Club Style Dances

American Style Smooth Dances | American Style Latin Dances | Club Style Dances

Club Style Dances

These are dances that have their origins in night clubs and dance halls, as opposed to on the competition ballroom floor. The club Style dances often have a full community of dancers who dance only this dance. Each of these club dances has its own evolving culture, legendary dancers, and legendary musicians, as well as new and evolving styles and cultures. Salsa, Hustle, Night Club Two Step, Merengue, West Coast Swing.


Salsa music is Afro-Caribbean in its beginnings, though it has been adapted by Latin jazz musicians to meet the tastes of the current popular music, with contemporary pop, rock, and R&B also added to the mix. Salsa dancing features break steps, spins, showy performance moves and drops, and solo moves called “Shines,” a term borrowed from the world of tap dancing. Salsa music features a complex clave driven rhythm with exuberant horns and percussion sections (with cow bells and timbales) as well as a powerful vocalist.


Hustle is danced to the contemporary pop dance music of the last 20 years. It is a fast, smooth dance, with the lady spinning almost constantly, while her partner draws her close and sends her away. It is a non-progressive dance and mostly danced in a slot or rotational slot. It is one of the few dances that do not phrase evenly with the music: each basic occupies 3 beats of music, though the music is in 4/4 time.

Nightclub Two Step

Nightclub Two Step is an easy dance that almost anyone can learn. Its key characteristic is a rock step (5th position break) followed by a side step with a slight sway. The frame is relaxed somewhere between a Latin and Ballroom frame – similar to a Bolero frame with a little more distance between the partners.


Merengue is a fun, fast and easy dance made up of simple steps. It is mainly a non-progressive dance but can also travel counter-clockwise around the floor. This dance encourages creativity as its fun and easy to create arms movements to go with the simple steps. Merengue is characterized by its marching rhythms and Cuban motion – strong side to side motion and ‘dragged leg’ with emphasis on counts 1 and 5. The Merengue frame is the same as the Rhythm frame.

West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing is smooth (no bounce) and danced in a slot. The dance allows room for syncopated footwork and improvisation. Followers have more freedom than any other dance, performing their syncopations at will. West Coast Swing can be danced to a wide range of music including Rhythm and Blues, Country Western, Funk, Disco, Rock and Pop.