Dance Styles

Ballroom and Latin

Ballroom and Latin American dancing includes ten different dances, often divided into two groups: five 'modern', or 'standard', ballroom dances, and five Latin American dances:


  • Waltz
  • Quickstep
  • Tango
  • Foxtrot
  • Viennese waltz

Latin American

  • Cha cha cha
  • Jive
  • Rumba
  • Samba
  • Paso doble

DanceSport is the competitive face of Ballroom and Latin American dancing, as seen on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. You'll learn the same ten dances covered by our Ballroom and Latin classes, but here the emphasis is placed on correct technique, attractive presentation and competitive choreography rather than social figures.

All our DanceSport classes teach the International style rather than the American steps.


Rock 'n' Roll is a fun, energetic dance developed in the '50s. There are two popular flavours: Modern (Continental) dancesport RnR and Authentic social RnR.

Both of these styles are danced to classic hits, as well as more recent music. While the Authentic style is better suited for a social occasion, the Modern style has flashier footwork and is used at competitions.

Of course, Rock 'n' Roll is most famous for its spectacular acrobatic moves, and we do those too!


With roots in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia and New York, Salsa can now be found all around the world. Salsa is exuberant, fiery, fun, romantic, sexy, flirtatious and one of today's most popular dance styles!

Salsa is a dance that is constantly evolving, and over the last thirty years it has diversified into a number of different styles, with influences including West Coast Swing, Latin Hustle, Ballroom, Jazz and even Hip Hop. Cambridge has a thriving club scene, with people dancing a variety of styles.


Bachata is a sexy dance with roots in the Dominican Republic. The music is based on traditional Latin American guitar, and it has a simple 4-beat pattern that makes it easy to learn to dance. There are several different styles to bachata: in this course, we will be learning the two major styles, traditional bachata and Dominican-style bachata. Traditional bachata (and its music) is sensual, sexy, romantic, and passionate - Dominican-style involves some fancy footwork, flirtatious dancing, and thoughtful musicality.


Merengue is another dance in the salsa family. It is fast-paced but has very simple footwork to go with its more complex armography.

Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango is a return to the original Latin American roots of the tango before it was sanitised for the British public and became a ballroom dance. It derives from the Cuban dance Habanera, the Argentine Milonga, and the Uruguayan Candombe. The music used in Argentine Tango is inspired by the African community in Buenos Aires and is said to use elements from African rhythm, European music and of course South American songs.

Argentine Tango when danced socially (Tango Salon) is an improvised, spontaneous dance, which is based on variations of walking, turning, pausing and adornments. The Tango can be quite slow & grounded with long pauses. Milonga styling is quicker & sharper with shorter steps, requiring a tight embrace. Tango Vals is fluid & softer with more of the circular movements and a flexible hold.

American Smooth

American Smooth is ballroom dance styles with a significant out-of-hold component - like the dance choreography in various films. There may be more variety of tempo and even a mixture of styles.

Line & Sequence Dancing

Line and Sequence dances have fixed (published) choreography so that everyone performs the same steps at the same time. In a line dance, the dancers are mostly dancing solo in an array which fills the floor space. In a sequence dance, the dancers are mostly in traditional couples travelling around the room. There are exceptions though; eg line dances with paired dancers or sequence dances with a threesome instead of a twosome partnership. These pre-choreographed dances, which don't need to be led and followed as such, are a standard feature of tea dances and some other parties.