
The Salsa is a fiery, grounded version of the Mambo, typically more linier in direction, and is danced to a faster tempo of music. It is also known as a form of Latinized Rock and Roll dancing and is high energy and delightfully fun. Fast lead and follow combined with playful turns and stylized movements make the Salsa one of the more popular dances at social events.
This iconic dance channels the spirit and culture of street festivals in Brazil. Introduced to the United States in the late 20’s, the Samba incorporates a heart-beat like rhythm and eye-catching body movements. Surprisingly, many popular pop artists have created hits with a perfect Samba beat, making it easy to incorporate this exotic dance into events and everyday life.
From East to West Coast, swing takes on many shapes and forms. The lively music and catchy rhythm has drawn people to the dance floor since the late 1920’s. Lindy (named after Charles Lindbergh), was the first known version of swing dance and is characterized with flicks and kicks of the feet. During WWI and WWII, the dance evolved on the East Coast as the Jitterbug-jive and on the West Coast, it took on a slinky nature as a slot dance (performed forwards and backwards, without as much rotation).
Whether dancing single-time, triple-time, West Coast, or Lindy, swing dances are one of the most popular choices to dance with big band music, Rock & Roll, country blues, and even modern pop songs. Swing leaves plenty of room for musical interpretation and personality styling and is always fun to dance with a confident partner.
Rudolph Valentino single-handedly danced this Latin import into nationwide popularity beginning in 1910. Although widely believed to have originated in Argentina, it actually may have come from Spain. It’s dramatic, exciting and is known as the dancer’s dance. The Tango, with all its staccato movements, greatly improves a man’s lead or a woman’s ability to follow/respond and develops a strong sense of feeling for music.
This “mother of all dances” originated in Italy in the 1600s as a round dance called the Volte. It arrived in America in the early 1800s and was the first social dance in which a woman was actually held in a man’s arms. Learning to Waltz is elegant. The Waltz develops graceful movement and poise. Every wedding reception, black-tie formal and holiday party includes Waltz steps.
Don’t see a dance that you’d like to learn? No problem, give us a call at 1.866.LTS.DNCE to see if it is something that we are able to teach you!