American Ballroom Smooth Dances

American Ballroom Smooth Dancing is best known for its Tuxedos & Ballgowns, a gliding appearance and robust history. The notable techniques are softened knees, swing and sway, rise and fall, and heel leads.

The foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band (usually vocal) music. The dance is similar in its look to waltz, although the rhythm is in a 4/4 time signature instead of 3/4. Developed around 1910 the credit goes to a man named Harry Fox, a vaudevillian performer appeared on a stage dancing to the music known as "ragtime". He began dancing in a trotting fashion although faster than what we know today, Harry Fox's Trot caught on. Foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930s, and remains practiced today.

The present day ballroom tango is divided into two disciplines: American Style and International Style. Both styles are enjoyed as social and competitive dances, but the International version is more globally accepted as a competitive style. Both styles share a closed dance position, but the American style allows its practitioners to separate from closed position to execute open moves, like underarm turns, alternate hand holds, dancing apart, and side-by-side (shadow) choreography.

The Viennese Waltz is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning either in a clockwise (natural) or anti-clockwise (reverse) direction interspersed with non-rotating change steps to switch between the direction of rotation.
A true Viennese waltz consists only of turns and change steps. An American Style Viennese Waltz has much more freedom, both in dance positions and syllabus unlike its international counterpart.

The Quickstep evolved in the 1920s from a combination of the Foxtrot, The Chase G Chug, Charleston, Shag, Peabody, and One-Step. The dance is English in origin, and was standardized in 1927. While it evolved from the Foxtrot, the Quickstep now is quite separate. Three characteristic dance figures of the Quickstep are the chassés, where the feet are brought together, the quarter turns, and the lock step.

When we see Disney Prince and Princesses' floating across the floor together at the ball, this is what we imagine.  The mother of all dances, and what is believed to be the first partner dance where partners could touch each other, which at the time was considered inappropriate and scandalous.  Now Waltz is loved by all dancers. 

The American Style Waltz, part of the American Smooth ballroom dance syllabus, in contrast to the International Standard Waltz, involves breaking contact almost entirely in some figures. For example, the  Side-by-Side with Spin includes a free spin for both partners. Open rolls or Flip Flop Twinkles are another good example of an open dance figure, in which the follower alternates between the lead's left and right sides, with the lead's left or right arm (alone) providing the lead.