The Waltz is a smooth progressive dance that is characterized by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and rise and fall. Graceful and elegant, Waltz dancers glide around the floor almost effortlessly. The American style is punctuated with lavish open movements, underarm turns, and solo spins. At 28-30 measures per minute, the tempo is slow at best, but the expressive quality of the music often invites very powerful and dynamic movement from dancers.
Foxtrot is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. The American style version of the Foxtrot takes many forms: The Bronze level Foxtrot, truest to the original Harry Fox version, is a simple combination of walks and chasses ideal for social dancing. Silver American Foxtrot adds continuity, taking on the quality of its International counterpart. The Foxtrot includes open, apart, and side by side movements.
Tango is earthy and dramatic. Although walking movements dominate, Tango walks, having a "stalking" or "sneaking" character, are unlike the walks of other ballroom dances. Movements are sometimes slow and slithery, and other times sharp and stacatto, such as a quick foot flick or a sharp head snap to promenade position. Tango has the same counter clockwise flow of movement around the dance floor, but with a lesser sense of urgency in comparison to the smoother and more continuous ballroom dances. American Style Tango, especially at highly-developed skill levels, makes great use of open and alternate dance positions to further showcase Tango's dramatic nature.
Viennese Waltz is a fast-moving, challenging, and exciting dance. Like the polka, this dance requires stamina. Viennese waltz contains very few patterns. The basic International style Viennese waltz contains a natural turn (a turn to the right), a reverse turn (a turn to the left), and two "change steps" - one to link between the reverse turn and the natural turn, the other to link between the natural turn and the reverse turn.
The Quickstep is a popular ballroom dance that originated in the Charleston and the foxtrot crazes of the 1920s. Faster than the foxtrot, it’s a relatively easy dance to learn but challenging to master, particularly as you progress through the fundamentals. It requires a lot of energy and the ability to dance lightly and gracefully on your feet; the best quickstep dancers often appear as if their feet barely touch the ground.