Whats the difference between Ballroom and Latin?

Whats the difference between Ballroom and Latin? Our very own Rebecca writes this clever blog about just some of the differences between these two popular and very similar dance styles. Greg Gillespie FISTD

What is the difference between Ballroom and Latin dancing?
People often come for private dance lessons wanting to learn how to dance but are not too sure what style they would prefer so here are some basic differences between Ballroom and Latin dances which may help you to better understand the two styles.

Ballroom is the most general and the oldest term that has been used to describe waltz, quickstep, foxtrot, tango and Viennese waltz. The Latin dances are the cha-cha-cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive.

The Ballroom dances are progressive dances and move anti-clockwise around the room down the line of dance (the imaginary line which represents the flow of traffic around the dance floor.) The Latin dances are non-progressive (stationary) dances except for the paso doble and samba which travel around the floor.

One of the key differences between Ballroom and Latin is the hold. In Latin we have various holds such as closed, open, double and single hand holds. In Ballroom the closed hold position is never released. Another difference is the footwork with Latin dances being danced with the feet slightly turned out and steps are danced on the balls of the feet. In Ballroom, we dance with our feet parallel and we use heel and toe footwork. In addition, another key difference is the use of hip action in Latin whereas there is no hip action in Ballroom.

The most obvious difference is the music and timing! So if you fancy dancing to the lively Latin rhythms of salsa or your favourite classical music – both Latin and ballroom will certainly keep you on your toes!

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