"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #151, Thursday, August 7, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
The Classic English Style?

I am not necessarily a fan of any and everything that is British, however I get the impression that the modern ballroom and latin dancing evolved and developed primarily in England from 1920s onwards. As I started to learn to dance more seriously in America, in the 90's, I saw "some people" dancing differently. They looked different, better and covered more distance in the same amount of music in which I was moving only a few feet. I was frustrated and couldn't' catch up with them. Then some kind person told me that they were International. Coming from a foreign land I also considered myself "International" so I went to work on this project with a lovely lady teacher Tatyana Brayman who happened to be a Dentist from Ukraine. Our medical backgrounds and international personalities matched quite well and I switched quickly to international.

Then one day Bart who was Tatyana's boss said a word like English Foxtrot and English Tango and English Waltz and English this and English that etc. I knew he was certainly not British so I was confused and curious. I heard this word 'English' from Bart so much that I was convinced that indeed British contributed a lot to this style that we now call International in rest of the world except England where they don't use this word much. At least that is my impression, I may be wrong.

Of course every one knows that the American Style is only danced in USA and primarily developed from Arthur Murray, Ginger Rogers and Freddie Astair's dancing. It is interesting to note that we are now seeing American Style lessons advertised in England; how exciting!

These Tid-bits are for absolute beginners as well as advanced students and teachers. I wanted to share this experience with some novice dancers who may be confused about these terms as I was several years ago.

I have finally discovered what creates the classic English Style specially in Ballroom Dancing and I will give you my humble opinion next week. So much should be enough for now. Best Wishes, Max

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits