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American Style

See also: Categories, Dances, History, Terminology, Style

America Style consists of 9 dances and is mostly danced in the United States and Canada.

Definition

The term American Style refers to a particular style of Ballroom Dances developed in the USA that contrasts with the International Style. In a narrower sense, it denotes the group of 9 dances danced in American Style Ballroom competitions. The group consists of two categories: American Smooth and American Rhythm.

Overview

The American Style is made up of two categories of dance, American Smooth and American Rhythm, which combine elements of both the traditional International Style Latin and International Style Standard dances. American Rhythm loosely corresponds to the Latin category of the International Style, just like American Smooth corresponds to Standard.

The United States established dance variation forms are not recognized internationally. They are rather used in dance and competition methods as attempts to meets perceived needs in the local market-place. However, the Blackpool Dance Festival is beginning to feature this style of Ballroom Dance in its days of competition.

American Smooth Dances

In American Smooth, dancers wear costumes not greatly dissimilar to those worn by their counterparts in International Style Standard. Dresses often have prominent floats embellishing the arms and fuller skirts which are typically absent in Smooth, due to the open movement and changing arm positions requiring less restriction on the body. However, the dances themselves are significantly different as a result of influence by dancers like Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray in the years following World War II. While elegance and flow remain the goal, as in International Standard, dancers do not remain in closed position exclusively, instead breaking away from each other periodically and experimenting with open footwork.

American Rhythm Dances

The American Rhythm dances were also influenced by American dancers of the post-WWII era, but the differences between this style and International Latin are more subtle. Costumes are similar, and while step patterns are not identical, movements are as free and explicitly sensual as in Latin.

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