Adapted in America from the traditional standard dances of Europe, American Smooth includes four dances that are also performed in the International Standard: waltz, tango, foxtrot and Viennese waltz. While the Standard dancers must remain in contact throughout, American Smooth couples are allowed to separate, and even perform solo moves, before rejoining. This “open hold” gives them more creative freedom and leads to a distinctly different kind of expression than is seen in the International Standard style.


The name ‘Waltz’ comes from an old German word walzen, meaning to roll, turn, or glide. Waltz was the first dance in which the man and lady danced with body contact, and was considered quite scandalous in its day.

Waltz is characterized by rise and fall and by sway on the side steps.  The dance has an elegant gracefulness with a romantic and sometimes sad, feel.



Tango originated in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. In an effort to teach a standardized version of the tango, the English eventually codified their own version of tango for instruction in dance schools and for performance in competitions.


Ballroom tango is danced without rise and fall, and characterized by staccato movements and quick head changes.


Viennese Waltz

The Viennese Waltz is the classic, original Waltz often featured in old films. The waltzing couple rotates around the floor, revolving gracefully around each other. The Viennese Waltz is a quick, rotating dance, much faster-paced than the classic, slow Waltz.


The Viennese Waltz is characterized by sweeping turns that move gracefully around the floor. This dance is known for its simple and elegant rotational movement.



The foxtrot It is believed to be named after a key popularizer, entertainer Harry Fox. It is typically danced to big band swing-style music. Over time, the foxtrot split into slow and quick versions, referred to as "foxtrot" and "quickstep" respectively. 


Foxtrot is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor.

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