The Waltz has its history rooted in a peasant dance from the Provence
area of France in 1559, from a piece of folk music called The Volta.
Partners had to hold each other in such a close embrace that many declared
it immoral. Louis XIII (1601-1643) even had it banned from court on this
The Viennese Waltz
Said to be a derivation of The Landler, a dance developed in Bavaria
during the 12th and 13th centuries.
The French dispute this saying that, like the traditional Waltz, the
Viennese Waltz was also developed from The Volta.
The gauchos (cowboys) of Argentina wore chaps that hardened from the
foam and sweat of the horse's body, causing them to walk with flexed knees.
Of a night they would go to crowded night clubs and ask prostitutes to
dance. Since the gaucho hadn't showered, the lady would dance in the crook
of the man's right arm, holding her head back. Her right hand was held
low on his left hip, close to his pocket, looking for a payment for dancing
During the summer of 1914, actor Harry Fox was appearing in shows in
New York with Yansci Dolly in an act of Hammerstein's.
People at the Jardin de Danse - on the roof of the New York Theatre -
soon started to copy the act that Harry was putting on downstairs, leading
them to refer to the dance as Fox's Trot.
During the 1920s many bands played the Foxtrot too fast and some couples
couldn't keep up.
Over time, a faster version was born absorbing extra elements of ragtime
such as the Charleston.
This led to the creation of what we today call the Quickstep.
The dance relies on the age-old premise of the lady trying to dominate
the gentlemen by means of her womanly charms.
Incorporating all the elements of teasing and withdrawal, it is considered
the most sensual of the Latin dances.
It is believed that the word Samba is derived from a West African Bantu
word meaning to pray or invoke the spirits of ancestors.
It is rumoured to be a dance that can excite people to such an extent,
it sends them into a trance.
It is danced annually at the Rio Carnival in Brazil.
From its beginnings in 1927, the dance soon became equated with youth.
Older adults disapproved of it and tried to ban it from dance halls claiming
it disturbed other dancers who were progressing anti-clockwise around
It was brought to Europe by American GIs during World War II but was
danced underground due to its "corrupting influence".
The Paso Doble is based on the bullfight. The man represents the bullfighter,
Torero, and the lady the red cape or cappa.
It is danced to the characteristic march music used for the procession
at the beginning of a corrida.
Cha Cha Cha
When the English dance teacher Pierre Lavelle visited Cuba in 1952,
he realised that sometimes the Rumba was danced with extra beats.
When he returned to Britain, he started teaching these steps as a separate