Dances We Teach
We specialize in popular social dances like Swing, Foxtrot, Salsa, Waltz, Merenque, Tango, and many more American Smooth, Rhythm and International Standard & Latin dances. Ballroom dancing is a world of class, tradition, and passion which has evolved from a great history of dance. Dance is a mixture of myth, tradition, courtship rituals and meshing cultures.
International Ballroom dancing comprises of the five dance styles, and they are Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot and Quickstep.
International Latin dance styles are Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive.
These dances are famous all over the world, and they are not only performed in social gatherings, but in competitions as well. American Smooth dancing comprises of the four primary dance styles which are Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz. American Rhythm dance styles are Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo.
American style is mostly danced in the United States and Canada. These dances are performed at social events and at international and national competitions. At Aurelia we also teach social dances such as Salsa, Merengue, West Coast Swing, Two Step Nightclub, Argentine Tango, and Hustle.
History Of Dance
Ballroom dancing traces its origins to the early 20th century when the western countires were developing the art of ballroom dancing.
The Waltz arrived in England, in the eighteen hundreds. The elegance and grace of the dance won the hearts of the royalty and elite. During the 20th century many new dances were introduced to ballroom. A moderated version of the tango had appeared before the first World War. Dances such as the American Foxtrot, Quickstep, Alfro-Cuban Rumba, Spanish Paso Doble, Brazilian Samba, Cuban Cha-Cha, Jive and Swing also became popular during the 20th century as new music styles and social rules changed and relaxed.
The Waltz is probably the oldest ballroom dance still regularly perfomed today. Set to 3/4 time, it was too scandalous for the French Court due to the close embrace that it required. Nevertheless the dance survived and spread. The dance halls in Vienna sped up the tempo and gave the word the intense and whirling Viennese Waltz. Composers such as Johann Strauss Jr. became famous for the music they composed for the dance.
Meanwhile, in the Latin world, the Spanish explorers brought flamenco with them to the new world. As it melded with slave dances from Africa and Central American cultures, it became known as the Tango, with a particularly sensual variant becoming popular in Argentina. Traveling back across the Atlantic to France in 1910, it became popular through Europe, America and further.
The Foxtrot and its Cousin, the Quickstep
Not all ballroom dances have such murky beginings. The Foxtrot, for example came quite simply from a popular performer in 1913, Harry Fox. Foxtrot was originally perfomred to big band music. However, after the release of Rock Around the Clock during the 1950s, Foxtrot became synonymous with rock and roll music. In the years that followed it was split into two forms, namely, the Slow Foxtrot, which is now referred to as Foxtrot, and the Fast Foxtrot which is now called Quickstep.
Rhythmic Latin Dances are a fusion of traditions and popular culture. Although similar in some aspects, each of these dances still has a distinct sytle of its own.
The Cha-Cha is one of the most popular forms of Latin dancing in the United States, if not the world. The Cha-Cha began as a variation of the Mambo called Triple Mambo. It is a fast-paced dance that many instructors feel is easier to tackle for a beginner than other Latin dances ( such as Salsa). Though the dance has many variations in steps, it is primarily danced today as it was when it was introduced in the 1955s in Havana, Cuba. It is very easy to dance and so much fun.
The Rumba is a dance that tells a story of love and passion. It is often referred to as the grandfather of the Latin Dances. Originating in Cuba and Latin America, it first came to the United States in the early 1920's. Danced to music inspired by African drums and Spanish melodies, the dance of love is one of the most popular ballroom dances across the world.
To confuse the history of ballroom dance a little further, another popular dance, the Samba is also known as the "Brazilian Waltz" . A cross-blending of African tribal dance and traditional Brazilian moves, it became the favored dance for the wild revelry of Carnivale. It started to gain popularitity in the United States in the early 1940's.
Sister of Rumba and brother to Samba these dances had their beginings in the 1940's, when America became fascinated by Latin Amrican rhythms. The Mambo/Salsa combined the Afro-Cuban beat with American Jazz. The Mambo is a very exciting and challenging dance for all the dancers. Salsa is rich and complex similar to the Mambo. The dances share many of the same moves. It is very popular today, and fun to learn as well as dance.
The Merenque is the national dance of the Dominican Republic. There are two popular versions of the origin, of the Merenque. One story alleges the dance originated with African slaves who were chained together and were forced to drag one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of drums. The second story alleges that a great war hero was wounded in the leg and when he was welcomed home in a party of villagers, out of sympathy, everyone dancing felt obligated to lineup and drag a foot. Merenque was introduced in the United States in the New York area. Whatever its origin today's exciting rhythm of the Merenque inspires dancers all over the world. It is ideally suited to small, crowded dance floors. It is a dance that is easy to learn and essentially fun to dance to.
Bolero and Paso Doble
The Bolero and Paso Doble both are of Spanish origin, although the Paso Doble developed in France. They are highly stylized dances based on older forms of dance such as the Flamenco and the Fandango, and are danced more often by professional competitors than social dance enthusiasts.
With high quality sound systems, and flashing lights the Hustle became a popular dance in Europe and America through the 1970's and early 1980's, and is still popular today in certain areas such as New York, Los Angeles, and Detroit. The popularity of modern and retro music with disco beats keep this dance fresh, exciting and full of energy for today.
Swing dance is the most uniquely American of all Dances. The Swing dance comes in several varietities. The two primary versions today are East Coast Swing, and West Coast Swing, both of which originated in the American heartland and spread in opposite directions during the era of World war II. Like the Waltz of centuries ago, this kind of dance was deamed immoral, and therefore exploded in popularity with young hip dancers all over the world. Swing is most unique American dance and is enjoyed all over the world.