In Ballroom Dancing, the word “Ball” is derived from the Latin word “ballare” which means “to dance” and is performed in a large room. Therefore Ballroom literally means to dance in a large room. It is a type of partner dancing which is widely enjoyed on stage, film and television. Ballroom is considered as the best expression of emotions such as love, pain and joy between two people.
In ancient times, this form of social dancing was more famous in upper class people. Ballroom dancing originated in late 18th century, where it was performed by the elite classes of England in social gatherings and parties. In early 20th century ballroom became trend among the middle and working class where it was organized in public dance halls. In 1924, the ballroom branch of the imperial society of teachers of dancing was formed with the aim of standardizing ballroom dancing techniques, steps and music.
Today, these dance forms are not just limited to social gatherings but performed in competitions also. Present day ballroom dancing includes five dance styles.
Different Ballroom styles:
- Slow foxtrot
- Viennese waltz
- Modern waltz
A typical ballroom dance is performed by only two people generally a man and a woman. This dance form is quit strict compared to other forms as it restricts the range of steps and body movements. One of the most important aspects of ballroom dancing is the positions in which the partners hold each other. These positions are known as closed holds or closed positions. In closed holds, the couples need to strictly remain in contact with each other at five areas or points. Three hand contacts, one elbow and one chest contact constitute the five points of closed hold.
Today, ballroom dancing has evolved into dancesport which is becoming very popular in different nations around the world. Many national and international level competitions are organized across the globe. The two main styles that have evolved in the recent time are International or World Dance Council defined style and the American style. The participants in the competition are judged by different characteristics like timing, foot and leg action, posture, poise, closed hold and presentation.
Ballroom dance is a beautiful form of art that leads to social interaction between the dance partners. It creates an environment for men and women to come together, develop friendship and have good time.