Words of the dance

East Coast swing: Also called American or triple-step swing due to the rhythm of the basic triple step, this dance consists of six- and eight-count patterns. East Coast swing, derived from Lindy Hop and jitterbug, is the base for all swing dances.

Foxtrot: A smooth dance noted for being the first dance to incorporate into the rhythm a combination of slows and quicks.

Merengue: An energetic Latin-style march. Originated in the Dominican Republic.


Rumba: A Latin dance characterized by Cuban motion done to romantic Latin songs and music. A slow, sensuous, romantic dance.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Salsa: A hot Latin dance. When performed correctly, it displays a lot of shaking, shimmying, and hip action.

Samba: This is the official dance of Brazil. Characterized by “bounce” action, it is danced to fast music in 2/4 time.

Tango: Originated in Argentina. A progressive dance that moves along the line of dance, it is characterized by staccato movements of the feet and flexed knees, and stylized poses that highlight its dramatic style.

Viennese waltz: A fast ballroom dance in 3/4 or 6/8
meter, often associated with the music of Johann Strauss.


Waltz: The best known of all the ballroom dances, waltz is a progressive dance using rise and fall and danced to 3/4-time music. Slow waltz evolved from the fast-paced Viennese waltz.

West Coast swing: A slotted swing dance in 4/4 time, characterized by its smooth and linear style.

SOURCE: USA Dance Inc.