About BallroomAugust 10th, 2011 (Last modified: September 30th, 2012)
In total, there are 19 competitive ballroom dances. These 19 dances are split up into two styles, International and American. While our team lessons focus on International style dances, most team members learn American style dances as well and we are beginning to give lessons in American now as well. International and American are each split into tow categories; International is divided into Standard and Latin and American is divided into Smooth and Rhythm. The specific dances are listed below.
Standard: Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Latin: Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive
Smooth: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz
Rhythm: Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo
As you can see, many of the dances appear in both International and American styles. The difference then, for instance, between International Waltz and American Waltz is a different syllabus of steps and American Waltz being danced to a slightly faster rhythm than International Waltz. Some of the dances, like Waltz, have similar steps while others, like Tango, are much more different between the two styles.
During competitions, couples compete at different levels against other couples with around the same dance experience. The levels in competitions are as follows:
Newcomer (Sometimes referred to as “Pre-Bronze”)
Bronze (Sometimes referred to as “Beginner”)
Silver (Sometimes referred to as “Intermediate”)
Gold (Sometimes referred to as “Advanced”)
For each level there is a corresponding syllabus which prevents competitors from dancing figures and steps that are too advanced for them. The syllabus also helps to keep dancers dancing against other dancers who are at their level so that you don’t end up having a Newcomer couple competing against a Gold couple. Pre-Championship and Championship do not have a syllabus and they are considered Open levels that allow the competitors more freedom in creating their own steps.
*All photos are of NYU team members. Photos taken by Joey Pasaoa.