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20th Century Dance
Two Step
First appeared in the UK as an import from the USA at the turn of the 20th Century. The standard Two-Steps are: Premier Two Step, Liberty Two Step, Boston Two Step, Military Two Step, Rialto Two Step, Waverley Two Step. Any of the above, or a soundly constructed Two Step is acceptable at any level.
 
Tango
First appeared in the West in 1912 causing a social outcry in both Europe and the USA. Condemned by the Church as immoral, it was simplified in the USA and popularised by Vernon and Irene Castle, eventually becoming a ballroom dance in the "American style". The Tango inspired the fashionable "Tango Tea Dances" and eventually the hugely successfull Hollywood film, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starring Rudolf Valentino.
 
Charleston
During the years of what has become known as the Jazz Age, Charleston fever swept the world. Extremely energetic, it was yet another dance craze that caused social outcry. Following on the heels of the Bunny Hug, Turkey Trot and other "Farmyard" dances, it was perceived as being raucous and wild but, as with most social dances, it eventually became chic and acceptable
 
Slow Waltz
By the early 1920s Waltz music was still popular but the tempo was gradually slowing for dancing. During this period, the Ballroom Dancing profession begand to standardise the steps for social dancing and for competitions - which included the Waltz. this resulted in the Waltz emerging in two different forms - what has become known as the Viennese Waltz and the Modern (or Diagonal) Slow Waltz.
 
Foxtrot
The Foxtrot and Quick-Time Foxtrot are reputed to have been invented by the American Vaudeville performer, Harry Fox, and made famous in the US by Vernon and Irene Castle just before the First World War. The dance did not come into vogue in the Uk until the early 1930s and the extremely flowing, progressive nature of the dance invariably meant that a social version of the dance would evolve for crowded ballrooms (The Quick-Time Foxtrot eventuallt became the Quickstep)
 
Jive
Generally believed to have been introduced to the UK by Canadian soldiers and American GI's in the early 1940a, Jive is the generic name for the wild energetic family of dances danced to the various forms of swing music. Sometimes known as Swing, Lindy Hop, Boogie Woogie, West Coast Swing and even Rock 'n' Roll, the basis for all these dances is virtually the same, although they can be stylistically very different.
 
Mambo
Originally an Afro-Cuban music and dance form, distinct from the couple dance Mambo which was developed in the USA. During its heyday of the 1950s, the Palladium Dance Hall in New York had an all Mambo policy featuring the great Mambo bands of the day. Its popularity continues to this day and in some circles it is known as New York Style Salsa. The dance has been featured in many films, most notably Dirty Dancing and The Mambo Kings.
 
Cha Cha Cha
Developed by the Cuban Charangas in the early 1950s the Cha Cha Cha chronologically followed the Mambo in the USA and was played Mambo style by the big Latin bands of the day. It became very popular with the public due to its catchy rhythm which originally gave rise to the dance step from which the dance got its name. The Cha Cha Cha is one of the five championship dances in International Latin American competitions to date.
 
Hustle
The Disco Hustle was undoubtedly the single most popular couple social dance during the 1970s made famous by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. During this period there were several styles of Hustle, including Latin Hustle and Spanish Hustle, however it is the Disco Hustle that emerged as the most commerically popular.
 
Salsa
Undoubtedly the most popular couple social dance of the 1990s and the beginning of the 21st Century. Originally from Cuba, salsa now encompasses Colombian and other Afro-Caribbean forms. The dance has grown steadily in popularity and, at the time of writing, almost every major town and city in the UK boasts several Salsa clubs. Arts festivals, music festivals, TV programmes, stage shows and films all feature the dance, which is furthering the list of Latin American social dances popular all over the world.
 
Merengue
Merengue is a dance generally considered to be from the Dominican Republic, although some claimit has its origins in Haiti. It has been a standardised Latin dance in the American style cince the 1950s. Int eh early days of the Merengue's appearance in ballroom dancing it travelled progressively around the line of dance. This has now become unfashionable and the club dance today is a spot dance with a more earthy and sensual approach using close, intricate rotational movements.