Ballroom: International vs. American Style

//Ballroom: International vs. American Style
The Bolero is an American Rhythm ballroom dance.

The Bolero is an American Rhythm ballroom dance.

Now that ATOMIC Ballroom is offering classes in International style  Ballroom as well as American, you’re probably asking yourself: what’s the difference between the two?

The first big difference between American and International Ballroom is the dances themselves.

American Ballroom

  1. American Ballroom is broken down into two categories, called Smooth and Rhythm.
  2. The dances for American Smooth are: the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz.  Currently there is no fifth dance in American Smooth, but there is talk of adding American Quickstep to the list.
  3. The dances for American Rhythm are: Cha Cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Bolero, and Mambo.
  4. The American style of ballroom dance uses a more open position, uses under-arm turns, and the lines created between dance partners are more open.
  5. Dips, turns and side-by-side moves are allowed and encouraged.
  6. Most often found on the social ballroom dance floor.

International Ballroom

  1. International Ballroom is broken down into the Standard and Latin categories.

    The Quickstep is an International Standard ballroom dance.

    The Quickstep is an International Standard ballroom dance.nto the Standard and Latin categories.

  2. The dances for International Standard are: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz and the Quickstep.
  3. The International Latin dances are: the Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Paso Doble, and Samba.
  4. I can’t actually tell you the reason why Jive is listed under Latin and Tango is listed as a Standard dance; that’s just the way International Ballroom is divided.
  5. International Ballroom is all about maintaining the connection with your partner. The dancers keep close to each other and the lead and follow operate around a common center as they move. The open position that happens in American Ballroom does not happen at all in International Ballroom.  Dips, turns and side-by-side moves that are perfectly acceptable in American Ballroom are not allowed in the International style of ballroom dance.
  6. In the United States, International Ballroom is primarily danced in competitions, while American Ballroom is most often danced on the social dance floor. This is just a rule of thumb, as you’re bound to find both American and International Ballroom being dance socially.
By |2011-04-26T09:52:43+00:00April 26th, 2011|International Ballroom|1 Comment

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  1. […] writing and researching the differences between International and American Ballroom, I started delving into the different forms of the waltz, because, as it turns out, there are quite […]

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