Did you know there are actually four different styles of dance that can be done with a partner and used out socially? Arthur Murray prides itself in teaching the most popular dance moves that can be done in any social situation.
Whenever there’s a new dance trend popping up you can be sure that your local Arthur Murray Studio instructors are already well versed and ready to teach people of all ages, ability and experience the new fad that’s come along.
Below is a list of dance styles along with examples of songs that can be done to each dance. Search the songs and see which rhythm moves you the most. You will be pleasantly surprised with some of the songs listed, and you probably have never imagined they could be used for these dances.
Arthur Murray Teaches many different styles of dance.
This style is more commonly known as formal or slow dance. Picture women in long gowns and men in tuxedos and bowties––this is that style of dance.
The basic components of the Fox Trot are walking steps and side steps. Crowded dance floors, like at weddings and nightclubs, have conditions that require short steps. In larger ballrooms, the slow Fox Trot is characterized by longer, smooth and gliding steps, with an ease of movement and control, giving this dance an unhurried appearance.
A Wink and a Smile – Harry Connick Jr.
All I Do Is Dream Of You – Michael Buble
This “mother of all dances” originated in Italy in the 1600s as a round dance called the Volte. It arrived in America in the early 1800s and was the first social dance in which a woman was actually held in a man’s arms. Learning to Waltz is elegant. The Waltz develops graceful movement and poise. Every wedding reception, social black-tie formal, and holiday party includes Waltz.
A Mano a Mano – Andrea Bocelli
A True True Love – Bobby Darin
Rudolph Valentino single-handedly danced this Latin import into nationwide popularity beginning in 1910. Although widely believed to have originated in Argentina, it actually may have come from Spain. It is dramatic, exciting and known as the Dancer’s Dance. The Tango, with all its staccato movements, greatly improves a man’s lead or a woman’s ability to follow (respond) and develops a strong sense of feeling for music.
Hernando’s Hideaway – Orquesta Tipica
La Cumparsita – Danny Malando
The Viennese Waltz is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning, either in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, interspersed with non-rotating change steps to switch between the direction of rotation. In a properly danced Viennese Waltz, couples do not pass, but turn continuously left and right while traveling counterclockwise around the floor following each other.
Piano Man – Billy Joel
If I Knew – Bruno Mars
The Quickstep is a light-hearted member of the standard ballroom dances. The movement of the dance is fast, powerfully flowing, and sprinkled with syncopations. The upbeat melodies that quickstep is danced to make it suitable for both formal and informal events.
Billy A Dick – Bette Midler
I Got Rhythm – Geoff Love
This is the style that seems to be drawing people into studios in droves. I think it may have something to do with the infectious music. The latin dance craze started when artists like Ricky Martin & Gloria Estefan released their crossover albums. Faster latin music is infectious and make you want to move your hips. The slower latin rhythms are romantic and full of sensuality.
Triple steps (Chasse) and rock steps are the basic components of the Cha Cha. Since the Cha Cha is derived from the Rumba and Mambo, Cuban Motion is an important aspect of this popular dance. Everybody can learn the Cha Cha.
Corazon Espinado – Santana
I Like It Like That – Tito Nieves
The Rumba is an increasingly popular, romantic Latin dance dating back some 400 years ago. It is better known as the Latin Get-Acquainted dance or the dance with the wiggle. The Rumba sometimes substitutes for those in-between tempos and features a subtle or relaxed (lateral) hip motion and Latin styling. Rumba hip movements are used in most of the popular Latin dances, as well as the freestyle of disco and nightclub dancing.
Smooth Operator – Sade
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps – Doris Day
The Bolero has some different characteristics from its Cuban relative, the Rumba. Its long sweeping side steps and use of rise and fall create a softness that makes this dance unique among the rhythm dances. The expanding and contracting dance position makes a very dramatic and romantic statement.
Solamente Una Vez – Los Panchos
Nosotros – Jose Feliciano
Danced to four beats using only three steps, Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce, denoting spicy or hot flavor. It can be danced to a variety of different rhythms. Generally, Salsa music encompasses many Afro-Latin rhythms driven by the clave (two wooden sticks struck together). Today’s Salsa is the result of many years of rhythmical evolution due to economical, social and political change. Salsa is the national dance of Puerto Rico.
