All Women's Talk

8 Dances Everyone Should Know ...

By Lyndsie

There are certain dances everyone should know – if you like to dance, of course. You don't have to take a ballroom dancing course (although you can) or find an instructor (although you can do that too); there are lots of resources that teach you how to dance these days. That being said, learning the classic, fun dances everyone should know with your partner is a great way to spend quality time together. It's great exercise, too! However, you can also teach yourself the steps or learn them with friends right in your own living room. It's up to you, so take a look at these popular dances and pick your favorite!

1 Swing Dancing

I think swing is definitely one of the dances everyone should know. I got into swing when it first reemerged in the mid 1990s. I love everything about it, from the music to the moves. It's energetic, it's incredibly fun to learn, and it's surprisingly easy to learn. I mean, your partner might not be throwing you around within the first few lessons, but you'll get there! Plus, learning to swing dance means you get to wear lots of fabulous retro costumes!

2 The Tango

The Tango is sexy, sensual, throbbing, and exciting. You can learn the Argentine Tango, you can keep it traditional or learn an open Tango style, or you can try American Tango. Actually, you should try to learn both. The Argentine Tango uses lots of classic elements, and it is steamy. The American version is constantly evolving, so it's easy to add your own signature to it.

3 A Classic Waltz

Everyone should know how to waltz. If you know nothing else, a waltz will get you through parties, dances, wedding receptions, and similar occasions. There are different types of waltzes, including the ballroom waltz, the country waltz, and the Viennese waltz. They're all very different, and not at all what you might imagine. The thing is, the main steps of this dance will help you elsewhere.

4 Salsa Dancing

Salsa dancing is a melting pot of marvelous movements and emotions. Its origins are convoluted but its style is crystal clear. If you're nervous about dancing or don't feel you have a lot of rhythm, this is actually a great place to start, because it relies primarily on six patterned steps.

5 The Cha Cha

The Cha Cha is fun, face-paced, and sexy. It's an evolution of the equally classic Mambo and comes alive with a back beat of feisty music. It requires a lot of deliberation because it depends on very small steps that lead to a flirty game of cat and mouse between partners. If you do this with your lover, you'll definitely want some alone time after your lessons!

6 The Paso Doble

I love the Paso Doble because it's French at heart, along with some serious Spanish fire. This is actually a version of the two step, which is the literal translation. The men and women have different roles in this dance – or, rather, the person leading moves differently than the person following. The dance takes on the emotions and movements of a bullfight, so it's both aggressive and taunting.

7 The Quickstep

Whether you like to do the hustle, the electric slide, or country line dancing, you'll find that many elements are similar to the quickstep. It's a Ragtime dance and encourages movement of the arms and legs. If you've ever seen or performed The Charleston, you know what the quickstep is all about.

8 The Foxtrot

I think the Foxtrot is incredibly fun. It works well with Ragtime and fast-paced jazz. However, these days there's some smoothness in the rhythm as well, so the participants almost slink and saunter around the dance floor. There are still plenty of classic elements though, so learning to Foxtrot will bring to mind the vaudeville vibe and the flapper fun of the 1920s.

I love to dance, although I'm not very good at it. I've always thought that learning some of these classic dances might help me even when I'm just cutting up for fun. Like say, you'll get great exercise, you'll learn rhythm, and dancing is fun! I mean, swing dancing? That's the stuff! What's your favorite kind of dance to do?

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