The World of Competitive Ballroom Dancing is Known as Dancesport

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During a Dancesport competition, the competitors crowd the floor in the hopes that they will be observed by the judges. image by the company known as “Dancesport Photography”

What exactly is this thing called Dancesport?

Ballroom dancing is popular all over the world, yet the vast majority of people are unaware that there is an “underground” sector of competitive dancing. The term “Dancesport” refers to the industry that encompasses competitive ballroom dancing.

The majority of ballroom dancers consider their art to be a sport, which is where the term “Dancesport” comes from. They are neither only considered to be athletes, nor are they only considered to be artists. They are both present in the same body at the same time. They are not separate entities. Ballroom dancers compete in the same manner as athletes and perform in the same manner as artists. Competitors in competitive ballroom dancing came up with a new name for themselves: Dancesport Athletes. This was done in the hopes of getting ballroom dancing accepted into the Olympics.

There are seven primary categories that are used in competitive ballroom dance. Competitors from all around the world gather to test their skills in International Standard, International Latin, Cabaret, and Showdance. In the United States, Dancesport has expanded to include Theatre Arts, American Smooth, and American Rhythm.

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Smooth and Rhythm are two styles of dance that are gaining popularity all over the world, despite the fact that they are predominantly danced in the United States. There are a large number of additional styles of competitive ballroom dance, such as the Swing and the Argentine Tango, Salsa and Charleston, and even a form called “New Vogue” that is exclusive to Australia. However, for the purposes of this page and, more generally, this blog, we are going to limit ourselves to the first seven categories. When we talk about dance competitions, we are referring to these seven different genres, particularly the first four.

In addition to these seven forms, some couples participate in a combination event known as 10-Dance or 9-Dance. Simeon and Kora are one such couple. A couple is said to be dancing the 10-Dance when they dance both the International Standard and the International Latin. A pair is said to be doing the 9-Dance when they dance both the American Rhythm and the American Smooth.

What are the rules for competing in Dancesport?

The majority of dance contests require partners to perform on the floor with their other rivals at the same moment. They are not allowed to choose the music that they listen to. All of the competitors move their bodies in sync with the same music at the same time. The males are required to have their numbers visible at all times, and the judges, who are stationed at the perimeter of the dance floor, are responsible for placing the couples in the order that they consider to be most advantageous. This may mean placing them anywhere between first and sixth place, or it could just mean advancing them to the next round.

The rounds become more difficult as more couples participate. In the final round, the top six couples compete. The top 12 players advance to the semi-final round; the top 24 players advance to the quarter-final round. If you hear that there will be a first round, it indicates that there are anywhere from 25 to 48 couples that have entered the competition.

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After the first round, your score will be between 49 and 96, and it will continue to increase from there. It’s possible that the couples will compete in separate heats, but that will depend on how many couples can fit on the dance floor at once. In the final dance, all six different couples perform together. If there is sufficient space on the floor, this is also true for the semi-final. The competition is typically broken down into heats after the semi-final round, with a similar number of competing couples in each of the rounds. This guarantees that the dancers will have sufficient space to maneuver around in and demonstrate their skills.

The Variations of Dancesport Styles

International Standard

The Styles of Dancesport International Standard
The Styles of Dancesport International Standard

During a tournament for dancesport, Rudiger Homme and Katya Kanevskaya showed off their skills with the foxtrot. image by the company known as “Dancesport Photography”
You could say that International Standard is where it all started for the world of competitive ballroom dancing, often known as Dancesport. Standard is the dance that comes to mind if you close your eyes and think of classic ballroom dancing, complete with a gentleman dressed in a tailcoat and a beautiful woman wearing an elegant gown. In some locations, it’s also referred to as Modern, and in others, it’s simply called Ballroom. We’ll refer to it as Standard here on the blog.

