Whether you’re looking to take dance lessons for fun, or you’re interested in competing in ballroom dancing competitions, it’s important to learn about the three main styles of ballroom dancing. Each style has its own unique characteristics and steps, so knowing which style of social dancing you want to focus on is essential. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at each of the three main styles of ballroom dancing:

  • American Smooth
  • International Standard
  • Latin American (Also known as Non Traditional)

We’ll discuss the differences between these styles, and provide tips on how to get started learning them. So read on to learn more about the three main styles of ballroom dancing!

What is Ballroom Dancing?

Ballroom dancing is a popular type of social dance that originated in the late 19th century. It is characterized by formal, structured movements and is danced to traditional ballroom music. Today, ballroom dancing is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities around the world. While it has evolved over the years, the basic steps and principles remain the same. Ballroom dancing can be a great way to get exercise, socialize, and even compete. Whether you are new to dance or have been dancing for years, there is a place for you in the world of ballroom dancing.

Whether you’re looking to Foxtrot, Waltz, or Cha-Cha your way across the dance floor, there’s a style of ballroom dancing that’s perfect for you.

Main Ballroom Dance Styles


Though many different types of ballroom dances exist and are enjoyed around the world, they all share some basic features. Whether the history arises from England, the United States, or from within Latin America most ballroom dances are performed in closed position, meaning that dancers stand chest-to-chest with their partner, embracing with one or both arms. However, their unique differences provide an individual experience to each other so let’s dive deeper into what makes each style it’s own.

American Smooth

American Smooth Ballroom Dance is a style of ballroom dancing that developed in the United States. It is characterized by its smooth, flowing movements and is often danced to traditional American music such as jazz and swing. American Smooth is one of the most popular styles of ballroom dancing and is frequently seen in competitions and on television. While it shares some similarities with other styles of ballroom dancing, American Smooth has its own distinct flavor that sets it apart from the rest.

This style emphasizes smooth, flowing movements and is danced to music with a 4/4 time signature. Some of the most popular American style dances include the

International Standard

Dance is a global language that has been used for centuries to communicate emotion, express culture, and tell stories. International Standard Ballroom Dance is a specific style of dance that originated in the early 20th century. It is characterized by its smooth, elegant movements and precise footwork. While it was originally created as a competitive ballroom dance, it has since evolved into a popular social dance. Today, International Standard Ballroom Dance is danced all over the world, and it continues to grow in popularity.

International style ballroom dancing is the standard competitive form of the dance and is danced all over the world. This style is characterized by its sharp, precise movements and is danced to music with a 4/4 time signature. Some of the most popular International style dances include:

Non Traditional (Latin American)

Latin style ballroom dancing is perhaps the most energetic and passionate of the three styles. Latin American ballroom dance is characterized by its passionate and sensual nature, as well as its emphasis on rhythm and musicality. The movements are often abrupt and dramatic, and the dancers frequently incorporate elements of acrobatics and theatrics into their performances. While it may not be the most traditional form of ballroom dance, Latin American ballroom dance is certainly one of the most exciting and vibrant. Some of the most popular Latin dances include

Other popular dances—such as the Charleston, the Twist, and other swing dances formed from the Lindy Hop era —have also visited the ballroom repertoire at various points in the tradition’s history. So it can be said that at the heart of dance many styles mirror the same history.

Who is a Good Fit for Ballroom Dance Lessons?

Ballroom dance lessons can be a great way to meet new people, get some exercise, and learn a new skill. But who is a good fit for ballroom dance lessons? First and foremost, anyone who is interested in learning how to dance, should do just that. Whether you have two left feet or you’re a natural born dancer, there’s a place for you in ballroom dancing.

Lessons are typically offered in group settings as partner dances, so it’s also a great way to meet new people and make friends or bring in your favorite partner for a new activity. It’s also worth noting that ballroom dancing is a great form of exercise. Not only does it improve cardiovascular health, but it also helps to tone muscles and improve flexibility. So if you’re looking for a fun and social way to get some exercise, ballroom dancing may be the perfect activity for you.

Join us for A Ballroom Dance Class in Durham, No Partner Needed!

Whether you want to learn something new or you’d like to brush up your ballroom dancing skills, you’ll love our dance classes! In addition to the popular dances mentioned in this blog we showcase dance lessons for East Coast Swing, Salsa, Paso Doble, The Jive, The Hustle, and more popular dance styles. We even offer ballroom style wedding dance lessons for our eager couples looking to rock their first dance.

Give us a call at (919) 489-4313 or fill out the contact form below to schedule your first lesson! If New to Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Durham, NC? Take advantage of our new student special!

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