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American Smooth

See also: Categories: Dances, Ballroom, DanceSport, Style

America Smooth consists of four dances:
Viennese Waltz


American Smooth refers to a category of dances in American Style Ballroom competitions. This division includes dances known as the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. Previously, Peabody was also included.


American Smooth along with American Rhythm are the two categories of Ballroom Dance that constitute what is known as the American Style. Just like Latin and Standard make up the International Style of Ballroom Dance, the same goes with Smooth and Rhythm in comprising the American Style.

American Smooth loosely corresponds to the Standard category of International Style Ballroom Dance, just like Rhythm loosely corresponds to Latin. However, Smooth differs from Standard in its inclusion of open and separated figures, whereas Standard makes exclusive use of closed positions.

The Smooth dances themselves are significantly different than the Standard dances 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 positions exclusively, instead of breaking away from each other periodically and experimenting with open footwork.

American Smooth, just like American Rhythm, is mostly danced in the United States and Canada, while International Style Latin and International Style Standard are danced internationally, all around the world.


Smooth and Standard dances are normally danced to Western music (often from the mid-twentieth century), and couples dance counter-clockwise around a rectangular floor following the line of dance.


In competitions, competitors are costumed as would be appropriate for a white tie affair, with full gowns for the ladies and bow tie and tailcoats for the men, though in American Smooth, it is now conventional for the men to abandon the tail suit in favor of shorter tuxedos, vests, and other creative outfits.

Dancers wear costumes not greatly dissimilar to those worn by their counterparts in Standard. 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 that require less restriction on the body.

American Smooth Competition Dances (only in the U.S. & Canada)

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