The Catchall Term - BALLROOM
While there are at least 7 styles of Swing and 7 styles of Salsa, Ballroom really only has 2 styles: American and International. In the real world, "Ballroom" is the umbrella term for all dances done in a closed hold. Within the dance world Ballroom comprises three types of dances:
- Cha Cha
- Paso Doble
- Square Rumba or Guaracha
- Nightclub Twostep
- West Coast Swing
While the American Style originated in the movies of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, it was created on the streets and in the nightclubs of America, watered down and codified by the chain dance studios such as Fred Astaire Inc. and Arthur Murray Inc., among many others. The rest of the world took its lead from the British who tamed it and developed it into what it is today, more sport than art.
What Do We Teach?
Unless you are a big fan of the TV show Dancing with the Stars, I don't think anyone ever goes into a studio wanting to compete. Most people learn to dance because of a change of life circumstances such as: making friends, divorce, kids leaving the nest, getting fit, so above all our classes are about FUN and being SOCIAL! In today's culture we live our lives with our nose to the iPhone but we forget the most basic of all human needs- the need for human touch. So while we teach really great dance lessons, it's really about making friends and doing something fun. But ballroom dancing requires two things for the fun to happen:
- There must be someone willing to lead and someone willing to follow.
- You must be competent enough that your partner enjoys dancing with you.
So our mantra is that you don't start by learning a bunch of steps, you learn how to lead or follow and then whatever steps you learn quickly you already understand how to
lead or follow. This is why we had the biggest classes in Los Angeles for over 15 years.And why many students still take classes with us for over 20 years.
Because as students we were fortunate to have been taught by the absolute best in the business (no joke read the bios), we are experts at making it easy and fun. And whether you want to learn, International, American, Latin, or Smooth; competitive or social we did them all so we don't try to sell you on one. Think of us as Carmax vs a dealer that only sells one type of style.
Many people think that ballroom is danced only to music from the 1930's through 1950s. While that was the era where everyone was ballroom dancing, the music is still being created today. From artists like Michael Buble, Rod Stewart, Sinead O'Connor, Journey, virtually every Country star, and even Led Zeppelin Waltz and Foxtrot are rhythms that have never left the pop charts.
What Style of Ballroom Do You Teach?
Fortunately in Ballroom there are only two prevalent styles around the world- International and American. Some lesser trained teachers will try to tell you that one is better
than the other, or that one is for competition and the other for social dancing. BS! Both are done socially, both are done competitively.
We have been dancing Ballroom for 30+ years each. We have trained with the best in each of the styles. We don't tell you that there is only one style because that is all we know like many teachers do. We don't try to tell you that one style is better than another style. They are all great in the right situation.
American is more like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It is a little more free form and dance couples separate and reconnect. In International they do not. Best of all there are no rules (unless you compete) saying you can't mix the styles. But few people ever walk into a studio wanting to compete like Dancing with the Stars, so whichever style you are learning you always start with social. To learn competitive most people start with private lessons.