Every step pattern in the International-style Standard genre ballroom dances can be broken down into specific step elements. When you understand each element and how it contributes to the whole, you'll begin to accelerate your ability as a dancer.
Three Key Elements
There are essentially three key elements that make up each step pattern. In the “Swing” dances of Waltz, Foxtrot and Quickstep you have swing actions, rotational actions and picture lines. In the Tango you have body flight actions, rotational actions and picture lines. To keep this article from getting too complex, I'll stick to the swing dances and primarily the Slow Waltz, but the same principle applies to the Tango. I'll discuss each of the key elements and help you understand how to evaluate it in your choreography.
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