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Ballroom Dance | Types, Background and History

Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances. The term ‘ballroom dance’ is used to refer to Western social dances, especially the duet dances of men and women in the gallery. The word ‘ball’ generally means a dance or a gathering of people for dancing on a particular social occasion. Generally, dances performed in grand living rooms during occasions like banquets or social functions are considered as ‘ballroom’ dances.

Ballroom Dance

Ballroom Dance Background and History

The background to the creation of the ballroom dance is found in European anagra folklore. The seeds of this can be found in the open-air dances performed by men and women arbitrarily and freely. This was followed by weddings and other religious ceremonies.

Enlightenment in the sixteenth century weakened the bondage of religion, so the religious form of the dance became secondary and gained social prestige. It was during this period that the dance entered the royal court and became a norm in the prestigious society of the aristocracy.

This dance became a social necessity in the upper class society. This dance became an important part of the civilized society for the purpose of bringing marriageable youth together, instilling a sense of self-respect in them, giving them independent social status etc.

Then, the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century changed ballroom dance from its exclusive status in the royal court and aristocracy to reach the masses.

Great Britain is considered to be the home of ballroom dancing. Until 1817, the nature of English ballroom dance was limited to a modified version of various folk dances in rural life. However, in later times, various currents came and went.

The dance form ‘Walts’ came from the German folk dance ‘Landler’. That vault was paired with an English ballroom dance. It was around this time that ballroom dancing began to take the form of a couple dance. Over the next twenty-five to thirty years, ballroom dances included the bohemian dance ‘Polk’. Theoretically, the popular dance form ‘Reels’ in Scotland was also included. Valetta, Lancer are also performed in ballroom dances.

However, this changed in the early twentieth century. It was influenced by American dances such as Ragtime, and changed the traditional, circular style of ballroom dancing. Now that its former regularity has been reduced, it has taken on the appearance of making the dancing couple feel happier and happier.

Ballroom dancing spread in public places like big restaurants, rest houses etc. As he moved from the upper class to the common man, there was a tendency to make his appearance more interesting and attractive. In 1924, the Imperial Society of all ballroom choreographers was established.

Suitable music was created for dance forms such as Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango dance, etc. Also, a specific syllabus was prepared and dance examinations were conducted and certificates were issued.

Types of Ballroom Dance

1. Tango dance

This dance form has the power to create a happy and exciting atmosphere. It is also known as ‘Flamenco’ in Spanish. In this dance, the dancers create various shapes on the dance floor. Rhythm 4/4, four beats in a cycle, slow-slow, fast-fast. One volume for slow and half volume for fast.

2. Samba dance

It is a dance form that originated in Brazil and has a rhythm of 4/4. This is the link between the dignified and organized ballroom dances and the informal, unsymbolic and rough social ‘jitterbug’ dances.

3. Twist Dance

A social dance form that originated in the 1960’s. In this, the partners dance in a boisterous, passionate but rhythmic manner without touching each other. It can also be done alone. In this type there are jerky movements of legs, hips and shoulders.

4. Polk dance

It was originally a bohemian folk dance, later transformed into a ballroom dance. It originated in the 1830s and has been prevalent in Eastern and Central Europe for the past century. Men and women hold each other’s hands and move in a circle in a fast rhythm. Its time signature is 2/4.

5. Conga dance

Dance of Afro-Cuban origin. Its time signature is 4/4. This form is performed either by pairs of men and women or by men and women one after the other, standing in a line (conga line) with hands on each other’s shoulders.

6. Foxtrot Dance

This dance form, which originated in America, is very enjoyable and is performed in a grand hall. It is also popular in England. Rhythm 4/4, 4 beats in one cycle. Speed ​​slow-slow, fast-fast (2 beats in slow).

7. Waltz dance

A basic six-volume dance form performed in elitist and romantic ballads. It has two parts. One is the popular fast dance form performed in Vienna. In this, all the male and female dancing pairs dance in the same direction. Another is ‘Boston‘, a slow dance form.

It comes from America and it consists of pairs of men and women dancing in circles in different directions. Waltz is easier to dance than the foxtrot once the rhythm is mastered.

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