Jai Chavan's "Dance-Sport"

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Recent History

…the Blacks played only the black keys…
and produced music that was wonder…
…and started the "New Music and Dances".

Serially Arranged
Ballet || Ballin’ the Jack || Ballroom Dancing || Barn Dance || Big Band || Black Bottom || Blues || Boogie Woogie || Boomps-a-Daisy || Bossa Nova || Boston || Cakewalk || Can Can || Cha Cha Cha || Charleston || Come Dancing || Conga || Cumbia || Dance || Dancing Master || Disco || Flamenco || Foxtrot || Galop || Habanera || Hip-Hop || History of Pair Dancing || Jazz || Jazz Dance || Jig || Jitterbug || Jive || Lambada || Lambeth Walk || Lancers || Lander || Lindy || Lindyhop || Mambo || Maxina || Maxixe || Merengue || Military Two Step || One Step || Pachanga || Plain Truth || Plais Glide || Ploka || Quadrille || Quickstep || Rag || Ragtime || Rap || Reference Books || Rumba || Salsa || Samba || Sardana || Schottische || Shake || Shimmy || Son || Square Dance || Strict Tempo Dance Music || Syncopation || Tango || Tango Argentino || Twist || Two Step || Vallenato || Veleta || Versoviana || Victor Silvester || Waltz ||

A basic modern Ballroom dance from which many of the popular dance-steps are derived. It needs considerable space to perform its flowing movements.

A dance similar to the Foxtrot was developing in America around 1912; the name became fixed around 1914. It’s believed that the name is derived from actor-singer Harry Fox (1882 – 1959), who introduced a few trotting steps into his routine in the Ziegfeld Follies in 1913 to a ragtime accompaniment.

The earlier Foxtrot included trotting steps, which soon gave way to the smoother; gliding steps called the saunters that are the main stay today’s Foxtrot. The earlier variants of the Foxtrot were the Horse Trot and Fish Walk, which are the direct descendants of the One-step and the Rag.

By 1924 there was a clear distinction between the Slow Foxtrot or Foxtrot and the simplified Quick Foxtrot or Quick-time Foxtrot, which soon became to be known as the Quickstep.
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It’s a dance with a slight syncopation that is derived from the dances like the Charleston. It is the development of the Foxtrot. Around 1924 it had various names like the Quick Time Foxtrot or the Quick foxtrot. It got the modern name of Quickstep around 1927.
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One Step
It’s a basic dance introduced around 1910, which became popular due to its simplicity and fulfilling the needs of the ordinary dancer. In essence it is the uncomplicated and a simple walking step.

The simple variants of this dance are the Judy Walk, Bunny Hug, Turkey Trot and the Castle Walk.
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Charleston has probably African, possible Ashanti origin, before it emerged in its earliest form in the Southern States of America. A dance of the Shimmy variety, was essentially feminine, but became more masculine in the later commercial form. The eccentric sidekicks and syncopation were merged into a less agile dance that was more suited for the public, which is now Quickstep. It lost popularity around 1927 to Black Bottom and Quickstep.
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Shimmy or Shake
It’s the all embracing name for the black African based dances of the hip-rolling, breast-shaking, sexually suggestive kind, which forms the basis for many of the later Jazz dances from the Black Bottom to modern Rock and Roll. It was alternately known as the Shake, and it was generally a female dance. The Shimmy found a politer public form in the Charleston, which became very popular among the white Americans.

The name Shimmy, like most Jazz names, is of obscure origin. Its invention has been credited to pianist Tony Jackson around 1900, although the dance itself has much earlier origins.
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Black Bottom
A Jazz dance of the Shimmy kind that originated in the late 19 Th. or early 20 Th. Century among the southern black dancers, probably in Atlanta, Georgia. One of the original moves in the dance, which many considered indecent was the slapping of the buttocks.
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Boogie Woogie
This is the early name for the dance that later was called as the Jitterbug or Jive and which was having a popularity around 1938.
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This dance developed around 1938 from its predecessor the Boogie Woogie of the 1930s. The tendency to move away from the politer Ballroom dances of the earlier days had come in with the Charleston and earlier Jazz dances.

Young dancers with a few basic shuffles and twirls as the foundations copied the free-jointed black dancers in an athletic frenzy that could fairly be described as ‘all in’ dancing. Somersaults, splits and acrobatics of all kinds in this dance resulted in an exhausting but exhilarating art form, which sobered down a little under the reintroduced original name Jive.

It became very much a part of the swing era, although for quite some time it was not allowed in many dance halls. It was reluctantly accepted as the Waltz and the Tango had been before it, and was soon being carefully indulged in by the elderly couples too.

This craze was given a great boost in Britain by the influx of the US servicemen during the World War. Among the black dancers the most energetic form was known the Lindy or Lindyhop. The name is derived, as is common in Jazz related terms, from a woud denoting, drugs, sexual stimulation, and such.
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The word Jive used to imply deception, fooling, kidding, drugs, sexual stimulation, etc. After the Jitterbug craze, Jive became the more acceptable name for the English style that was taught in established schools of dancing and now is a regular part of the competition Ballroom dancing; respectability was conferred on it by the high priest of strict tempo and standardisation, Victor Silvester.
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A vigorous rustic dance, the origin of which remains obscure: England, Ireland and Scotland all lay a claim to it.
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Lindy or Lindyhop
A energetic and athletic dance of black origin, a fore runner of Jive and Jitterbug, done in a Jazz inspired ecstasy with acrobatic movements and a continuous frantic shaking which needs loose limbs for its performance.
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A dance performed to a formally syncopated music that was first a forerunner of the then part of the emerging ragtime era; made popular through black minstrel shows of the late 19th century. The name derives from plantation dancing competitions for which the prize was traditionally a large cake. It was basically a strutting kind of walk, a sort of syncopated goose step, which had its ancestry in similar African dances and came to Florida and thence to the Southern states of America via the Caribbean. It has also been suggested that it be influenced by traditional dances of the Seminole Indians.