Lloraras – Oscar de Leon
Me Libere – Gran Combo
The components of Mambo are rock steps and side steps, and foot styling includes points, kicks or flicks. The Latin hip movement in Mambo is an important aspect of the dance. The overall flavor of the dance is contained in the translation of the word Mambo which means “shake it” or “say it.”
Ran Kan Kan – The Mambo Kings
Mambo Beat – Cuban Carnaval
Walking steps and side steps (Chasse) are the basic components of Merengue. This dance is introduced as a marching dance, but can be developed into something very rhythmical. With lots of Cuban Motion and animated body movement, the Merengue gives a festive party appeal.
Tu Sonrisa – Elvis Crespo
La Bilirubina – Juan Luis Guerra
The Bachata has very simple footwork that moves in a side to side or forward and back motion. The romantic character of the Bachata is achieved via sensual body actions. Good use of the knees helps to produce the desired hip movement.
Obsession – Aventura
Eres Mia – Romeo Santos
Cumbia music is sometimes called the mother of all Latin music. It is said to have predated and influenced other types of Latin music including Salsa. Listening to Cumbia, we can hear elements of Salsa and Samba and in this sense Cumbia is a bridge between Salsa and Samba music.
Tabaco y Ron – Fernando Villalona
El Hijo De Tuta – Lisandro Mesa
This is the next dance craze that will rival any of it’s predecessors. It’s one of the most popular genres of dance, originating in Angola. Kizomba music is characterized by a slower and usually very romantic rhythm.
Lento – Daniel Santacruz
Break of Dawn – Nelson Freitas
This is danced using an embrace. The embrace position has the dancers’ chests closer together than their hips, and often has both the leader and the follower in complete contact, dancing cheek to cheek. However, the embrace is not rigid, but relaxed, so that all figures can be danced comfortably. The Argentine Tango is a dance full of emotion and is often dictated by the highlights in the music.
La Trampera – Luis Borda Trio
La Yumba – Osvaldo Pugliese
First known as the Lindy (in honor of Charles Lindberg and his historic hop across the Atlantic), this perennially popular dance emerged in the late 1920s. During the WWII years it re-emerged on the East Coast as the Jitterbug-jive and on the West Coast as Swing. This dance is a true American amalgam, combining steps from the Black Bottom, the Bop and Push, the Hustle and Boot Scoot, Shag, Charleston and Hop.
Jump, Jive, n’ Wail – Brian Setzer
Footloose – Kenny Loggins
Turns, spins and wraps are the primary components of Hustle. The more accomplished dancers will use syncopated timing and fakes along with elaborate arm styling.
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
I Like It Like That – Tito Nieves
A smooth and stylish dance style that developed out of the same origins as Swing. Walking steps and triple “anchor” steps are the core components of this dance. West Coast dancers are known for their relaxed attitudes, exceptional freestyle skills, and ability to dance to almost any style of music.
NO – Meghan Trainor
Worth It – Fifth Harmony
COUNTRY WESTERN STYLE
The country version of Foxtrot. Two Step is a fun dance that travels the floor and is danced to upbeat country music. You’ll see Two Step dancers at any country western bar or dance hall you may attend.
Mud On The Tires – Brad Paisley
Nobody to Blame – Chris Stapleton
Also known as Swing on the Run, Shuffle is composed of two traveling triples and two walk steps. This dance is performed in closed hold and travels the line of dance.
Yee Haw – Jake Owen
Hot Mama – Trace Adkins
Lots of country songs are Cha Chas, and Country Cha Cha takes ballroom Cha Cha and adds a country flair (including hat choreography!).
Drink On It – Blake Shelton,
Gone Country – Alan Jackson
An elegant progressive Waltz. This dance is composed of streaming forward steps danced in Waltz timing. The ballroom foot rise and fall is not used due to the couple wearing cowboy boots, but there is a beautiful rise through the legs and body.
Drink On It – Blake Shelton,
Gone Country – Alan Jackson