Art of the Ballroom Dance

     Does Ballroom Dancing remind you of an era when the world was simplistic and sincere?

     When people were cultured and courteous, naïve and polite? 

     Music was pleasant, well balanced and rhythmic.

     Movie enthusiasts may recall the 1994 film “True Lies” with Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Tia Carrere in their ballroom scene, creating memories with dance.

     Time doesn’t change, only people change.

     If you have been searching for a social relaxation that not only enhances your appreciation of music, but also increases your sense of balance, Ballroom Dancing could be for you.

     The word ballroom denotes a room where balls may be held.  Balls were important social events in the days before radio and television (as in ‘having a ball’).  The word ball derives from the Latin balare meaning “to dance.”

     Standard Ballroom dance have diverse origins: rhythms, tempos and aesthetics, but have one thing in common;  they are all danced by a couple in Closed Hold while maintaining five areas of contact between the partners while performing all the figures of the dances.

     As early as the 16th century, when men wore swords and women, long dresses, Ballroom Dancing was a popular form of entertainment.  As the years evolved, so did the forms of dance.  This evolution began spreading to Paris, Germany, Austria.  In 1754, the Germans created the Waltzen where women began to hold their dresses high and revolved.  Quite a scandal, at the time, but this form of dance became most popular among the waltzes.

     In another part of the world, the light spirited Flamenco dance, also known as the Tango, emigrated with settlers from Spain.  Thought to have received its beginnings from African Negro slaves, residents of slums in Buenos Aires and folk dances from Cuba, France’s music-hall stars, along with film popular Rudolph Valentino, created this otherwise, pauper’s dance into legend among the upper classes.

     The Foxtrot was introduced by the military as a demonstration of a horse in its impressive trot.  Combined with the Fox, an animal who has an uncanny ability to walk with its feet under its body, thus, forming a single set of footprints, two separate branches arrived; “The Slow Foxtrot” and the “QuickStep.”  Many of you may recognize the “Charleston,” one form of the “QuickStep” dance.

     The popularity of Ballroom Dancing seems to be making a comeback with the wide variety of dances available.  Local areas are becoming more involved with providing social dances for all ages and ability levels.  The physical, mental and social benefits, in addition to making new friends, it quickly attracts people nationally and worldwide.

     Recent articles have promoted Ballroom Dancing as a great body conditioner, especially for the heart, in addition to building physical stamina and reducing stress. Furthermore, dancing with a partner in harmony with good music further helps you develop a more open, understanding, responsive and supportive relationship with your partner and others.

     If you want to learn more about this different and exciting form of art, contact your local United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association (USABDA) that offer social events and free or low-cost lessons for beginners.  Many area colleges also offer programs on an introductory level.

     Art comes in many shapes and forms.  Ballroom Dancing can create memories of calm and beauty, stowed away in one’s mind, to be unlocked at just the right time.

Published by on November 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Centerstage Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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