JustDance Los Angeles | Dance Styles
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International Latin

International Latin is comprised of five dances: Cha Cha, Samba, International Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive. The style is unique in its use of straight legs and balletic lines.

Newcomers to Latin should be warned against thinking of International Latin as “authentic Latin dancing.” Latin as danced today has evolved since its introduction into the ballroom dancing world. Samba, for instance, looks nothing like its festive counterpart danced today in the streets of Brazil. And while one can see a bit of Swing in the foundation of Jive, this one American dance has very little relation to its cousins in the Swing styles.

Latin is based in large part on long leg lines and takes a tremendous amount of strength and expertise to be danced at a high level. Latin must be sexy, yet sophisticated, evoking images of characters such as Jessica Rabbit and Rita Hayworth. Latin is considered one of most intense dance styles.

Cha Cha

Samba

Rumba

Paso Doble

Jive

International Ballroom

International Standard is comprised of five dances: Slow Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, and Quickstep. The most distinguishing characteristic of Standard is the hold. In Standard, the couple is expected to maintain a consistent frame throughout the entire dance, breaking only to bow when the music has ended.

Standard is considered by many to have the steepest learning curve of the styles. Even Standard enthusiasts admit that one must know a little something about it before it can be fully appreciated.

High level Standard dancers are expected to find and perfect a position with their partners that diminishes tension and allows the bodies to move in perfect harmony with each other. This takes years of training and a deep understanding of the mechanics and physics of movement. It also takes a highly developed sense of your own body, and of the body you are connected to, since you must maintain a connection to it 100% of the time. This being said, the addictive gliding movement and formality of this style makes it a favorite of many dancers.

Standard can be exciting and fulfilling — conjuring up images of the golden ages of ballroom and dancing in the grand dance halls of the 1920s and 30s. Standard is considered the most elegant style.

Slow Waltz

Tango

Viennese Waltz

Slow Foxtrot

Quickstep

American Rhythm

American Rhythm is comprised of five dances: Cha Cha, American Rumba, Swing, Bolero, and Mambo. It is often difficult to differentiate between American Rhythm and International Latin. This difficulty originates, in part, in its inherent difference in technique. While Latin stresses the importance of straightening the knee as soon as possible, long before weight is place on the foot, Rhythm utilizes the “pressed walk” technique, meaning weight is placed on the ball of the foot with a bent knee, the knee straightening only as the heel comes in contact with the ground.

If you like to dance club styles like Salsa and Bachata, knowing Mambo and American Rumba can be very useful. Rhythm is considered the most playful style.

Rumba

East Coast Swing

Bolero

Mambo

American Smooth

American smooth is comprised of four dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz. The greatest difference between American Smooth and International Standard is the couple’s freedom to break frame and open up into big sweeping lines. Smooth combines aspects of Standard, Latin, and Ballet. When people watch Dancing with the Stars or old Fred Astaire movies, they are watching Smooth, not Standard.

Smooth danced at a high level makes beautiful use of counter-balance, ballet lines, and dynamic movement. It is an excellent choice for solo performances, as the ability to break frame and separate gives a couple more opportunity to fully express the subtleties of a particular piece of music. Smooth is considered the most theatrical style.

Waltz

Foxtrot

Bolero

Mambo