Dancing Tid-bits Letter #45, Thursday, April 5, 2001
10 Dance or Just Latin
The conventional classification of Ballroom dances is:
1. Ballroom/Modern/Standard dances include: Waltz, Tango, Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep and Vienese Waltz
2. Latin dances are: Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive
All this terminology from Modern and Latin etc. used to be confusing as I recall my early dancing days. It still gets confusing when they include Jive in Latin but V.W is excluded from the Modern. I still like the word Modern and some might say I should be saying Ballroom or Standard. It just happens that I am resistant to any thing that reflects change (relationships and marriage inclusive).
I did not know how Ballroom dances came to be known as Modern. Someone told me that as these dances were exported from New York and Paris to London in the first part of the 19th Century, they were modernized to so called English or international Style and the word Modern picked up from there. Is that true?
I am still confused! if Ballroom means only Standard or Modern or does it include Latin too?
Then comes the American Style. Here the Ballroom becomes "Smooth" and Latin become "Rhythm"
I think and I hope you will agree with me that Dancing must first be Joy and Fun. At present we seem to be forgetting this aspect of dancing. We are so obsessed with who is "Number One" that it is beginning to look like ALI v FOREMAN.. Well! that might be actually good for dancing?
I am seeing more and more amateur couples declaring themselves as "Modern" or "Latin" when they have not even familiarized with basic syllabus of either style. They are indeed inspired by the Hiltons Barichis and Watsons etc but it is sad that they are depriving themselves of pure and simple Joy of dancing all 10 Dances. They should know that most famous names were 10 dance first and then specialized in a style of their own choice. Not only it is important from a Social standpoint but it also adds something to the grooming of a champion later.
Anyway the purpose of this letter is to pay Tribute to 10 Dance Champions. Did you read the last isuue of Dance Beat? Didio Barrera interviews Gary and Diana Mcdonald. Of course I heared of Gary and Diana but frankly I did not know that upto present time, they have won USA 10 Dance Championship title NINE consecutive times. In addition also they are 1997 10 Dance Champions of the World. This is history in the making. Is it likely that after their 10 Dance record they will exclusively do Latin and be #1 in the world, who knows? I hope they don't move to England.
My knowledge of "Names and Who is Who" is extremely limited. As far as I know, the other couples that have achieved notoriety in 10 Dance events are David Sycamore and Denise Weavers, Anik and Alain Joliceur, Pierre and Merille , JeanMarc Generaux and France. I am sure there others who deserve recognition!
It will be wonderful to see Gary and Diana compete with Alain and Anik at Hyatt Regency (Dearborn, Michigan, USA) on April 14. This will be like USA v Canada. It will be an exciting show, also because these couples will not be under tremendous pressure to "Win". I commend Mark Brock and Lisa Barera to bring this event to Detroit and hope we will have this event/competition each year.. Best Wishes, Max.
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.