7 Interesting Facts about Ballroom Dancing
We all know that ballroom dancing is fun and keeps you fit, but here are some more interesting things about ballroom dancing that you don’t know:
The name “ballroom dancing” comes from the Latin word ballare, meaning “to dance”. In roman times special large rooms were used particularly for this type of dancing, and ballare was considered to be the domain of the upper classes only. The lower classes mostly did folk dances – although ballroom dancing is considered to be just a superior type of folk dance. Later the ballare gave rise to our historical dances, such as the Minuet and the Polka.
Specific rules for ballroom dancing was formulated for the first time in the late seventeenth century when Louis XIV founded the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse. Five definitive dance positions for the feet were specified. These five positions still form the basis of ballet today.
Modern ballroom dance as we know it today started forming early in the last century. Dance movements changed to couples moving in synchronicity to individuals doing more independent moves, but with a partner. This meant that a dance could require different steps for the two individuals performing the dance. During this time there was also a large shift in music and new musical genres were invented, which gave rise to a whole range of new dances.
Around the 1930’s new dance crazes were starting to become formalised into recognised dances which were then taught to the greater dancing public. There were a number of individuals who analysed these dances and arranged them into steps, and then set out guidelines about how they should be danced. Arthur Murray was a highly influential character in this setting, as he managed to simplify the teaching of dance steps by publishing the footsteps guides that we still use today.
Ballroom dancing is now recognised by the International Olympic Committee as an Olympic sport. It however unlikely that ballroom dancing will be part of the Olympic Games as there are current efforts afoot to reduce the number of sports qualifying for the games.
Each country regulates ballroom dancing competitions in their own way and there are many different dance methodologies which apply to the various countries, such as the New Vogue danced in Australia, Soviet Ballroom Dances in the USSR and numerous others.
The Blackpool Dance Festival held in Blackpool, England, is widely recognised to be the most esteemed dance event any ballroom dance contestant can attend.
For more interesting facts about ballroom dancing, contact your local Arthur Murray Studio and book your complimentary session today.