The music was of brisk, marching nature with elements of the Two-Step, and the Polka, usually like the classic Ragtime compositions, in several contrasting sections in imitation of the Ballroom dances and the marches of the period. The early Cakewalk involved, according to one authority, ‘wild and hilarious jumping and gyrating steps alternating with slow processions in which the dancers walk solemnly6 in couples’, a plantation knee-up to the music of banjo and fiddle. There was some element of burlesque in it, the black dancers dressing up in finery and strutting in emulation of their masters. It was introduced to the white public by dancing waiters and was first brought into the theatre in an era around 1877. It became a National craze in America in 1880s, arrived in Europe soon after, and was very popular in the North of England where thence was a strong clog-dancing tradition. The dates of the origin of Cakewalk are difficult to pinpoint but the phrase ‘To take the cake’ was in common use by 1840s.
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A natural element of modern Jazz based popular music in which the placing of rhythmic accents or accented melodic notes where they would not naturally be deemed to fall as per the order music; i.e. away from the main beats of the bar.
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A dance invented by Madame Low Hurndall, having some affinity with the Brazilian Maxixe, which came in to favour in Britain, with special music written by Marguerite Boisson Ade and W.F. Hurndall, in 1917. Its music tended to be confused with the Habanera. In the end it was modified form of the Maxixe that gradually became the modern Ballroom Tango. The Maxina had tried to capture the flavour of the true Maxixe but its steps were too complicated and it soon went out of vogue. However it is still alive and falls under the Old Sequence Dancing section.
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It is the oldest urban dance of Brazil and the first from that country to reach Europe. It is a Ballroom dance done in a moderate tempo. Its exact origins are uncertain, but one theory is that it is derived from a comic Negro rural song and borrowed some of its musical character from the Batuque. It had a simple joyfulness, rather like a child's dance. A very modifies version reached the European ballrooms in the early 19 Th. Century but didn’t survive, appearing again in the early 1900s. By now it had characteristics of the Habanera, but the dance was still too ambitions for the average dancer. The Maxixe gradually evolved in to the modern Tango.
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A dance developed in Cuba and from there it was taken to Spain and Europe. In 2/4 time, with the fist quaver dotted, it is almost identical to the Argentine Tango.

An Argentine Musicologist, Carlos Vegas, suggested that the Habanera was developed from an English country-dance, which was taken to Spain as the "Contradanza", and then to Cuba where it was known as the Danza or Danza Habanera (from Havana) and then it finally returned to Spain.
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Tango is Argentina’s best known contribution to the world’s repertoire of social dances. The measure originated in Africa and was taken by slaves to Cuba, Haiti, and Mexico, then on to Uruguay and Argentina. It appeared to catch on mostly thoroughly in Argentina, becoming popular in the 1880s, and hence became widely known as the Argentine Tango. It is in 2/4 time with the first quaver dotted, and it is the faster version of the Habenera. Amongst the elite inhabitants of the cities like Buenos Aires it was considered a barbarous dance until it reached and was accepted in cities like Paris. In Brazil a similar dance is known as the Maxixe or Maxiste.
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A dance from Brazil with African origins has two distinct forms, the rural and the urban. The former of folk origin is related to Jonga and Batuque (a slow version) and is rhythmically complex. The simplest of the urban Sambas, the Samba-Carioca was developed from the Maxixe in the dance halls of Rio de Janeiro. The Samba is easily combined with other dances to create hybrid forms as the Samba-Tango, Samba-Jonga, Samba-Rumba and Sambaias.

The Samba dance is in a shuffling 2/4 rhythm and always in a major key. The modern version, which became popular in the USA and Europe, is mainly based on the Maxixe. In 1950s the Samba, with a Jazz flavour and beat added, was the basis of Bossa Nova.
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Bossa Nova
If translated literally the name means ‘New Bump’.
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A Cuban dance, which is in fact a fast son. The name Rumba was originally applied specifically to the dancing style with lascivious movement of hip, bosom and other flexible parts. It achieved the second major conquest of Latin-American music, after the Tango, in other countries of the world, spreading rapidly in the 1930s and still is very popular, and in fact it is part of the ten dances chosen for the world competitions.

In 2/4 rhythm, it is strongly African in character, featuring powerful percussion, and its words, when presented, are of a rhythmic in nature. Among the natives of Cuba it is very much an ad hoc celebration dance. In the ballroom circles its known as the Cuban Rumba or El Son.

The dance had been seen in Madrid, Spain, as early as the mid 1800s. The Cubans stylised the original African dance into a Ballroom dance called the Danson and it was in this form that it spread to the USA and Europe as Rumba. It came in vogue in New Your about 1931, the tune mainly used being the "The Peanut Vendor." Although it is danced almost on the same spot, it needs considerable skill to do it well and, although it had a great vogue in Parisian nightclub circles it generally frightens the average amateur dancer off the floor.
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Afro-Cuban dance-song, which is a slower and less active form of the Rumba. In moderate tempo, the original song form generally has a Cadenza-like vocal solo of irregular length, followed by a four bar counter melody sung by a chorus, known as the Montuno. It originated in Oriente Province and came to popularity in Havana around the time of the first would war. The name is also used in Mexico for a variety of dances from Mexican States – The Son Huasteco, the Son Chiapasseco, the Son Jaliscense etc. They came to popularity about 1916 and are usually of a vivacious nature with strongly defined rhythms and spicy lyrics. The Son Gualemalteco or Son Chapin is the most popular dance of Guelemala, danced in a mixture of and 6/8 rhythms.
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The greater part of popular musical history is concerned with song, the emphasis on vocal music brought about by an obsessive interest in the performers, particularly since the cult of singers began in the mid 1800s. Nevertheless many advances in popular music have been brought about through the demands of social dancing and its regular changes of fashions.

