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International VS American
Posted by pangaeanshift
6/9/2005  8:52:00 PM
Hi, I've just recently gotten into ballroom dance a few years ago and have been looking at different competitions around where I live. I just have a quick question, could someone explain to me what the main difference between International Style and American style is?

Thank you very much,

Corey
Re: International VS American
Posted by JANET
6/11/2005  2:38:00 PM
I have danced both internationl and American, now just international.. (smooth/standard)

A few of the differenes that I see, is that in American, you do much more side by side work, and will break your dance frame, while in international, you always maintain dance frame and contact. ( I am sure I will be corrected on this)

Also in American there appears to be much more flexability as to the dance steps you can do at each level... In International they are much more defined , that is prior to the novice level.

Also, I have found that dancing internationl, has resulted in our American technique to improve greatly... The two techniques are quite transferable.

Another interesting point... We live in New England, and at an amatuar level there is very little competition in American, while a great deal in Internationl. Recently, we did a competition in Louisana, and the deck captian mentioned to me that it was a treat to watch international dance, as most people in this area only dance American.....We found his comment interesting.
Re: International VS American
Posted by Anonymous
6/12/2005  1:20:00 AM
One thing to think about: In new england, the majority of the ballroom dancing done is imported - either the dancers are from overseas, or their teachers are, or at furthest the dancer's parents or the teachers' teachers. Further into the country with less overseas influence homegrown American style could easily dominate - wheras in the globally connected areas what american style that is done is often a re-application of international training to an alterntive market.
no subject
Posted by blouaoua
6/27/2007  7:33:00 AM
can't understand a word u talk like a politician :)))))))
no subject
Posted by anymouse
6/27/2007  7:59:00 AM
"can't understand a word u talk like a politician :)))))))"

Let's try again.

The coastal regions of the states have some strong international style, often overshadowing the american style that is also danced there. But generally one of two things is true:

Either the international style dancers are themselves first or second generation immigrants.

Or the knowledge guiding the dancing has been recently imported - by an immigrant teacher, or by a teacher who studied overseas.

In the center of the country this is rarer, and American style taught by domesticaly trained teachers dominates.
Re: no subject
Posted by Anonymous
6/16/2011  2:18:00 AM
In the centre of the country this is rarer and the American Style taught by domesticaly trained teachers dominates.
The above is true and there lays the problem. Whichever style is predominant in your area is the one for you. By this I mean places to dance in that style.
I think it is worth mentioning
that four times undefeated American Smooth Champion Toni Redpath and her partner were top competitors in the International style in both Latin and the Standard Style before venturing into the American Smooth Style
Re: International vs. American
Posted by dheun
6/16/2011  7:58:00 AM
You can see a good example of what anymouse refers to here when watching America's Ballroom Challenge out of Columbus, Ohio. The names and countries of origin of the competitors, as well as their current home bases, shows where the international influence is. Plus, during the actual dances of all styles, the commentators will point out the differences between styles. The original poster should check out her PBS listings or the ballroom challenge website and watch as much as possible.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by dave
4/8/2012  6:38:00 AM
The advantage of learning international style is that it is easy to switch to American style later, but the reverse is not so.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by waynelee
4/8/2012  8:16:00 AM
The comments here are about the "smooth" versus "standard" dances. For the fast dances, there are definite differences between American Rhythm and International Latin. Latin rumba starts on the two beat, American on the one beat. I may not describe this right: there is minimal hip action in Latin, while American emphasizes hip action through bent leg movement. Multiple dance championships in Latin include rumba, chacha, samba, paso doble and jive, while American is chacha, rumba, east coast swing, bolero and mambo.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by OZ.
4/8/2012  3:59:00 PM
If you had been trained in the International Style of Ballroom Dancing you could arrive in Japan , not being able to speak one word of that language, go to a studio teaching in that style. You would know exactly what they were teaching and they would know what you were about. whether it be Modern or Latin. This actualy happenede to me last week. I was sitting with some Chinese people at a Social dance. I had noticed that sitting some distance away was a young lady who I had seen was an acomplished dancer and obviously was trained in the International Style. She couldn`t speak one word of English and I no Chinese. After a couple of dances I went back to the group I was sitting with. One of them said I didn`t know you spoke Mandarine. He thought I was talking the young lady into what steps I was doing. This could be with anyone in or from Europe or Asia or anywhere else in the world. The same cannot be said about American Smooth or Australian New Vogue.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by Billy
12/14/2012  12:21:00 PM
Similar situation in South Africa. I estimate about 5% American smooth ballroom and Rhythm Latin versus 95% International standard Ballroom and Latin. Furthermore, most American orientated studios are Pro-Am (solo), which means that you make use of the instructor to dance and compete with - and that is very expensive. Nearly all the International based studios concentrate on amateur partners. Consequently it is much easier to find a dance partner in the International standards when you're at a social ballroom event, and for every American competition you'll find at least 10 International competitions available to you (and your partner). However, I have yet to see a nice non-boring ballroom dance show where the American influence is not visible. Just check out the shows of the various world champions. I agree with the previous correspondant that it is easier to switch from International to American - International teaches the basics (posture, poise, technique, etc) much better. If you start with American, you'll probably pick up some disturbing bad habits w.r.t. your basics, and it may take longer before you look good on the dance floor.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by anonymous
12/15/2012  10:38:00 PM
waynelee: "Latin rumba starts on the two beat, American on the one beat."

AFAIK, int'l Rumba starts on the four beat.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by anymouse
12/17/2012  1:11:00 PM
"AFAIK, int'l Rumba starts on the four beat."

When something is cyclic, where the cycle "starts" is not really very relevant. What continues to matter is the relationship of steps to music.

For an international rumba, the forward or backward step (in situations where there is only one) is on the 2nd beat.

Contrastingly, in American style the forward or backward step would be on the 1st or 3rd beat (there are two traditions). Additionally, the pattern of steps would often be different from in international style, the tempo would likely be a litte faster, and the character of the music would ideally have a different flavor.

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