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Dance Terminology

Ballroom dancing is an umbrella term for various partner social dances.

These includes but not limited to the following dance styles:

  • Standard Ballroom

    • Waltz (A graceful, smooth dance characterized by sweeping, gliding movements)

    • Foxtrot (A smooth, elegant dance featuring long flowing movements and an easygoing style)

    • Tango (An expressive and passionate dance with staccato movements and intense partner connection)

    • Quickstep (A lively dance with brisk movements and syncopated steps, combining elements of Foxtrot and Charleston)

    • Viennese Waltz (A faster version of the Waltz, known for its continuous rotation and exhilarating pace)

  • Latin American 

    • Cha Cha Cha (A vibrant Latin dance with playful hip actions and quick footwork)

    • Samba (An energetic and lively Brazilian dance with rhythmic hip movements and vibrant music)

    • Rumba (A slow, sensual Latin dance focusing on expressive body movements and connection)

    • Jive (A fast-paced and energetic swing dance with lively kicks and flicks)

    • Paso Doble (A dramatic dance inspired by Spanish bullfighting, characterized by strong, powerful movements)

  • Street Latin (some common dances)

    • Salsa

    • Merengue

    • Argentine Tango,

    • Mambo

    • Bolero

    • Bachata

  • Rock n Roll

  • East Coast Swing (A classic swing dance with a fun, bouncy feel and triple-step patterns)

  • West Coast Swing (A more modern swing variation with a smoother style emphasizing partner connection)

The above dances are done as freestyle dances, which means you can dance any combinmation of steps you wish but requires the leader to guide the follower into steps. Often dancers have routines and attempt to dance those routines. Couples will have different routines to other couples so floor craft is important to avoid other dancers.

Sequence Dancing is a form of dance in which a preset pattern of movements is followed, usually to music which is also predetermined. Sequence dancing may include dances of many different styles. The term may include ballroom dances which move round the floor as well as line, square and circle dances. Sequence dancing in general is much older than modern ballroom dances, with the exception of the waltz, invented around 1800, all dances in ballrooms were sequence dances until the early 20th century. After modern ballroom dancing developed, in England, sequence dancing continued. It included so-called 'Old Time' dances and also adapted versions of the new ballroom dances, and then versions of Latin dances. Sequence dancing is a competitive sport as well as a social pastime. There are thousands of sequence dances with more being created on a regular basis.

Below are some of the popular Sequence Dances taught and danced at SWAY Dance Academy  (they are listed below as per rhythm).
Also see New Vogue for other dances.

  • Waltz

Alpha Waltz, Bluebird Waltz, Cheviot Waltz, Christmas Waltz, Dream Waltz, Emmerdale Waltz, Eden Waltz, Engagement Waltz, Honeysuckle Waltz, New Vogue Modern Waltz, Ocean Waltz, Saga Waltz, Vanity Waltz, Waltz Catherine, Waltz Diamante, Woodside Waltz.

  • Viennese Waltz

Killarney Waltz, Presidents Daughter Waltz, Santorini Waltz, Trinity Waltz.

  • Tango

Argentine Stroll, Black Knight Tango, Red Rose Tango, Tango Serida, Tango Solair.

  • Foxtrot

Alpine Stroll, Annaliese, Anniversary Schottische, Avenue Saunter, Balmoral Blues, Banyan Blues, Dynasty Blues, Festival Glide, Red Rose Saunter, Riverside Blues, Saunter Together.

  • Quickstep

Mayfair Quickstep, New Vogue Quickstep

  • Rumba

Blue Angel Rumba, Camellia Rumba, Cruzan Rumba, Miami Rumba, Queen of Hearts Rumba, Ravenglass Rumba, Rosalie Rumba, Rumba One, Rumba Forever, Rumba D'Amour, Tamara Rumba.

  • Cha Cha

Eltel Cha Cha, Jacqueline Cha Cha, Monkey Puzzle Cha Cha, Nikki Cha Cha, Orlando Cha Cha, Sally Ann Cha Cha.

  • Samba

Progressive Samba, Sizzlers Samba, Social Samba.

  • Jive

Festival Jive, Jimpy Jive, Progressive Jive.

  • Swing

Chicago Swing, Glyn Gary Swing, Gatsby Swing, Sindy Swing.

  • Salsa

Seaside Salsa, Sweetbay Salsa.

  • Other

Bossa Nova Blues, Dirty Mambo, Honky Tonk Two Step, Hucklebuck, Military Two Step


New Vogue - The New Vogue dance style is an Australian form of sequence dancing that originated in the 1930s. Since then it has become an important part in the Australian and New Zealand ballroom scene, holding as much importance in social and competition dancing as Latin or International Standard dances.

  • Tango rhythm dances are: Tango Terrific, La Bomba, Tangoette,

  • Viennese rhythm dances are: Swing Waltz, Twilight Waltz, Parma Waltz, Lucille Waltz, Tracie Leigh Waltz,

  • Foxtrot rhythm dances are: Merrilyn, Charmaine, Carousel, Barclay Blues, Excelsior Schottische,

  • March time rhythm dances are: Evening Three Step, Gypsy Tap

Step, plus many more...

Dance Steps

Every dance style have terms which identifies a group of steps. Some steps are transferrable between styles.

Below are a few of the names of these steps:

  • Chasse,

  • Natural turn,

  • Reverse turn,

  • Lock step,

  • Three step turn,

  • Wing,

  • Drag hesitation,

  • Feather step,

  • Aerial,

  • New yorker,

  • Alemana turn,

  • Spot turn,

  • Cucaracha,

  • Shoulder to shoulder,

  • Hand to hand,

  • Link step,

  • Fallaway rock,

  • Cuban rock,

  • Change of place.

As part of dance classes, you will learn how to dance these steps and know what to do once the step is called.

During Private Lessons, we will teach you dances you want to learn.

During group classes, we teach you dances from the specific levels. Go to the Class Info Page for a break down of those Levels.

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