Zoltan Bihari

Facts & Questions

This is a glossary and tips page for anyone who is keen to dance. Here you will find short histories of each dance in ballroom and Latin, a few example songs and a short introduction to dancing. 

DANCE 6-.jpg
 
 

FACTS & QUESTIONS

If you type <dance> into the old google box, it comes up with a rather standard definition;
1. move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps.
2. (of a person) move in a quick and lively way.

These definitions are certainly accurate, however they miss out the great fundamentals that make dance, well... dance. 

When you dance, you can really be or do whatever you feel. Through the quick motions of the Jive, you can find your inner cheekiness and get a real boost of energy. Through the Paso, you can become that confident person you perhaps struggle to be in your everyday life. Dancing is a large mixing bowl of fun, fantasy, discipline (to some extent), determination, showmanship and creativity. 

There are so many reasons to dance or join a dance class/group.
Dancing is an incredible workout! you can have fun getting fit. Which makes it a great alternative to the gym. If your confidence has been shaken, learning and gradually mastering dance steps/routines can make all the difference to your self-esteem. Dance classes are an amazing place to meet new people who share the same interests as you and have set the same goals. Perhaps through dancing, you may even find a future career path, you won't know until you try...

"KNOW YOUR CHA-CHA FROM YOUR RUMBA"

I decided to put together a little glossary and history about the dances I practice. If you know you want to dance but don't know which style is right for you, this could maybe help. Knowing a little bit more about the history of each dance can already set a tone for the class and inspire your new dance alter-ego. 

 

Latin

Cha-Cha-Cha

Song

"I SAID I LIKE IT LIKE THAT..."
i like it like that - pete rodriguez

Genre

BALLROOM - Latin AMERICAN

History

THE CHA-CHA-CHA OR SIMPLY CHA-CHA IN THE USA IS A CUBAN BORN DANCE. THE DANCE AND ITS SIGNATURE MUSIC IS INSPIRED BY THE SHUFFLING SOUND OF THE DANCERS FEET. THE CHA-CHA IS TRADITIONALLY DANCED TO CUBAN MUSIC ALTHOUGH TODAY, IT IS DANCED TO LATIN POP OR ROCK. THE BASIC FOOTWORK PATTERN OF THE DANCE IS A TRIPLE STEP (TWO-three-CHA-CHA-one) WHICH IS INSPIRED BY EARLIER AFRO-CUBAN DANCE STEPS. 
BY THE EARLY 1950'S, THE DANCE CRAZE HAD SPREAD FROM HAVANA CITY TO CENTRAL MEXICO AND SOON IT WAS A WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON. CHA-CHA-CHA COULD BE FOUND IN SOUTH AMERICA, THE UNITED STATES AND WESTERN EUROPE. THIS DANCE WAS FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MAMBO WHICH WAS ALL THE RAVE A FEW YEARS PRIOR. 

JIVE

Song

"SO TAKE ME RIGHT BACK TO THE TRACK..."
LOUIS JORDAN - CHOO CHOO CH'BOOGIE

Genre

BALLROOM - international latin

History

The Jive originated from the USA in the African-American community in the beginning of the 1930's. It is a lively variation of the Jitterbug, which is a kind of Swing dance. To the players of Swing music in the 1930's and 40's, ''Jive'' was an expression meaning ''foolish talk''. The American soldiers brought the Jitterbug over to Europe in the 1940's, where it became wildly popular amongst the youngsters. Prior to the war, the boogie was the dominant form and most popular style of music. The dance is a lively dance full of energy, fast pass and fun. 

RUMBA

Song

"ARE WE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION..."
BITTER:SWEET - BITTERSWEET FAITH

Genre

Ballroom - international Latin

History

Originally, the Rumba was used as a synonym for 'party' in northern Cuba. Since the early 20th century the term has been used in different countries to refer to distinct styles of music and dance. The Rumba was developed in the 19th century by Afro-Cuban workers in the poor districts of Havana. Rhumba, as it is spelled in American-English has developed, merged and shaped itself through many diverse cultures, continents and countries such as Spain, North America, Africa and Cuba. By the end of the 20th century, the Rhumba was also danced to pop music and jazz bands. 

