Basic Ballroom Dancing Styles

Dancer Debbie Cook loves teaching different ballroom dancing styles to individuals of all ages and learning levels. 
Debbie Cook Ballroom Dancing Styles

There are hardly better ways to break the ice, socialize and be merry than the medium of dancing, particularly ballroom dancing. While there are many styles of ballroom dancing, all originating from different parts of the world with very different techniques and flavor, the common denominator continues to be the presence of a partner and dancing as a social means to meet and greet.

Over the years, Debbie Cook has mastered many ballroom dancing styles and has explained the basics of each style below to help other dance enthusiasts gain knowledge and experience. 

Cha ChaChá

Cha ChaChá, also known as Cha Cha originates from Cuba and is popular for its sultry moves. The dance style gained popularity in the states in the 50’s and continues to be a major style in ballroom competitions. The style is identifiable by its precise footwork, sharp turns and flamboyant style.


Another style from Cuba, Rumba is known as the dance of love thanks to its slow, sensual style. The dance involves a lot of hip movements and derived from the Afro-Caribbean dance “Son.” The dance involves flowing, continuous movements as opposed to the sharpness of Cha ChaChá. The dance form gained popularity in America in the 1930’s and developed its own way of box pattern as opposed to the Cuban way of forward and backward.


The dance style simply comprises of walking side steps and steps. The most important element of the style must be the smoothness. The bodies should move smoothly, almost gliding with zero jerking or sharpness. The style is a wonderful combination of quick and slow steps, which makes it very enjoyable to watch and dance. Developed in the US in the 1920’s, the Foxtrot is believed to have been named after the entertainer Harry Fox. It is also associated with the smooth dancing style of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. It is a very popular style of ballroom dancing and a favorite of Debbie Cook.


Fun, flirty and bold, Tango as a style originated from the borders of Argentina and Uruguay and has now gained immense popularity across the world. The style follows the Latin dancing principle of a leader and a follower and operates on the style of open embrace or close embrace; that is the bodies have space in their follow and lead or connect chest to chest. Also known for its intricate footwork, Tango has many variations and styles to it.


With its origins in Vienna, Austria, it is also a folk dance involving the principles of revolve, turn and spin. The dance was initially popular as the dance for peasants and gradually moved upwards into the elite society, where it was later accepted as a courtly dance. A smooth style, it moves around counter clockwise on the dance floor. Waltz music has been written and performed by musicians such as Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms and Maurice Ravel. Gustav Mahler and Igor Stravinsky are other musicians who performed waltz. 

Comment below with your favorite ballroom dancing styles or share your favorites with Debbie Cook on Twitter!


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