First waltzes were danced in the location of today's Germany and Austria, back in 13th century. The style was immediately picked up by other nations, who each created it's own form and style of the dance. The form we know today was born in the suburbs of Vienna and Austria's mountain regions.
Tango originated in the 1880s along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. The tango is the result of a combination of Rioplatense Candombe celebrations, Spanish-Cuban Habanera, and Argentinean Milonga. Many variations of this dance currently exist around the world.
The Foxtrot is an early 20th Century American dance that has its origins in the one-step, the two-step, and syncopated ragtime dances. It was popularized in the USA by dancers Vernon and Irene Castle in 1914, and it is believed to be named after Harry Fox, who was an entertainer.
The Viennese Waltz originates from the German dance, Volta, and the Landler in Austria enjoyed by high society in the 1500’s. The dance reached and spread to England sometime before 1812. It was introduced as the German waltz and became a huge hit. It gained ground through the Congress of Vienna at the beginning of the 19th century and by the famous compositions of Josef Lanner, Johann Strauss, and Johann Strauss II.
Some say that Quickstep was developed in the 1920s in New York City and was first danced by Black Americans. Its origins are in combination of slow foxtrot combined with the Charleston, a dance which was one of the precursors to what today is called swing dancing. Others say it was developed in 1920s England. There was a debate as to why this dance became so popular in Britain. It has been thought that the Quickstep was Brit's answer to keeping warm indoors during the winter.
Cha Cha originated in Cuba and evolved from a slow version of Mambo called “Triple Mambo” or Mambo with guiro rhythm. Enrique Jorrin, a Cuban Violinist created the first cha cha song in 1948. He named it after the shuffling sound the dancers shoes made when they dance to this type of music.
The history of Samba takes us back to Brazil, though the origins are deeply rooted in African culture; Samba music is closely intertwined with Brazil's colonial history. West African slaves to Bahia in Brazil. Samba was popularized in western Europe and the United States in the early 1940s.
The Rumba originated among the African slaves in Cuba in the sixteenth century. It began as a fast and sensual dance with exaggerated hip movements. The dance was said to be representing the male pursuit of a woman and the music played with a staccato beat to keep time with the expressive movements of the dancers.
The Paso Doble’s history is vague. Most sources agree that the Paso Doble began in the 1800’s with the music played as bullfighters entered the ring. In Spain, the dance is also known by the name” El Soleo, “ and it was played as the Torero’s arrived in the bullring. By the 1900’s it was danced as a partnership folk dance in southern France by the border to Spain.
The Jive originated in the United States from African-Americans in the early 1930's. It was originally presented to the public in 1934 by Cab Calloway, an American jazz singer. It is a lively and uninhibited variation of the Jitterbug, a form of Swing dance.
Swing dancing originated in Harlem during the 1920s. The dance developed alongside the jazz music of the day. In Swing music, the musicians play (or sing) some of the notes late, and then catch up in the next beat or two. They referred to this as “swinging the beat” and hence the name was born.
Bolero is a genre of song which originated in eastern Cuba in the late 19th century as part of the trova tradition. Unrelated to the older Spanish dance of the same name, bolero is characterized by sophisticated lyrics dealing with love. Originally, boleros were sung by individual trovadores while playing guitar.
Originating from Cuba in the 1930s, Mambo is enjoyed throughout the world at both the social and competitive dance levels. The mambo is a favorite of ballroom audiences because of its high energy level and infectious rhythms. The Mambo dance originated as a mixture of Afro-Caribbean and Latin American cultures.