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For close to a century, people have been dressing in the standard style. Each pair is required to execute the following five dances: the English Waltz, the Tango, the Viennese Waltz, the Slow Foxtrot, and the Quickstep. A couple is required to perform each dance throughout each round of every competition (with a few notable exceptions). They are performed in the sequence that I listed above. The pace is the primary factor that differentiates the English Waltz from the Viennese Waltz; nevertheless, this factor also affects the steps that can be performed. Even in the modern day, males can be seen donning tailcoats, while women can be seen donning stunning ballgowns.

International Latin

The Styles of Dancesport International Latin
The Styles of Dancesport International Latin

At a recent tournament for SK Dancesport, founders Simeon and Kora Stoynov showed off their unique moves while dancing the Rumba. Stephen Marino is responsible for the photographs.
Although Standard may be the dance that gave birth to competitive ballroom dancing, Latin is without a doubt the shining star of the Dancesport family. Latin is a style that will keep you on the tip of your seat because of its quick and exciting sport, gorgeous bare-chested males, and scantily clad ladies. With only two notable exceptions, the majority of Latin dances can be traced back to Central or South America. The Paso Doble originated in Spain, while the Cha Cha, Samba, and Rumba originated in the Hispanic Americas. The Jive was created in the United States.

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In Latin, the Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive are the five dances that are done in the same order as in Standard. In events run by the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), the Samba and Cha Cha dance styles trade places. In a subsequent piece, we will go into further detail regarding the WDC, WDSF, and the organizing bodies of Danceport.

Latin is an extremely captivating literary style. The women are stunning, and the outfits are really seductive. The males have personalities that are virtually as vivid as those of their partners. The choreography is quite creative, and the speeds that the contestants are able to achieve in their bodies are truly astounding. Latin literature delves into the complex layers of love that exist between a man and a woman.

American Smooth

The Styles of Dancesport American Smooth
The Styles of Dancesport American Smooth

At a showcase, the SK Dancesport author Kora Stoynova and the Aria Ballroom instructor Atanas Malamov perform an American Smooth Waltz.

Smooth has recently gained a name for itself on the Dancesport floor, conjuring up visions of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the process. Smooth was initially developed to simplify the intricate rhythms of ballroom dancing in order to make them more accessible to a greater number of people. On the other hand, since the middle of the 1990s, Smooth has exploded as a difficult and athletic kind of ballroom dance. Its style is based on the stringent guidelines of the International Standard, but it grants a great deal of leeway in terms of expression and form.

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Only four dances—the Slow Waltz, the Tango, the Foxtrot, and the Viennese Waltz—are required of contestants in the Smooth category. Smooth was once a type of dance that was only performed in the United States, but in recent years, it has become increasingly popular in other parts of the world. Even at the most famous dance competition in the world, the Blackpool Dance Festival, couples have been seen performing the Smooth dance.

Smooth dancers, in contrast to those who do International Standard, are not required to maintain a closed grasp, sometimes known as a “frame.” They are permitted to break the grip of one another and dance entirely apart, somewhat similar to Latin dancing. Smooth dancers are therefore afforded the opportunity to explore a wide variety of musical rhythms and expressions, which can greatly enhance their performances. In particular, the foxtrot and the Viennese waltz have progressed to new peaks that are impossible to accomplish while dancing in a rigid closed grip.

American Rhythm

The Styles of Dancesport American Rhythm
The Styles of Dancesport American Rhythm

During the Mambo performance portion of the American Rhythm dancesport competition, a pair gets down and dirty with their moves. image by the company known as “Dancesport Photography”

Rhythm is having a hard time establishing itself as a legitimate form of dance within the realm of international dancesport, despite the fact that it is a rapidly expanding style within American competitive ballroom dancing. It’s possible that this is because Rhythm and Latin dances are quite similar to one another.

There are many instances in which dancers who are not a part of the American industry fail to realize the singularity that is Rhythm dancing. International Latin has occasionally lost its richness of body rhythm as a consequence of its emphasis on aesthetics and lineage. However, American Rhythm places a higher priority on displaying beauty than lines. This can sometimes yield an effect that, when viewed from the perspective of lines, is not as lovely as the intended result. On the other hand, if you believe that genuineness and beauty go hand in hand, you’ll find that American Rhythm places a premium on these characteristics.

