List of Dance Style Categories in Ballroom Dance


Ballroom dancing is a popular pastime enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Though a competitive aspect of ballroom dancing exists, the majority of participants partake in the sport for the sheer social element and health benefits provided. Ballroom dancing is divided into two major categories: American and international. Within those two groupings fall more specific dance categories, all of which are regularly enjoyed by American ballroom dancers.

American Style - Smooth

  • The American style smooth category includes the waltz, Viennese waltz, foxtrot and tango. Movements are controlled and fluid, and as with all ballroom dancing, no dance can be performed solo.

American Style - Rhythm

  • The American style rhythm category is an alternate category. Dances in this grouping are faster and more elaborate, and include the cha-cha, mambo, East Coast swing, bolero and rumba. The fast-paced music and quick movements make for an invigorating workout.

International Style - Standard

  • International style ballroom dancing has a smooth category that's similar to American style. Though it's called "international," it's practiced and enjoyed throughout the United States. The dances in this grouping are roughly the same as American style and include the waltz, Viennese waltz, foxtrot and tango, as well as the quickstep, which is a variation of the foxtrot and a very fast-paced dance. All international style ballroom dancing is "close" dancing. In other words, the couple remains in physical contact with one another throughout the length of the dance.

International Style - Latin

  • The international style Latin category of ballroom dancing includes dances that are the most upbeat of all the ballroom dance styles. They include the cha-cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive. Similar to the American style rhythm category, the international style Latin grouping uses fast-paced music, upbeat tempos and continual movement.


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