The cult of social dancing began at private balls held by the rich and noble in the 16th century. Each new dance fashion such as the Pavane and Gilliard, succeeded by the Gavotte, Minuet, Courante, Cotillion, and Allemande, spawning music to fit its requirements and generally supplied by the eminent academic composers of the day in their more commercial movements. Ballroom dancing didn't go public until the early 19th century, when Ballrooms opened in many European cities, and the popularisation of the Waltz and the Polka opened the way for the professional popular composers of such material, such as Josef Lanner and the Strauss family in Vienna. The Lancers and Quadrilles made their appearance at this time and helped too create prolific performing and publishing industry. Into the 20th century and the new Jazz age, the demands of the dancers tended to shape the curse of Ragtime and Jazz rather than the obverse being the order of the day and this status has continued into the Rock age.
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Dancing Master
A volume of community country dances as danced in the mid 17thcentury first edited and published by John Playford from his shop in the Inner Temple, London, in 1650 (originally printed in 1951 but available earlier, the year beginning on 25 March.) Playford collected the dances with the help of several friends, and details of the dances steps were given thus offering a valuable indication o fashions in dancing at the time. A suggestion that such dancing, for long an outdoor fair-weather activity was becoming an indoor winter pursuit comes from most of them being done ‘long-ways’, i.e. with the couples facing each other in a long line as would be best suited to the average hall.
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Two Step
A categorical term used in the early 1900s in the USA, and in England in 1910s, to specify those few dances then around that were not the Lancers or the Waltz (which still dominated the dance floor at this time). The Military Two-step was a popular favourite. By 1911-12 the Two-Step was already giving way to the simple walking movement of the One-Step or Rag, later known as the Foxtrot.
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Lively Ballroom dance in 2/4 time which became very popular under this name in Paris in 1829, though it had been around previously as the Hopser or Rutscher, names which describe the kind of steps involved. Johann Strauss – I wrote several Galops in the 1820s and his celebrated family followed the tradition. It became a popular dance in mid-Victorian times both in its own right and as part of the Quadrille.
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A dance for an equal number of couples drawn up in a square probably inspired in the first place by figured display by equestrians at tournaments. First introduced int0 ballet, the dance came to the ballroom at the court of Napoleon –I of France. And it is said to have been brought to England by Lady Jersey, a famous beauty of those days, in 1815. It was made up of a group of 5 country-dances with different figures and differing tempos; the dance became so popular that the original folk dances were soon replaced by arrangements of popular songs and operatic arias. The members of the Strauss family made many such arrangements as well as writing original Quadrilles, strongly challenged for supremacy by the Tolbecque dynasty and the conductor-composer Philippe Musard (1792 – 1859), who earned himself the title, ‘King of the Quadrilles." The dance didn’t retain its popularity much beyond the middle of the 10th century when it lost in favour to the less difficult but styled Lancers. For a while the names, Quadrilles and Lancers, were often indiscriminately exchanged, the latter being more favoured in the USA.
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A simplified form of Quadrille became popular in the Ballrooms of Britain and the USA towards the middle of the 19th century. A Square dance for eight or sixteen couples, its invention was claimed by a Dublin Dancing Master, John Duval, and it seems likely that he at least helped to put the dance into general circulation. The composer Joseph Binns Hart (1794 – 1819) also claimed that he invented it in 1819.

Hart’s dance consisted of five figures: ‘La Rose’, ‘La Lodoiska’, ‘La Dorset’, ‘L’ Etoile’, and ‘Les Lanciers’. Duval kept the same names except for the substitution of ‘Les Visites’ for ‘L’ Etoile’, but altered actual figures danced. Hart’s vision seems to have been the most used in the heyday of the dance.
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Lambeth Walk
A dance based on the older dance, the Coaster Walk, originated by the Cockney Comedian Alec Hurley. The dance was simple; and it had a great vogue throughout the war years.
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Lander (it has umlaut on ‘a’)
It is a country-dance of Austro-German origin, particularly popular in Styria and Bavaria. The probably derives from Landel, an area in the Enns Valley where the dance is thought to have originated. It is similar to and generally accepted as the ancestor of the Waltz, with music in or 3/8 time, but generally slower. Many of the great composers – Mozart, Beethoven, and Shubert among them – as well as countless minor dance composers, have written Lander; The form generally being two 8- bar sections, each of which is repeated at least twice. An alternative name for the dance is Scheiffer (Slider), a name which refers too the gliding nature of the steps.
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Ballroom Dancing
In the modern sense of the term, ballroom dancing really started with the Waltz, the first dance in which the couples remain together throughout and elaborated or natural walking steps. This is in contrast to the more ballet-like steps of earlier dances like the Gavotte, the Polka, and the Quadrille. All these were being performed when the public Ballroom was already an established venue. Although Vienna was the earliest outlet for the ballroom music compositions, it was to be superseded by the USA in the later Jazz age. But most of the 20th century formalisation of Ballroom dancing was to take place on the British Isles.

The waltz craze began to supplant the Polka around 1812 when the waltz was introduced at Almarks’ Ballroom in London. It was to remain the principal and most popular Ballroom dance for more or less a century. As late as 1910 it was common to find 2/3 of the Ballroom evening taken up by waltzes, though by the beginning of the20th century its nature had changed, the old rotating waltz being replaced by less dizzying Boston Two-Step, which first appeared around 1903. About 1910 the Tango heralded an introduction of Latin American rhythms to the American and European Ballrooms, but such dances never became universally popular as the steps were beyond most amateurs. The Barn dance and Galop had a brief vogue before 1914. The Veleta and the Military Two-Step were keenly promoted from 1900, the latter surviving in a number of new forms. During the first World War the Foxtrot, popularised by Vernon and Irene Castle, became the new craze and Waltz suddenly went out of fashion, though it was to survive and soon made a come-back as one of the standard dances. Jazz rhythms brought in new syncopated dances like the quickstep, a simplified version of the Charleston, which has remained the most popular dance of modern times. Numerous novelty dances have had their brief vogues, while the modern Jazz dances like the Jitterbug and Jive and the dances of the Rock age like the Twist now find their way into most dance evenings, even those of a traditional kind. As in the sporting field, there is a great divide between the stumbling amateur, who prefers too confine his embarrassment to attempts at the quickstep and waltz, and a dedicated enthusiast or professional who performs Latin-American dances and other intricate dances with such enviable agility and grace.
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Reference Books

  1. I & V Castle; Modern Dancing (New York, 1914)
  2. T & M.W. Kinney; Social Dancing of Today (New York, 1914)
  3. P.J.S. Richardson & V. Silvester; The art of Ballroom (London 1938)
  4. A.H. Franks; The Ballroom Dancers Handbook (London 1940)
  5. P.J.S. Richardson; A History of English Ballroom Dancing (1910-1945) (London 1948)
  6. A.H. Franks; Social Dance, A short History; (London 1963)
  7. Victor Silvester; Modern Ballroom Dancing, History and Practice (London new Edition; reprint 1977)
  8. P. Buckman; Let’s Dance, Social Ballroom and Folk Dancing; (New York-London 1978)
  9. T. & M.V. Kinney; The Dance: Its Place in Art and Life (New York 1935)
  10. P.D. Magriel; A Bibliography of Dancing (New York 1936, 1966)
  11. K. Sachs; World History of the Dance (New York 1937; London 1938)
  12. L. Kirstein; The Book of the Dance (New York 1942)
  13. A. De Mille; The Book of the Dance (London 1960; New York 1963)
  14. P.S.J. Richardson;; The Social Dance of the 19th Century (London 1960)
  15. J. Martin; The Dance (New York 1963)
  16. F. Rust; Dance in Society (London 1969)
  17. B. Quirey, S.B. Bradshaw & R. Smedley; May I Have the Pleasure; The story of popular Dancing (London 1976)

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A lively and energetic dance which like many of its kind and period, derived from a peasant round dance, first heard of in Bohemia around 1830. As a Ballroom dance for couples it appeared in Prague in 1837 and then spread rapidly, reaching Vienna and St. Petersburg two years later, Paris in 1840, London in 1844, and New York the same year where it was introduced at the Chatham Theatre in May.

