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Dance Styles

cha cha cha Cha-Cha is derived from Mambo. As Mambo rose in popularity, the music progressively became faster and faster. Therefore, you had to be in great shape to keep up. Thus the Cha-Cha was created to offer a slower option for dancers. It was slower and allowed dancers the same flavor as the mambo but with a more manageable beat. The slower tempo allowed more dancers to grace the floor.

Dan and Tab's Tips
Cha-Cha should be fun, cheeky, and flirty. During this dance, it is proper to be playful. However, as always, be aware of your dance partner. This dance is by definition flirty. If you dance with someone you are not familiar with, or someone who doesn’t feel comfortable taking on the personality of the dance, they may get the wrong idea and/or become frustrated.

foxtrot Basically, Harry Fox, a vaudeville performer, created the Foxtrot because he wanted to show dancers a different rhythm from the continuous quicks of the Turkey Trot. He felt this would give older and less physically fit dancers a chance to have fun on the dance floor. As might be evident, the dance was named after its creator. It was originally called Harry Fox’s Trot, and later was shortened to the name we know today, the Foxtrot.

The Foxtrot is a fun and playful dance. It allows room for a lot of personal expression. Foxtrot is a smooth style dance, this means you have to advance through the dance with a heel-to-toe movement, but don’t worry too much because a lot like walking. Most people find the thought of smooth dances boring and lame, but do you think Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were boring and lame? The basis for the majority of their dances was the Foxtrot.

Dan and Tab's Tips
At Two Left Feet we emphasize that foxtrot is a moving dance; therefore, don’t stop. If you goof up on your footing, keep going. Dancing is about fun. If you wish to execute a “fancy move,” then migrate from L.O.D., towards the center of the floor. Do not hold up everyone else, so you can show off. When you want to progress again join the flow of traffic.

mambo Mambo is a dance that originated in Haiti. American tourists saw Voodoo ceremonies with the priestess stepping to her own drumbeats—quick, quick, slow…quick, quick, slow. Sometimes this rhythm was slow and other times fast. When tourists questioned the locals about the name of the dance she was doing, the local people thought that they were asking who the priestess was. Since a Voodoo priestess is called a Mambo, that is the name the locals offered...and it stuck.

Mambo was the first Latin dance to be brought to the United States. Some of the movements were variations of steps that the local people performed with the Mambo played. The original dance had the people moving all over the area of the floor. Since the floors were mainly dirt and usually had rocks or pebbles on them, the foot movements were kept close to the ground to push the debris away. When the Mambo came to the United States, it would make its way to the dance halls, where moving broadly on the floor interfered with other dancers; this caused it to be changed into the slot-dance that we have come to know.

Dan and Tab's Tips
The Mambo is danced with the couple no more than a fists-distance between them. The man’s right hand sets on the low side of the woman’s shoulder blade and his left holds the lady’s right hand at her shoulder level and the elbow is at about 90 degrees. This frame allows for tight, quick movements. Because of the small frame, more people can make use of the floor, without too much interference. There is NO line of dance movement, but dance etiquette is appreciated and expected.

rumbaRumba is a seductive and sensual dance. The most common phrase used to describe Rumba is, “The vertical expression of a horizontal wish.” Rumba is an Afro-Cuban dance, meaning it is a Cuban dance with African influences.

American Rumba is danced in a box. The forward and backward steps are slow and then the steps to the side are quicks. Rumba is known for its slow movements interspersed with quick actions. As our dance teacher put it, “the slows are extremely slow, you need to hold the movement as long as you can, and then the quicks are very quick.”

Dan and Tab's Tips
A lot of what makes a dance fun and fun to watch is its personality. Each dance has its own unique character. Just because this is a sensual dance, that does not mean you have to dance with a significant other. Rumba is danced as though the two people want to be alone together and are unable to conceal that fact. Even though you don’t have to dance with your love, be warned, if you are a good actor and are dancing with someone you don’t know well, they may get the wrong idea.

swingSwing is a fun and energetic dance form. The term “Swing” encompasses a broad spectrum of dance. For example: single-, double-, and triple-time East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Lindy and more. Here at Two Left Feet we primarily focus on single-time East Coast Swing. It developed from many different sources, including the Lindy and the Charleston. We find that it is one of the simplest forms.

Dan and Tab's Tips
Swing is a very popular dance and the music you can use is varied and plentiful. Venues are fairly easy to find. There are swing clubs all around the nation, especially at colleges and universities.

tangoTango is an intense dance. There are many forms of Tango, such as, Argentine, International, and American Standard. At Two Left Feet we teach American Standard. It is a passionate and forceful dance.

Dan and Tab's Tips
Tango is definitely the actor’s dance. The personality is a mixture of love, hate, passion, and lust. All the moves of the tango are sharp and staccato. To make the dance look nice all movements should be sharp. To make the tango look amazing, dancers need to embody all the emotions of the dance for the length of a song.

Be forewarned, the tango is classified as an intermediate dance. So if the first dance you learn is Tango, be patient. It is not impossible, and some people find it easier than most. No matter what, the Tango is well worth the time.

waltzThe Waltz is a flowing and beautiful dance and may be the most underrated. Waltz is romantic and a perfect dance for couples—not that you are only allowed to dance the Waltz with your significant other.

Waltz was the first ballroom dance where couples faced each other and were in such a close hold. This made Waltz very scandalous in its early years, which is why it was known as the forbidden dance. Today, it is revered as one of the most proper and classic dances of our time. The Waltz is characterized by turns and in fact that is where it received its name. Waltz comes from Old German meaning to turn.

Dan and Tab's Tips
The waltz is elegant and should seem effortless. Dancers appear to glide across the floor as though they are extracted from a dream. There is no other dance that is quite as purely romantic.

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