American Style Smooth Dances:
You will also hear these dances called the ‘Smooth’ dances. These dances move around the dance floor in a counter-clockwise fashion. These ballroom dances are elegant, beautiful, and dramatic, each with its characteristic style. Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango (American Style), Viennese Waltz, Quickstep.
Waltz is characterized by rise and fall and by sway on the side steps. The feet remain in contact with the floor at all times, creating a smooth, gliding look. Waltz is a progressive dance down the line of dance (counter-clockwise) and the Waltz frame is the typical Smooth frame essential for balance and control. Waltz has an elegant gracefulness with a romantic and sometimes sad, feel.
Foxtrot has smooth gliding steps with a heel lead, controlled movement and an easygoing look. It has less rise and fall than the Waltz as the emphasis is on progression. The foxtrot is an all-purpose dance that can be performed to many different styles of music.
American Style Tango
Tango is characterized by a close hold, a low center of gravity and an emphasis on Contra Body movement. Movement is stealthy, almost cat-like and has an unmistakable staccato feel and major dramatic attitude. The Leader’s right arm is further around and lower on the Follower’s back than in the other Smooth dances. The Leader’s left arm is bent at 90 degree angle with left hand held closed in toward the Leader’s body and face. The follower’s left hand is placed behind and below the Leader’s upper right arm.
Viennese Waltz is characterized by its speed (twice as fast as Waltz) as well as a rise and fall and sway (less than Waltz). With its elegance and turns, Viennese Waltz has an air of magic about it.
The Quickstep is a fast, light, and elegant dance, in which the partners seem to fly around the ballroom and execute a series of kicks, skips, jumps, and runs. This is a dance for people with high energy and who like to have a lot of fun. It has a kid-like quality.