The Different Styles of Partner Dances

Dancing has been around since the beginning of time. From tribal dances to ballet, every culture has its different take on this artistic pastime. While dancing is the perfect way to express individual creativity, it’s also wonderful when performed with a partner. Plus, with so many different steps and styles to choose from, you can find a partner dance that works best for you. If you are thinking about taking dance lessons in Erie, PA, take a look at these different types of dances and their origins.


Salsa is a lively dance that includes rhythmic music, colorful costumes, and plenty of hip-swinging. The origins of this choreography come from Africa, Spain, Cuba and Puerto Rico. The music most often used in Salsa resembles African Drum rhythms coupled with Spanish guitar music. The fancy footwork is a combination of both Cuban and Puerto Rican traditional dances. This is because Salsa was born in the 1970s when immigrants from Cuba and Puerto Rico came together to form this hot and spicy choreography.


You may think that this sultry dance originated from Spain. In fact, the Tango is an Argentine dance. In the beginning, the dance was filled with ballet-like choreography and performed by two men. It quickly evolved into an obscene dance performed at brothels and low cafes by men and women. It later became part of the normal Argentine culture, though the choreography and movements began to mellow. Over the years, the Tango has become much more elegant and stylish. Those who perform this smooth, poised, and sensual dance are usually dressed to the 9s. Tuxedoes, tails, and evening gowns are now the norm for this classic dance that has since taken the ballroom world by storm.

Swing Dancing

Born in the United States during the 1920s and ’30s, swing dancing is a broad term that covers a variety of different dances that match choreography to the lively tune of jazz music. It includes the Charleston and the foxtrot. The jive and jitterbug are also popular! No matter which combination of steps is performed, swing dancing involves lots of turns, lifts, and dips.


The Cha-Cha was originally known as the Cha-Cha-Cha. It became popular in 1954 thanks to a dance teacher named Pierre Margiole. After visiting Cuba, he realized that he could create a separate dance with the extra beats in Rumba music. The choreography he crafted consists of three quick-steps followed by two slower steps. Each step is taken on the beat of the music and combined with strong hip movement to create a dance that is both lively and fun.

The Waltz

Given its name from the German word, “walzen,” which means to roll or turn, the waltz is a ballroom dance that requires both partners to move and glide in a lively manner. Born in Austria, the waltz was danced by peasants centuries ago. It later became popular in the ballrooms of the royals during the 17th Century. In the beginning, it was criticized due to the close holding and rapid movements. In fact, many religious leaders considered it sinful. As it gained popularity though, those who were vehemently against the dance slowly began to change their stance. The waltz is still one of the most famous ballroom dances performed today.

Whether you love the Latin flare of the Cha-Cha or enjoy the elegant turns of the waltz, there are plenty of different styles to choose from. If you can’t decide which dance lessons in Erie, PA, are right for you, don’t be afraid to try a few different classes. You’re sure to find the right style for you!

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