Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Saturday Seven: Best Ballroom Dances
The Saturday Seven: Best Ballroom Dances
In the interest of full disclosure- all dance descriptions are from our friends at Wikipedia.
above: The Tango originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There are several styles, but most are danced in either open embrace, where lead and follow connect at arms length, or close embrace, where the lead and follow connect chest-to-chest.
#2 The Swing Dance
above: The Swing dances developed concurrently with the style of jazz music in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The most well known of which is lindy hop. There is also a strong tradition of social and boogie woogie and acrobatic rock and roll styles mixed in.
#3 The Waltz
above: The Waltz was the first dance to use the closed position for any extended period of time, and because of this it was subjected to severe criticism and condemnation by both civic and church authorities.Waltz music is written in 3/4 time, with three equal beats to the measure. The first note of each measure is stressed, or emphasized. Dancers must learn to hear the stressed note, which indicates the count of 1 or a "boom".
#4 The Cha Cha
above: The Cha Cha is a dance of Cuban origin. It corresponds to the Cha-cha-cha music introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín.The basic pattern involves a checked forward step with the left foot retaining some weight on the right foot, the knee of the right leg being allowed to flex and close to the back of the left knee, the left leg having straightened just prior to receiving part weight.
#5 The Mambo
above: The Mambo is a Cuban dance that corresponds to mambo music. The basic pattern or "Basic Step" of Mambo consists of two halves: Forward Basic and Backward Basic. When a man dances The Forward Basic, the lady dances the Backward Basic and vice versa. The steps are performed with Cuban hip motion, a weight change while bending the knee - this will result in the hip motion which is typical for Salsa. In mambo however this move is made to appear more sudden and accentuated.
#6 The Merengue
above: The Merengue is a dance and music of the Dominican Republic. Partners hold each other in a closed position. The man holds the woman's waist with his right hand while keeping his left hand/her right hand at the woman's eye level. The merengue is a two-step beat requiring both partners to bend their knees slightly left and right. This in turn makes the hips move left and right. When danced correctly, the hips of the man and woman will move in the same direction throughout the song. Partners may walk sideways or circle each other, in small steps.
#7 The Rumba
above: The Rumba is originated from Cuba. considered rumba the most erotic and sensual Latin dance, for its relatively slow rhythm and the hip movement. American style rumba is characterized by the Cuban motion or hip sway arising from the bending and straightening of the knee, as opposed to Latin motion stepping on a straight leg, which is used in international style rumba. In a well choreographed dance there will always be an element of "tease and run"; the man being lured and then rejected.
Bonus Entry: The Samba
above: The Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance of Brazilian origin in 2/4 time danced under the Samba music. The basic movements are counted either 1-2 or 1-a-2, and are danced with a slight downward bouncing or dropping action. This action is created through the bending and straightening of the knees, with bending occurring on the beats of 1 and 2, and the straightening occurring on the "a".
What are YOUR FAVORITE DANCES? Since this is the last Saturday Seven for 2007, ALL COMMENTS ARE FREE TODAY!
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