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Along with Standard and Latin, Rhythm is comprised of the following five dances: the Cha Cha, the Rumba, the East Coast Swing, and the Mambo. It may be challenging to differentiate between the International Cha Cha and the American Cha Cha, but each of the other four dances has its own distinct characteristics that set it apart from the others. Like Smooth, American Rumba was created with teachability in mind, and it follows the format of a box step for its basic framework. The Bolero, which is like a combination of the International Rumba and the Slow Waltz, is widely considered to be the most beautiful. This dance really is the “Dance of Love” in the world of dancesport.

Showdance and Cabaret

The Styles of Dancesport Showdance and Cabaret
The Styles of Dancesport Showdance and Cabaret

Simeon and Kora, proprietors of SK Dancesport, put on an outstanding performance while competing in a Dancesport show dance tournament in Bulgaria.

Showdance is the “show” style of dancesport, and Cabaret is an entirely another type of ballroom dancing from Showdance.

Showdance can be broken down into two distinct subgenres: “Classical Showdance” and “South-American Showdance.” In Classical Showdance, partners can choose to perform any combination of the five Standard dances to the music of their choosing, and they can do so in any way they like. The same may be said of South American Showdance in terms of how it relates to International Latin dances.

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Each duo gives a solo performance, and the judges score them based on a variety of criteria, including musicality, performance, creativity, and so on. Despite the fact that the choices are virtually limitless, couples are required to strictly adhere to the regulations. During one performance, there can be no more than three lifts, for instance. The song can’t be more than three minutes, and that includes the amount of time it takes for couples to get on and off the dance floor.

Cabaret is an entirely unique subgenre within the realm of dancesport. Very little genuine ballroom dancing is included due to the fact that the choreography is built around acrobatics and lifts. The fact that there are no hard-and-fast rules to follow in show dance paves the way for incredibly imaginative choreography. The lifts and acrobatics that are performed in Cabaret competitions have the potential to stop a person’s heart.

It’s a done deal!

You should be able to get a decent start on processing the information on this site if you have an understanding of the seven primary genres of dancesport, which are as follows: International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth, American Rhythm, Showdance, and Cabaret. As time goes on, the blog will feature an increasing number of posts that are comparable to this one.

Please let me know if there is a particular subject you’d like me to write about by leaving a comment below! Do you have any inquiries or something you’d like me to elaborate on? Leave your thoughts here!

Additionally, many ask

Is the term “dancesport” also used to refer to competitive ballroom dancing?

Ballroom dancing is broken down into its own competitive subgenre called dancesport. It takes the shape of a dance routine that the participants are supposed to perform in front of the judges. This can be anything from a waltz to a slow foxtrot, depending on your preference. There are distinct divisions based on both age and level of expertise.

What’s up with the name “dancesport”?

The demonstration dance is not the same thing as dancesport, which is a type of competition that involves dancing, including ballroom dancing. All of the dancers provide intriguing performances by showcasing not just their dancing abilities but also their athletic abilities.

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What distinguishes ballroom dancing from other types of dance?

Ballroom dancing is a type of partner dance in which partners follow predetermined step patterns while moving in a rhythmic manner to represent the qualities of the music. The Smooth, also known as the Standard, and the Rhythm, often known as Latin, are the two styles that makeup ballroom dance. The Smooth and Standard style places an emphasis on a dancer’s ability to move with grace, elegance, and fluidity.

Why is it called “DanceSport” instead of just “Dance”?

The majority of ballroom dancers consider their art to be a sport, which is where the term “Dancesport” comes from. They are neither only considered to be athletes, nor are they only considered to be artists. They are both present in the same body at the same time. They cannot be separated. Ballroom dancers compete in the same manner as athletes and perform in the same manner as artists.

What exactly does the classification of DanceSport entail?

The term “dancesport” refers to both the international and American styles of competitive ballroom dancing. The four genres of dance that make up Dancesport are as follows: international standard, international Latin, American Smooth, and American rhythm. Both individual couples and formation dances can be categorized using these terms.

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