The dance was in 2/4 time in two-bar phrases, with hopping steps on the first three half beats and a pause on the fourth. Much of its earlier success was due to the many Polkas written by Johann Strauss and his family. Many variants evolved the Strauss family in particular differentiating between such types as the Poolka-Schnell (Polka – fast), the Polka-Francaise, and the Polka-Mazurka, which was in time.
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Boston Two Step
A social dance that came into vogue around 1903, which was originally a modified version of the Waltz with simplified walking steps that were about to revolutionise and popularise Ballroom Dancing for amateurs. The Foxtrot and the Two-Step were to become the main movers in this along with "Bostonised" Waltz. The term "Boston" became synonymous with this new styling and became more universal term, as in ‘Boston two-step.’
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Barn Dance
A dance originally known as the Military Schottische, acquiring its more familiar title from being danced to a tune called 'Dancing in the Barn’. It became popular in England around 1888, though known in the USA some years earlier, where there was a custom of holding a dance to celebrate the building of a new barn. Similar to any ordinary schottische, it was danced by couples, with the standard Waltz turn. The actual originator in not known.
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Pop dance featuring twisting of the hips which came in fashion as a generally danceable successor to Jive and Jitterbug circa 1958, when Hank Ballard recorded 'The Twist’, and demonstrated its steps, chubby Checker reinforced the craze with his No. 1 hit version in 1960. Like most of these natural Jazz-based dances, the twist had a much earlier history. Its twisting and swaying motions, which go back to African dances, were in earlier use by blacks in the southern states, where subsequently among the movements used in the popular "Ballin’ the Jack’ dance. In 1960 its simplicity made it popular with teenagers and adults.
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Ballin’ the Jack
Its suggested that ‘Jack’ refers to a locomotive and ‘ballin’ refers to get on the move. Perry Bradford remembers seeing this dance in 1909; it was well established by then.
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A ballroom dance of the 19th century, which came from the continent to England in 1848. It was similar to the Polka, but in slower time, and was, in fact, known in England for a time as German Polka. It is sometimes confused with the earlier Ecossaise, which is a country-dance, where as the Schottische is a round dance. It has never been established that either dance is of true Scottish origin; Probably they represented what a German or a Frenchman respectively, thought a Scottish dance should be like.
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Cha Cha Cha
A Cuban dance that became universally popular and had great vogue around 1958-60, is remaining a favourite ballroom item. A descendent of the Danzon it has become, outside Cuba a Slow, rocking Mambo with double tempo-interludes in normal Mambo time.
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It is a Cuban dance. In 1930s the Rumbas and Tangos of Latin-American bands were becoming some what commercialised and ineffective; so that the advent of the new groups led by Machito (1912-84), Noro Morales, and Perez Prado, playing true and undiluted Afros, Rumbas and Boleros came as a timely tonic. The Jazz world also took an interest, feeling that the tow spheres of popular music has something to offer each other. Thus the Mambo developed by a grafting of Jazz on to Cuban folk music. Developing from the Rumba, with its respective montuno chorus, now expanded into an original form, with Jazz riffs and phrasing added, the Mambo gradually evolved. The result was a fascinating amalgam of Latin American melody with Jazz phrasing, the Latin American given the powerful surge of the Jazz bass section. It swept the world in the late 1940s and 1950s, paving a way for the less frenetic Cha Cha Cha.
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Traditionally Spanish music based on the folk songs and dances of Andalusia. There is much controversy about its distant origins. But its not difficult to accept, on aural evidence, that some of the oriental qualities, particularly as reflected in its vocal melodic lines, could have come from the Moors or adjacent Africa who were a dominating force in Andalusia for around eight centuries. Other elements may have come from wandering Gypsies who, as in so much European folk music, gave it richly melancholic strains and much of the rhythmic excitement derived from the fiddle music and heel clicking dances. But some of its character must have arisen from Andalusia itself, its hoot, dry climate, and the passionate and dramatic nature of its people.

There are also many theories as to how the name arose; one being that when Archduke Charles V arrived from the Low Countries to be crowned Charles I of Spain, his followers were known as "Flemencos" (Flemish). And this was later applied to the gypsies who spread Flamenco by way of subtle gibe at any unwelcome foreigner. Another theory is that it derives from the Moorish workers who left their mark on Spanish music during their period of occupation. They were known as the Falah men Eikum.

Cante Flamenco is roughly divided into two main streams/kinds. The Cante Jonlo (or Grande) and Cante Chico (or Pequeno). The Cante Jonlo is more serious, traditionally inclined side, its songs dealing with the themes of love, sorrow, and death and involving such forms as the Martinette, Serrana, Siguiruya and Soleares. Cante Chico (or Pequeno), that covers the lighter, more commercialised songs and dances, designed for entertainment, such as the Alegria, Buleria, Fandango and Habanera or Tango.
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A dance to music in triple time (3/4), the precise origin of which is obscure. It was certainly not the invention of one person but evolved from the Lander ('a' is with umlaut) of Austria and Southern Germany which in turn derived from the folk dances of those areas. The word "Waltz" comes from the verb "Walzen", to rotate, which come from earlier "Volter" of similar meaning. We first her o a dance called "Walzer" about the middle of 18 Th. century. There have been attempts to link the Waltz and the Minuet, but they have little in common apart from their rhythms. The Minuet is poised and stately, the essence of Waltz is its lively and improvised nature. The early folkdances in this rhythm involved rotating, hopping, jumping and stamping. As it became more the property of Ballroom; these energetic movements were replaced by smooth gliding motion (Scheifler), but it remained boisterous. Witnessing such dancing in 1805, and the close contact it involved, Dr. Barney reflected that an English mother would be uneasy to see her daughter so familiarly treated – and still more so to witness the obliging manner in which the freedom is returned by the female.

Earlier the speed at which the Waltz was being danced made it rather alarming and tiring especially for old dancers. Thus Boston came in to vogue, which was danced to a Waltz tune. Its basic six steps took four bars – twice the length of time use for six steps in the Waltz.

