While most people think that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers created the Foxtrot, it was really a vaudeville performer named Harry Fox who introduced this fun, theatrical dance to the world. Foxtrot dancers travel around the perimeter of the room in a counterclockwise direction in a basic rhythm of slow-slow-quick-quick. Still a classic dance for wedding receptions, the Foxtrot is a true American favorite.
The Waltz, with its ¾ rhythms and strong accent on the first beat, was born in the suburbs of Vienna. When the dance was first introduced in the early 19th century, people were shocked since it was the first ballroom dance where the man put his hand on a woman’s waist! But the Waltz gained in popularity and quickly became one of the most popular of all dances. This easy and flowing dance is still commonly seen at weddings and other social events.
The Tango, a sensual, dramatic dance made famous by Rudolph Valentino, originated in Buenos Aires and was stylized by the Gauchos in Argentina before making it to the United States. The Tango is known for flexing steps and posed pauses. Widely considered to be the “dancer’s dance,” it has become even more popular due to its presence in films like “The Scent Of A Woman” and “Evita.”
The Viennese Waltz, made popular in the 1880s by the invigorating music of Johann Strauss, is a very fast version of the waltz at a tempo of about 180 beats a minute. This dance is characterized by its fast pace and continuous circling. A beautiful dance to watch and perform, the Viennese Waltz is a glamorous, uplifting, whirling experience for everyone to enjoy.
A child of the jazz era, is characterized by bright, happy music, a light-hearted mood, and tricky steps. While it evolved from the Foxtrot, the Quickstep now is quite separate. This dance gradually evolved into a very dynamic one with a lot of movement on the dance floor, with many advanced patterns including hops, runs, quick steps with a lot of momentum, and rotation. The tempo of Quickstep dance is rather brisk and fast-paced when compared to other dance music. It is danced to the fastest tempo of the ballroom dances.