Social Ballroom and Latin
If it's not a nightclub Latin dance, Argentine tango, or some form of swing, just about every other social partner dance falls under the general category "ballroom dance," including those inspired by Latin rhythms and movements. The most popular social ballroom dances are: Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba, Swing, and Cha-Cha. Other social ballroom dances include: Samba, Mambo, Hustle, Merengue Quickstep, Two-Step, Viennese Waltz, and Bolero. Most ballroom dance events play a variety of music, so it is useful to know a few steps in several dances. While it seems like a lot to learn at first, each dance shares principles with the others so that each new dance is easier to learn than the last. Many of these dances can also be done to contemporary popular music at regular social functions.
A Note on Gender Roles: Traditionally, ballroom and Latin dances are danced in male/female couples with roles assigned based on gender. Men lead and women follow. These roles require the acquisition of different skills, and the recent gains in liberating women and men from such rigid gender roles in American society at large has done little to loosen the shackles on the dance floor. While I would prefer that every dancer were required to learn both roles, such a fantasy is not at present practical. If you are male, you will be expected to lead on most occasions and ditto if you are female with regards to following. So I have to recommend that you spend more time learning the role that is assigned to your gender. But if you think you would enjoy learning the role not traditionally assigned to your gender, all the power to you. Just be aware that someone has to lead and someone has to follow (even if you take turns)-otherwise it's a different activity (perhaps wrestling?).
For ballroom dance resources on the web, see:
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