Boston lost popularity soon enough, but left behind a legacy that led to a clear distinction between today’s Waltz which is danced at a tempo of about 30 bars per minute and the Viennese Waltz danced at about 60 bars per minute.
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It was a variation of the old fashioned Waltz. Arthur Morris was a dance teacher from Leeds, England, who invented the dance and supplied his own music about 1900s. Unlike most of the artificially concocted dances, the Veleta, complete with its very catchy tune, has survived, and today it is part of the old time sequence dancing championship.
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A dance in time, a kind of slow Mazurka. Its main characteristic was an emphasis and slight pause on the first note of the second, fourth and sixth bars. It probably originated in France, with the dancing teacher called Desire being given the credit for its invention. It was introduced about 1853, and soon had a great vogue in Paris (it was danced at Tuileries and was a favourite of the empress Eugenie), and soon after in London, where it was first introduced by Laurent’s band. Various "Original" Varsoviana melodies have been claimed, and all the fashionable dance composers of the period provided examples with a variety of fanciful and mainly romantic names.
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Dance craze of the 1970s, cultivated by Black and Latin teenagers in New York, developing from disco music with a stronger beat as back ground to Break-Dancing, becoming known as Rap when MCs (Master of Ceremonies) took to reciting socially aware street poetry over the music. Also known as Hip-Hop, it continued in the 1980s, more as a social than musical phenomenon. It was kept alive by its commercial usefulness to the advertising world and as a teenage line of communication.
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A term which loosely embraces the New York pop scene and mainly the black music of 1980s (especially Rap), and the in-things that go with it: DJs (Disk Jockey) and their ways, break-dancing and body popping, training shoes and tracksuits, electronic sounds, modern graffiti, all things consumed and snuffed. The phenomenon inevitably invaded Britain along with its electro-music and Rap and soon enough spread to the rest of the world.
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Palais Glide
A simple Ballroom dance which became very popular in England around 1937. It was danced to such catchy tunes as ‘Horsey, Horsey’ and ‘Little Angeline’, which had lingering elements of the Polka in them.
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Military Two Step
A dance which was a combination of Waltz and March rhythms resulting in 6/8 time being its basis. James Finnigan of Manchester, Master of Ceremonies, invented the dance at the Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, who popularised it in the early 1900s.
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A Cuban carnival dance performed by revellers in a single line through the streets behind the band. The choreography is ‘one, two, three, kick’, and is a lively processional dance, each holding the one in front, which has become a popular end-of-function all over the world. Its rhythm is 2/4 and its melodic phrases are short. Probably of African origin, it is a cross between Rumba and a Paso Doble. It had a consideration as a ballroom dance around 1934.
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A ballroom dance which developed in America in the early 1920s and reached Britain about 1923. It came in with the Jazz vogue and was danced too a very slow rhythm supposedly approximated to the authentic blues. Requiring a degree of control and balance, it never became very popular and was modified and speeded up to become the Foxtrot, which then became the basis of most ballroom dances.
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A dance of the war times knees-up genre, written by Annette Mills and introduced by her at a Tango competition at Dorchester House, London, in 1939. The music was simply corny tune in time and the words exhorted the dancers to use ‘hands, knees, and boomps-a-daisy’, the last accompanying a polite collision of the partners’ posteriors. It was just right for wartime hops and the enforced camaraderie of the times, and survived throughout the war years.
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Disco (From the French, discotheque)
It’s the modern substitute for the dance hall and the almost extinct dance orchestra. A gathering where the pop records are played at high dynamic levels and introduced by a disc-jockeying MC (Master of Ceremonies), for the benefit of youthful but prematurely deaf dancers; probably semi-blind too, as the decor is invariably dominated by banks of flashing coloured lights. Discos had become widely popular by the 1970s, having been first introduced in the USA in mid 1960s with the music provided by the popular Jukebox. The kind of music used was mainly black in origin, such as played by Sly and the Family Stone. For some time the disco remained a limited cult, but it became a widely accepted activity promoted by the film ‘Saturday Night Fever’, 1977. Even pop enthusiasts tend too agree that the music associated with discos, with the most essential element a thumping regular bass and the other elements mainly ignored has tended to produce a somewhat debased from of pop music.
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Can Can
This fast, furious and athletic dance usually performed by a troupe of glamorous dancing girls, whose kicks reveal immodest frills and upper thighs with saucy abandon. It became internationally appreciated in various operettas by Jacques Offenbach, notably in Orphee Aux Enfers (1858), the Can-Can finale of which has become the quintessential music of the dance. Before this it had evolved in the French cabaret world of the early 1800s, possibly originally imported from Algiers, where such high-kicking dance was part of fertility rites. Even then it was regarded as somewhat disreputable and hence the name. The word Can-Can meaning 'little tattle' or gossip, particularly of a scandalous nature. It was regarded with the same righteous horror as most new dances, often of only marginally scandalous nature and many societies worked or its suppression.
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Square Dance
A type of country-dance, originating in the USA, which started with four couples facing one another in a square. A caller generally shouts the steps and movements out to the music of the hoe-down variety, is generally provided by a fiddle-led band.
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Traditional Spanish dance originating in north-east Catalonia. It is based on the sun's movements and the 24 hours of the day, being split into two parts, a slow, mournful section symbolising darkness, and a fast, bright section representing day. It was originally called the Curta, the modern Sardana being introduced by the musician and musicologist Jose Ventura Y Cosa (1817 – 81), who had become interested in the traditional music of the Cobla – a type of folk-dance band popular in Catalonia. He developed the brief dance into a longer form, with its main themes always introduced by the waiting tones of the tenora (a sort of clarinet) in an improvised Cadenza.
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Strict-Tempo Dance Music
A systematic approach to dance music for the Ballroom aimed at supplying the music with a regular pulse and the correct designated tempos for the various dances. A great deal of the pioneering work in this field was done by Victor Silvester, world’s Dancing Champion in 1922, who went on to form his strict-tempo dance orchestra in 1934, first broadcasting in 1937, and starting the BBC Dancing Club in 1941.
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Victor Silvester
Marlborough (born: Wembley, Middx. 25/02/1900; died Le Lavandou, France, 14/08/1978) British dancer, bandleader and author. The son of a clergyman, he was taught dancing and piano when young. His ambition was too became a soldier and he enlisted in 1915, but his age was discovered and he was made to serve in the volunteer Ambulance unit, where he still managed to get wounded. After the war he was admitted to Sandhurst, but eventually left to make a profession of his hobby of dancing. In partnership with dancer Phyllis Clark, he was the first British dancer to win a World Championship and this put British Ballroom dancing on the world map of Dancing in 1922. The same year he married another dancer called Dorothy, and together they opened a dancing school in Bond Street in London.

