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American Style???
Posted by BelgianBoy
1/26/2005  1:22:00 PM
I am a ballroomdancer for over 25 years. In my opinion there was only one single style with Alex Moore and Walter Laird as the writers of the respective 'dance-bibles'. Shortly I discovered this site and I was surprised to learn about 'American Style' ballroomdancing. Also, the (excelently executed)video-clips looked very surprising to me.
Can anyone please tell me more about the 'American Style'?
PS If someone has questions about dancing in Western Europe do not hesitate to ask. But do not laugh at my text-mistakes, knowing that English is for me a strange language.
Re: American Style???
Posted by Laura
1/26/2005  1:33:00 PM
The easiest way to describe it would be to think of Classic Showdance style, when people who usually dance Standard break apart and do other things. That's sort of like American Style, except American Style goes so much further than that, incorporating elements of jazz, ballet, and the kind of dancing you'd see in old Fred Astaire & Ginger Rodgers musicals.
Re: American Style???
Posted by jerryblu
1/26/2005  4:40:00 PM
I began dancing 6 years ago in a small town in upstate New York. The teacher was excellent, but I knew nothing about American vs International style, and my wife and I learned American.

Now we dance at a large ballroom near Philadelphia and many of the dancers dance International style; one couple has competed at Blackpool. I find myself wishing I could do some of the things the International dancers do, and perhaps I'll learn to do so, but I'm enjoying myself doing American style.

Some dances are very different in the two styles, I think: tango and FoxTrot. Others are very much the same: American Bolero and Intl Rhumba? And there is only one Quickstep.

Jerry
Re: American Style???
Posted by Anonymous
1/26/2005  10:04:00 PM
You can do the things the international dancers do, as American Style ultimately adopts all of the international style's possibilites once it moves past strict step lists. Virtually everyone cross trains with international coaches.
Re: American Style???
Posted by Don
1/28/2005  3:30:00 AM
Belgium Boy. I have a question . Are the dance clubs owned by the Amatuers or are are they owned by professionals in your country. I believe in Germany to be a competitor you must belong to a club. An ordinary dance studio can not teach a competitor. There is a hands off agreement between the two. In Ausralia the studios are owned by the professionals who also run the competitions. With this system I can never see the Government supplying a building or going out of their way to help as is done in some countries. The only help is the same , since dancing became a sport, as any other type of sport. soccer netball and so forth. Our teachers very rarly own their own premises. They hire school halls or other types of buildings, most do not have a lease and can be tipped out at a moments notice, which has happend on many occasions. Anyway I would be intested to know what system you have in Belgium. Best wishes Don.
Re: American Style???
Posted by kato
10/2/2005  9:26:00 PM
Yah, American style fits best in social dancing.
I teach American style ballroom. I take international lessons from time to time, just to improve my posture and techniques.
I dance American patterns with international posture and techniques. It really make me stand-out on the floor.

Re: American Style???
Posted by Melissa
12/28/2005  11:57:00 AM
Jerry,

You are right. Some dances are both Internation and American style. This is how they are listed:

American Smooth:
Waltz
Fox Trot
Tango
Vienneze Waltz

International Standard:
Waltz
Fox Trot
Tango
Viewnneze Waltz
Quickstep

International Latin:
Cha Cha
Samba
Rhumba
Pasa Doble
Jive

American Rythym:
Cha Cha
Mambo
Swing
Bolero

International Standard keeps couples in closed position at all times. Whereas American Smooth...Couples can seperate and dance side by side, underarm turns, and grapevines. I thought this might help people, other than Jerry, tell the difference.
Re: American Style???
Posted by jerryblu
12/28/2005  3:32:00 PM
I dont understand what is meant by "social dancing". I dance American style foxtrot. By that I mean that my partner and I often separate, sometimes to do grapevines, or some of the fancy sequences like the "Cuddly Lunge Thing" that Johnathan did here.

If social dancing means doing SSqq steps and shuffling slowly around the floor, careful not to step on each other's feet being the prime consideration, then we need to create yet a third category. Intl, American, and Social (or shuffling?)? I think it takes us a little longer to navigate our ballroom in FT than in QS, but not a lot longer; we are MOVING!

We view Int'l FT with admiration and some degree of uncertainty because we dont know how to do all those pauses that seem to dramatize the dance so beautifully.
Jerry
Re: American Style???
Posted by Ellen
12/28/2005  3:46:00 PM
Jerry, I think most people make a distinction between social dancing (dancing purely for recreation, pleasure, etc.) and competitive dancing. The distinction is not necessarily one of quality of dancing, though there may be differences in emphasis. In my experience, competitors are usually more precise about things like frame and footwork, whereas experienced social dancers are often better at lead and follow.

When people are taught for purely social purposes, in the US they are virtually always taught American style steps (to begin with anyway). Competitors can compete in either style. And of course, some of us compete and also do social dancing (just can't get enough!).
Re: American Style???
Posted by anon
12/28/2005  4:57:00 PM
There is also rumba in american rhythm, it wasn't included in your list.

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