If you’ve ever watched happy couples glide across the floor in time with the music playing, you’ve probably wished you knew those same dance moves. Whether you’re attending a ball or out for an evening with friends, there are a number of popular, yet delightfully challenging, dances you can learn to let you hit the dance floor with confidence. Make sure you’re ready to join in the fun by checking out the dances we teach at Arthur Murray Whitefish Bay Dance Center and signing up for specialty dance lessons from our expert instructors.
It’s hard to go through life without hearing polka music or seeing the dance performed even once. That’s why it’s a great idea to have these steps in your back pocket – you never know when the time to do the polka will strike! With its origins tracing back to 1844 in Poland and the Czech Republic, this Bohemian partner dance exploded in popularity in Eastern Europe during the 1940s. It then was integrated into the culture of the United States following World War II, and soon became one of the most popular music and dance genres of its time.
The polka’s popularity is still going strong today, as it is danced regularly at weddings, parties and events. It starts with both partners facing each other with their knees relaxed. The right hand of the leader goes around the partner’s back, while the partner places his or her left hand on the leader’s shoulder. The free hands of both partners are then joined, followed by a hop and chasse – first to the left, then to the right. Spins are incorporated as the dancers become more skilled.
One of the most loved dances in the world, the Argentine Tango gained popularity in the mid-1840s and eventually became a sensation. Compared to the ballroom tango, the Argentine version is completely improvised and has no formal steps. Even without a standard sequence to follow, there are four types of Argentine Tango – salon, milonguero, neo and nuevo.
In a sense, you can leave your movements up to the beat of the music. However, learning those movements from a seasoned instructor helps ensure you’ll feel confident when the time comes to take to the floor. Plus, our group lessons are a great opportunity to try out your new moves before taking them public.
Similar to the swing waltz and Cross-Step Foxtrot, the Nightclub Two-Step is arguably the most versatile routine when it comes to the specialty dances we teach. It is danced with a partner to 4/4-time music and utilizes smooth, slow step patterns. Essentially, it’s the slow version of the polka without the hopping and is performed at the perfect tempo for romantic ballads and other slower songs. And although it can be performed to many pop songs, it is one of the most common style choices for newlyweds at their weddings.
You’ve definitely seen this dance before, whether you attended a wedding or school dance or saw it in a movie. The slow dance is exactly what its name implies. Even slower than the Nightclub Two-Step, it is a dance for a couple that utilizes the traditional partner stance explained above in the Polka. It involves a simple swaying motion with corresponding foot movements, going from side to side at a slow tempo. It’s the go-to choice for couples when the first romantic ballad is played at a party. And because it’s simple to learn, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to start dancing as soon as possible.
Learn the Steps with Us
Whether you’re preparing for a special occasion, want to be more active or simply desire to become a better dancer, we’ll gladly show you the ropes at Arthur Murray Whitefish Bay Dance Center in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. We welcome dancers of all ages and experience levels to explore our specialty dance lessons and other group classes. For more information or to sign up for a class, contact us today or learn more about our new student offer.