Throughout the 1930s he was aware that dancers were poorly supplied with strict temps dance music records and initially he sponsored some by his pianist Gerry Moore. They were so well received that he suggested too Parlophone Records that he should form a strict tempo dance orchestra. A small band consisting of two pianos, saxophonist doubling clarinet, double bass, and drums was formed, and they made their first four recordings in August 1935, the first titled, 'You are dancing on my heart’.

He was member of the committee that tabulated the basic requirements for admission to membership of the Ballroom Branch of the ISTD, and continued to work on the analysing and standardising of ballroom technique.

The name of Silvester became synonymous with ballroom dancing and he became the leading authorities on the subject, publishing his best-selling "Modern Ballroom Dancing, Modern Dancers Handbook and volumes on old-time and sequence dancing, Dancing Is My Life.

Victor’s description of the Waltz in 1923 was that it consisted of three movements, the Natural Turn, the Reverse Turn and the Closed Change, with an occasional Hesitation step. And a closing of the feet on the third beat. This was first definition of the dance in modern terms.
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Jazz Dance
The observers view of Jazz (largely built up from records and other mechanical presentation of music) as some thing as to be listened to, obscures the practicalities of its’ history and its everyday growth as a dance music. It was not so much the onset of Jazz that dictated the fashions in dancing as the demands of dancers that shaped the course of Jazz. Most bands passed a great percentage of their time on dance hall bandstands than they ever did in the concert halls or the recording studios.

Jazz dances have always inclined towards an improvisation nature, a free expression of bodily excitement and mental elation rather than the formal expression of graceful deportment that seem to have been the prime object of European Ballroom styles. In this light they have a natural affinity with folk-dances that had been modified and bowdlerised to create the ballroom dance.

Jazz dance, like Jazz itself, goes back into the dark recesses of the history of the black population of the USA, That its character arose at least partly from African dance custom seems beyond question. The black dancer inherited the use of dance as a passionate outlet, a physical recreation, and an expression of vitality. Jazz dance is centred on the pelvic region and can hardly help having sexual undertones, which are induced by the essentially rhythmic nature of the musical accompaniment. While independence ensured the survival of dances of African and West Indian origin such as were danced in Congo Square in New Orleans on permitted holidays – the Bamboula the Calinda and the Juba among them.

The gradual emergence of black American music in the watered-down strains of minstrelsy came as an accomplishment to the comic dances of the mid 19th century that had some affinity with the European clog dance. The frequent imitation of animals also had its roots in folklore and many of the basic steps that evolved had names like the Buzzard Lope, or the Eagle Rock. The jigging steps that evolved had a clear influence on ragtime when it emerged in the 1890s, developing along side the high-kicking steps to the Cakewalk, whose music was almost indistinguishable from Ragtime and occasionally identical with it. These partly Americanised social and entertainment dances developed in such popular craze as the Charleston. While the more emotionally physical side of Jazz that has the Blues as its essence, saw the physical movement of the Grind and the Mooche leading Jazz dance towards, physical explosion of Jive and Jitterbug that accompanied the Boogie-Woogie add swing crazes. Both sides met and compromised in ballroom modifications like the Black Bottom.

All these physically demanding dances disappeared when the ritualised movement of the twist and other rock dances commercialised Jazz dance by putting it within reach of the untalented. In the entertainment world Jazz dance developed too a fine art, mainly under the heading of tap, in the hands of the talented black dancers like Bert Williams and Bill Robinson and perpetrated eventually by the master imitator Fred Aistaire.
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A distinctive genre of music making recognised by its 'propelsively' moving rhythm syncopated melodic nature, and improvisational (to varying) natur3. It is generally assumed to be of black origin and first appeared in the USA in various modified strains at the end of the 19th century.

Origin and Development: The eventual emergence of Jazz as a clearly definable kind of music acme at the end of long and obscure period of incubation and evolution that was hidden in the black people of America. It is unfortunate that their ghetto position as slaves led to an almost lack of historical documentation. So the actual birth and early developments of Jazz remains very much division of opinion on the subject. It seems likely that its special rhythmic characteristics have some roots in the distant music of Africa, later mingling with traits drawn from the nature American music. This produced Jazz, as the world knew it when it emerged after the emancipation of the slaves at the end of the 19th century. It is quite probable that black slaves were playing music, which the modern ear would judge as having Jazz characteristics, many generations before its emergence as a common musical property. Accidental creations like most folk music, the strength of its traditions ensuring its continuity, even under suppressive and 'unremarked' conditions.

Jazz only became a conscious creation after the black musician had achieved more freedom of movement and had encountered the mainstream of American popular music. Those ingredients that did not evolve in the black folk-music (mainly rhythmical and some melodic characteristics) could well claim to have come from the folk-music that was taken to America by early white settlers – much of it from British Isles, notable Scotland, some from other European countries. In the early days of American settlement, popular music had to fight a long battle against the strong Puritan elements, which saw all secular music as a tool of the devil. Secretly at first, then more openly, a distinctive style of American folk-music evolved, with fiddle and banjo recreating the same sort of headlong impulse that is to be found in Scottish dance music. This, enhanced by American legend and speech, developed into the distinctive American folk style that eventually produced composers who wrote in clearly American mode, typified by such songs of the 1800s as ‘Arkansas Traveller’ and ‘Turkey in the Straw’ and composed songs like ‘Dixie’ and the works of Stephen Foster.

The first surge: A powerful surge of black influence came with the minstrel show tradition which ironically, was largely perpetrated by white performers disguised as blacks. The minstrel strains were spread abroad by the various troupes that went to Europe, were founded there and gave the world the first hint of something musically different from the European tradition. As did the spirituals taken abroad by Fisk Jubilee Singers and others that had even larger black elements in their make-up. Then in the 1890s came the first emergence of music of black origin in the shape of Ragtime, where the minstrel-cum-Foster-cum-Souza strains of current white American music were given the extra impetus of strong banjo rhythms and a new use of the effects of melodic syncopation.

The emergence of fully-fledged Jazz was but a short step away. And it is not surprising that largely the white bands, which were just as capable of handling its ragtime- associated strains as black musicians, and had all the exciting commercial advantages in their control, initially exploited it. As the world absorbed the exciting new musical beverage that was served out by Original Dixieland Jazz band, and other pioneers, it was unaware of the richer depths of the true black Jazz that was still being created by the blacks for their won use and pleasure.

