Dance-o-pedia > Dance Terms

AMERICAN STYLE

Ballroom & Latin dances are separated by two main versions, American style and International style. Since most Ballroom & Latin dances were standardized and formalized in the United States in the early and mid-1900s, it's safe to say that American style is the original style. At that time, Ballroom dancing in the United States was regarded as a fun social activity. Hollywood in the 1900s further popularized Ballroom dancing in American culture with dance scenes appearing in countless movies and films. The American style of dance portrays it social dance origins as well as its movie star flare. In the past few decades, American style dancing has evolved greatly into a version that is just as comfortable in a nightclub as it is on a competition dance floor and has adapted many of the high level technical characteristics of International style. In American Style, the Ballroom dances are categorized in the Smooth Division and the Latin dances are categorized in the Rhythm Division.

DANCESPORT

The term DanceSport originated during the discussion regarding having Ballroom & Latin dance become an official event in the Olympics. Ballroom & Latin dancing did not become an Olympic event, but the term stuck in the dance community and is used to describe competitive Ballroom & Latin dance.

INTERNATIONAL STYLE

Ballroom & Latin dances are separated by two main versions, International style and American style. The International style of dance was developed in England as a competitive version of the popular social American style dances. In many foreign countries, Ballroom dancing is taught as a formal skill, much like Ballet, rather than a social activity. Even at a beginner level International style often demands a higher degree of technique and therefore is less beginner friendly than American style. International style was designed for and is generally reserved for the competition dance floor. There are only 10 International dances, 5 Ballroom and 5 Latin, in contrast to the numerous American style dances. In International Style, the Ballroom dances are categorized in the Standard Division and the Latin dances are categorized in the Latin Division.

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