SAMBA

Song

"Hoje é um dia de sol - today is a sunny day..."
Magalenha - sergio mendes

Genre

Ballroom - Latin American

History

Samba is a Brazilian music genre and dance style with its roots in Africa via the west African slave trade and African religious traditions. Samba is now recognised around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival and has become an icon of Brazilian identity. From the 1930's, the popularisation of radio Brazil helped to spread the samba across the country and in the 50's a movement was born heavily influenced by Jazz. Samba evolved over the years and changed according to the countries political climate and the feelings of the people. This dance genre is certainly lively and rhythmic. 

PASO DOBLE

Song

Paso doble -andre rieu

Genre

Ballroom - international Latin

History

The Paso Doble is a lively and passionate style of Dance to the supple meter march like paso doble music. It is based on the sound, drama and movement in Spanish and Portuguese bullfights. the traditional version, as couple's dance, originated in France and was then adopted in Spain and Portugal. Famous bullfighters have been honoured with paso doble tunes named after them. because of its choreographed tradition, ballroom paso for the most part is danced only competitively. The leader of this dance plays the part of the matador. The follower usually plays the part of the matador's cape or his shadow. the follower never represents the bull. 
 

Ballroom

WALTZ

Song

"WHEREVER YOU'RE GOING, I'M GOING YOUR WAY..."
MOON RIVER - ANDY WILLIAMS

Genre

Ballroom

History

The Waltz is a ballroom and folk dance, normally in triple time, performed primarily in closed position. The peasants of Bavaria, Tyrol and Styria began dancing a dance called Walzer, a dance for couples around 1750. The Waltz is the oldest of the ballroom dances, dating from the middle of the Eighteenth Century. it is today recognised by the long ballroom gowns, the grace and the elegance that exudes from it.

TANGO

Song

"ESTE TANGO ES PARA VOS - THIS TANGO IS FOR YOU..."
SANTA MARIA (DEL BUEN AYRE) - GOTAN PROJECT

Genre

Ballroom

History

The tango is a distinctive dance and the corresponding musical style of tango music, began in the working-class port neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. The dance derives from the cuban habanera, the argentine milonga and candombe and is said to contain elements from the african community in the argentine capital, influenced by both african rhythms and the music from europe. in 1912, dancers and musicians from Buenos AIRES TRAVELLED TO EUOPE AND THE FIRST EUROPEAN tango craze took place in paris, soon followed by other european capitals. it is suggested that tango makes people feel more relaxed, sexier, less depressed and increases testosterone levels. 

SLOWFOX

Song

"I'M A MOVER, A SHAKER..."
DOMINO - THIS BUSINESS OF LOVE

Genre

Ballroom

History

The Foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterised by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band music. The dance is similar in its look to the Waltz, although the rhythm differs. Three distinct styles of slow foxtrot are in common use among ballroom dancers today. All three are partner dances in which the dancers progress around the dance floor in a counter-clockwise direction and are often danced to the same music. However they differ in technique, positions and figures. At its inception, the foxtrot was danced to ragtime and was the most popular dance of its time, overshadowing the Waltz and Tango. This dance is laced with grace, elegance and poise.

QUICKSTEP

Song

"SUCH A FUNNY THING FOR ME TO TRY TO EXPLAIN..."
CRAZY IN LOVE - EMELI SANDE

Genre

Ballroom

History

The quickstep resembles the foxtrot and should be smooth and glamorous with the dancers light on their feet and full of bubbly energy. The quickstep is an english born dance. However, it evolved in the 1920's in New York from a mix of the foxtrot, the charleston, the one step and the peabody. the fast pass of the dance as well as the lively and light hearted music it is performed to, makes the quickstep suitable for both formal and informal events. There was a debate as to why the dance became such a craze in Britain, turns out it was their answer to keeping warm indoors during the winter. Dancing the quickstep at such high speed and intensity can equate to running a mile, in record time. 

VIENNESE WALTZ

Song

"THERE ISN'T AN OCEAN TOO DEEP..."
I WILL FOLLOW YOU - TOULOUSE

Genre

Ballroom

History

the viennese waltz is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning. this can be clockwise or anti-clockwise. a true viennese waltz would only consist of turns and change steps. the viennese waltz emerged in the second half of the 18th century from the german dance and the lånder in austria. the dance became very popular in vienna with large dance halls being opened to accommodate the craze in the early 1800's.