A band of Jazz that was perhaps to exclusively labelled New Orleans was certainly finding as fruitful as soil there could possibly be found – a cosmopolitan city, a sea port open to the Caribbean and further black influences from that direction, a city with a strong Creole tradition. New Orleans Jazz was essentially a utility Jazz which took the discarded military band instruments from the civil war and added to the exciting white marching band style the elements of free improvisation and the pulsating off-the–beat rhythms that had their distant ancestry in the music of Africa. Much of early New Orleans Jazz was played by marching bands before it settled in the black dance halls and clubs and there joined up with the Ragtime piano to produce that early, sometimes stilted Jazz, founded on banjo rhythms, that traditionalists like to think of as the genuine article. In fact it was already a hybrid music, and this was how Jazz was to developing how popular music was to take inspiration from it through the 1930s and beyond: Jazz and popular music still loosely linked with the old European tradition of music making through its partial white ancestry.

Behind the scenes as it were the deeper and blacker strains of Jazz, as typified in the looser, essentially improvised chanting lines of the blues, were till a private music for black use only. It was listened to on specially issued ‘race’ records that only gradually became available to the public. But fitfully the would learned too appreciate and accept Jazz, whether it was being presented in its pure or adulterated form until eventually this potent new musical idiom was almost completely too over shadow the European styles of popular music making and spread to all corners of the world.

By now the only superficially black strains of minstrelsy, of ragtime, of early Dixieland Jazz and subsequent white styles developed in Chicago and elsewhere have been superseded, but obliterated. They have taken their place in musical History along side the drawing room ballad and the Viennese Waltz, as enjoyable nostalgic moods of music making that still have much to offer. Jazz itself has became intellectualised and the black and white divisions no longer have much validity; while the blue-based popular music has mainly gone back to the unrestrained freedoms of the African origins of Jazz.
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History of Dancing
Earlier the speed at which the Waltz was being danced made it rather alarming and tiring especially for old dancers. Thus came along Boston, which was danced to a Waltz tune, the basic six steps took four bars – twice the length of time use for six steps in the Waltz. It was very popular for a time, introduced from America by group called Keen Dancer’s Society which used the Empress Rooms. But its popularity was not very long lasting.

Kerry Mills wrote a tune called ‘Cakewalk at a Georgia camp meeting’, based on the rhythms of American Negro dances. For the first time, syncopation competed with the disciplined tempo to which dances had been arranged hitherto: syncopation, meaning to begin a note on a normally unaccepted part of a bar of music or to shift the accent of the rhythm. The word ragtime, which described it so well, was first used about 1901, and ‘Rag’ came to be used for the dances known as the One-Step.

Dance after dance came from across the Atlantic instead of Paris, since Paris was the main centre for dances with the ‘Academie Royale de Musique et de Danse’ that was founded by Louis XIV in the latter half of the 16th century. This is what Vernon Castle said regarding the new music from American continent: "the waltz is beautiful, the Tango is graceful, the Brazilian Maxixe is unique. One can sit quietly and listen with pleasure of them all; but when a good orchestra plays a ‘Rag’ one simply has got to move."

The Maxixe has vanished; it was a civilised version of a simple Brazilian rhythm, but the outbreak of the First World War made it seem a bit too gaudy. The Tango and the Waltz are still reigning supreme all though not in the version that were being danced in those days.

For instance it was Victor Silvester who created what is called the ‘Diagonal Waltz, the Waltz of the present day. The son of a Church of England Vicar, he entered competition dancing after the war service in the London Scottish and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1922 he won the World Professional Ballroom Championship, and it was his pioneering of the smoother, more controlled movements which brought the old-fashioned Waltz right up to date and made it unnecessary to turn at speed as was fashionable in pre-war days. To this day we are teaching some of his figures in our class in the 1960s.

The Tango had come from America by way of the Argentine and Paris and was so popular that a well known American Teacher of the times, Gladys Beattie Crozier, in 1913 wrote a forty-thousand –word book about it. The Tango and How to dance it. She felt that a touch of tiger was needed in the dancer to make the tango exciting, but as time went by the dance slipped down from its virile heights to become a rather 'stagey', languorous affair – the kind of thing a ‘Gigolo’ would dance.

A young German Amateur dancer called Freddie Camp brought about the reforms of Tango styles much later. He was dancing with an English partner in a Tango competition in the 1930s, at the Astoria Ballroom, charging cross road, and the people who witnessed his performance tell us it was electrifying. Whether he felt the Tango was becoming dull, or whether he thought a little drama would take it nearer its original style, we can’t tell. Whatever the reason, he introduced staccato foot movements, jerking movements of his head, body turns of unexpected suddenness, and an air of great athleticism. This was a facet of what was known as the German style; but overall German style was not very popular.

This originality and verve in the Tango caught the attention of the British Professional Champion Henry Jacques, who died in 1946, analysed and adapted the new Tango and by his superb demonstrations and teaching of it, kept it in the modern repertoire.

The late Frank Ford as it is danced today devised the Quickstep. It was what he called the ‘Flat Charleston’, which he created for the ‘Star’ Championship of 1927 in which one of the items was to be a ‘QuickTime Foxtrot and Charleston’. By taking out the boisterous kicking movements Ford made the modern Quickstep, and by making it a dance for two instead of a solo, kept it in the Ballroom. His own description of it was ‘Lots of QuickTime Foxtrot with splashes of Charleston here and there to liven it up.’ The dance was actually made up of Quarter Turns, Cross Chasse, Zig-Zag, Cortes, ordinary Open Reverse Turns and flat Charleston’. He danced his with Molly Spain.

From a dance popularised by the great Vernon and Irene Castle, the One-Step,

We were given the Foxtrot. The legend about his dance is that it was one of a line of quick-time dances with ‘animal’ names – the Turkey Trot, the Horse Trot and so on. The Foxtrot was created, so it is said, by a Ziegfeld Follies comedian called Harry Fox, who in 1912 used to dance to Ragtime (Fox’s Trot or Foxtrot). Until just after the First World War it was danced more or less to the same Quick tempo.

By 1927 English teachers of dancing had slowed so that it became more like the on we know of it today. Four dances were being asked for, from Ballroom dancing competitors: The One-Step (later replaced by Quickstep), the Foxtrot, the Tango and the Waltz. The Blues was often included in Championship at that time in a version by Major Cecil Taylor called The Yale Blues. The innovations of Josephine Bradley and Maxwell Stewart had been accepted as basic figures. These were the Foxtrot Telemark and the Waltz double reverse spin. The Telemark included by Josephine Bradley and Douglas Wellesley Smith in their slow Foxtrot during 1928 was given this name because it resembles the movements in skiing where the skier swings round to stop or a change of direction. The dances were being shaped and standardised for competition work and came to be known as the English Standard Four.

