These ballroom dances are elegant, beautiful, and dramatic, each with its characteristic style. These dances move around the dance floor in a counter-clockwise fashion.

There are two main styles of ballroom dancing — American and International. American style is danced primarily in the USA. It’s also not as standardized as International style, which is danced and known worldwide. Here in the USA, American style is practiced more for social dancing while International style is primarily seen in competitions. People will dance either American or International style socially, and competitions may include both styles.

Here’s a description of the various Ballroom dances taught at Dance Bethesda.

FOXTROT – The Foxtrot provides a good foundation for all dances and is often called the “get-acquainted” dance.The Foxtrot is traditionally regarded as a versatile classic dance for every level of dance skill. It’s great for beginners and can be danced in crowded ballrooms, as well as at parties, hotel dance floors, and weddings.

The International Foxtrot emphasizes upbeat, flowing motions and a close partner connection, maintained throughout the patterns while traveling around the dance floor. American Smooth Foxtrot also embraces smooth graceful motions, but it’s more carefree and permissive in open movements, where partners turn away or temporarily disconnect from each other – as seen in classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies from the 1930s and 1940s.

WALTZ – One of the world’s most loved and well-known ballroom dances, if you’re going to learn one ballroom dance, this is the one. Drawing upon a range of sweeping patterns, this elegant dance offers something special for dancers at all levels of skill. Waltz develops balance and control and basic Waltz steps are the foundation patterns used in most ballroom dances. Correct posture, rise and fall, and flowing movements should be stressed to achieve good styling.  With its unmistakable 3/4 timing and an automatic association with romance and adventure, this dance has been a favorite for several centuries.

TANGO – Tango is characterized by earthy and dramatic movements. In order to achieve the distinctive style of Tango, it is important to develop controlled staccato footwork along with fluid graceful movements. The unique rhythm of the music is great training for timing and phrasing.

QUICKSTEP  – Upbeat, exuberant, and highly dynamic, the Quickstep is an excellent style for dancers of intermediate skill level or for those who have already mastered basic slower-tempo smooth dances, such as the Foxtrot. The Quickstep is brisk and exciting as it was developed to ragtime music. This dance is characterized by fast movement punctuated by hops, skips, runs and Charleston-like foot leg styling.  Quickstep is a challenging but highly rewarding style.

VIENNESE WALTZ  – This is the original form of the Waltz developed during the time of the famous composer Strauss. It is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning either toward their right or toward their left. Many people love this dance for its unparalleled grace and lovely music.


Check out our class schedule for our Ballroom dance offerings this month.