The following are the eight basic social dances that are the most popular and versatile. We recommend these dances as a good base for social dancing. You will hear these dances played at weddings, most social venues where there is a DJ or band, nightclubs, restaurants and cruises.

Foxtrot

Can be danced to Big Band music, slow or up-tempo with jazzy sound. Typical artists include Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Michael Buble.

Swing

Swing is an umbrella term for various styles of dancing including Jive, Rock & Roll, Lindy, Lindy Hop, or East Coast Swing. This dance style covers a wide range of music starting from early Charleston to Duke ellington and Glenn Miller, to Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, through to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer and more modern bands. Tempo can be slow and bluesy, or medium to fast.

Rumba

One of the Latin dances, rumba is a slow, sultry dance that can be danced to artists such as Elvis Presley, Elton John, The Beatles, The Drifters, and Sam Cooke.

Salsa

Also known as "Mambo", Salsa has had a big resurgence since the 1990's. Some familiar Salsa songs are "Tequila" and "Mambo #5". Popular artists include Mark Anthony & Ricky Martin and local Salsa bands.

Waltz

Slow music with a 1-2-3 timing. Popular at weddings or formal events. Typical songs include "Moon River", "Fascination", "Three Times a Lady".

Hustle

Also known as "Disco" this retro dance is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Traditional Hustle artists include The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, ABBA, and Gloria Gaynor. Modern Hustle artists include Madonna, Lady Gaga and some Michael Jackson.

 

Cha Cha

Know for it's fun, percussive rhythms and flirty movements, Cha Cha can be danced to artists such as Santana, Pink, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez.

Merengue

An easy to learn dance, Merengue can be danced to traditional Latin rhythms as well as many Hip Hop rhythms.

Less common but just as fun!

American Tango

Easy to learn and adapt to the social dance floor, Tango is most commonly heard and danced at ballroom social events. Al Pacino performed a version of this dance in the movie "Scent of a Woman".

Samba

With roots in Brazil and West Africa, Samba is mostly associated with the Brazilian Carnival. This party dance with a "1 & 2" rhythm is mostly danced at ballroom events. Recent songs with a Samba rhythm include Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie".

Argentine Tango

The original form of Tango; this is the national dance of Argentina. this very intimate dance is more creative and interpretive than the simpler American Tango, but can be taught to beginners.

Bolero

Bolero is a lyrical and romantic dance that integrates elements from waltz, tango and rumba. "My Heart Will Go On" and "Falling Into You" by Celine Dion are popular Bolero songs.

International Style

This highly stylized and technical form of ballroom dancing is most often danced in competition. The International Standard includes Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot and Quickstep. International Latin includes Rumba, Cha Cha, Samba, Paso Doble, and Jive.