In more recent times, Latin American dances have been similarly codified and added to the list of ‘Classic’ Ballroom dances.

As result, English ballroom dancers had the advantage of being taught a well defined style which, for various reasons, led success in the international competitions. The style became known as the English style, or Imperial style. (After the name of the Society which, though it’s analysis of technique and innovation, described the basic steps.) or as it now called international style. International style is more proper since, it is enthusiastically accepted in almost every country, and it is the style use for international competitions.

English style is easier to demonstrate by actual movement that to describe in words. It depends on simplicity and elegance in motion, so that no matter how intricate the footwork, the effect will be that it looks easy. There must be no look of strain or undue exaggeration. The footwork must be exact and precise but without any puppet-like aspect the body must live as well as perform.

Depending on the dance, English style can vary its mood. It can be gay in the Quickstep, romantic in waltz, eager in Tango, lilting in the Foxtrot. It can be a mixture of all of these and many other moods. In other words it is responsive to the music and must always be naturalistic, expressing through a codified technique the natural reactions of the dancers to what the band is playing.

The first ‘Laying down of the law’ took place when the Ballroom Branch of the Imperial Society to Teachers of Dancing was formed in 1924. Mr P.J.S. Richardson, the editor of ‘The Dancing Times’, had been approached by a number of London’s leading teachers of Ballroom dancing. They wanted a new society, which would take in hand the ballroom competitions that were now becoming very popular. And that it would lay down the rules about dances that should be allowed in them and in what form of steps they should be danced.

He convinced the Imperial Society, which catered for all styles of dancing to open a branch of Ballroom instead of a new society being formed.

The new Ballroom branch was formed under a committee consisting of Josephine Bradley, Eve Tynegate-Smith, Muriel Simmons, Mrs. Lisle Humphreys, and Victor Silvester. Before the end of 1924 they had set of out the syllabus of the examination which ballroom dancing teachers must pass before admission to the society. This asked for three qualifications: the knowledge of music as used in Ballroom dancing; accepted carriage of the arms, head and the body; a knowledge of Foxtrot, Waltz, One-Step and Tango steps.

These steps were carefully described in the dance journal, the official journal of the Imperial Society. This distillation of the basic steps had been made possible by the excellent demonstration work of famous couples by competitions, and by informal conferences among British teachers and professional dancers.

From this ground work, teachers in United Kingdom were able to pass on a unified, accepted version of the ballroom technique to their pupils who, in their turn, were able to show too the would the same clear, vigorous technique. Until 1925 Paris had been the centre of the World but from that year on wards it was to London that the World’s dancers turned for instructions.

Nevertheless, the best technique in the world will not win competitions without good dancers to use it.

However Britain was able to produce very good dancers because: Many public dance halls Good dancing is not seen expensive clubs with small floors, not in restaurants where people go to wine and dine. It is found in a hall with a good floor reasonable space, and a good band.

This is puzzling since everyone responds to music. But a discipline is needed through which to respond. The formalising of the steps of Ballroom Dancing supplied this discipline and given the opportunities supplied by the dance halls public), the British dancers forged ahead.

Other countries have no such facilities. Apart from the studio of the dance teacher, there are a few places in the continental countries where couples can dance. There may be a floor in a hotel but it is not regularly available for dancing; it has to be hired by an organiser (very often local dancing teacher). In the USA there are big dance halls but due to good advertising they tend to be too full for food dancing; The band is often the attraction but audience don’t dance they crowd around the band stand to listen, immobile.
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Plain Truth
The desire to dance is one of the primitive instincts of not only humankind but also all the living things in the world. The desire to move in response to emotion will always survive, no matter how it may be suppressed. The persistence of rhythm and its intimate association with sex and life itself is indisputable, and when rhythm and movement come together, dancing is born.

Life and sex being considered very sacred consciously or subconsciously is the reason for majority of these dances being performed and developed at the religious institutions, such as the temples, churches; or for the various religious ceremonies.

Emotion stimulates the body into movements; and civilisation and conditioning have taught people to suppress this natural response.
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In the days of Louis XIV the various court-dances were continuously improvised, with ‘entrees’ added in the old form of Ballroom dances like the Minuet, and were made spectacular. This resulted in the use of a technique, which was to some extent artificial like the turned out position of the feet for a more graceful ‘line’. Slowly many purely decorative steps started getting added like the ‘entrechats’ and ‘cabrioles’. With the continuous additions of such unnatural and decorative movements professional dancers were needed. It’s when these professional dancers left the court and went to the stage did the clear divide between the Ballroom and Ballet start and both began to develop almost independently.
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In Spanish it stands for ‘sauce’ or ‘spice’. This term for the music and dance is in use since 1960 to classify Latin American music with a hot jazz flavour. It had an unremarked existence till it became a teenage craze of the 1970s, and then it got a wider acceptance due the film ‘Salsa’ in 1975.
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A composition written in ragtime lingo, which means a piece with ragged rhythm, although there are many explanations for it. Later this term was applied to a dance that was a syncopated development of the One Step around 1912.
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Its emergence is same as that for the Jazz, however from the beginning it was black music based on the white traditions. The ragtime compositions of the 1890s were mildly syncopated that appeared in the ‘cakewalk’ and such dances of the times.
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Dance and music with the time signature of 2/4, it is basically simple walking steps, with each step taken with the pumping action, as one would use the foot air-pump to inflate the vehicle’s wheels.
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A variation of Salsa with a ‘choppy’ rhythm wherein an emphasis is on the intricate footwork, which tends to make it a more tight couple dance as far as the hold and guiding is concerned.
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A variation of Salsa with a ‘trotting’ rhythm and seductive style, and it’s danced in close contact.
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Vallenato (Pronounced "by – un – atto")
It is slower and derived from ‘Salsa’ and it is movements are based on unashamedly romantic love songs.
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The name is derived from "lambar" which in North Brazil means "heavy necking", and it is a development of Samba. It is danced in close contact and the legs intertwined with the hips gyrating and hair flicked in a provocatively too sensual pulse of the music.
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Tango Argentino
It does not have staccato movements and is smooth making it more sensuous and seducive.
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Reference for majority of the above information is from THE OXFORD COMPANION TO POPULAR MUSIC by Peter Gammond.1991 Edition.

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