International Ballroom and Latin Dances
Our classes cover all five dances of International Ballroom dancing. Beginners start by learning the Waltz and the Quickstep. If you’re interested in dancing competitively, please see our Team page.
This is the first dance that Beginners learn in Ballroom dancing. The Waltz originated from Vienna and Austria in the 17th century. and developed into what we now know as the Modern Waltz in its characteristic three-beat time.
This is the second Ballroom dance learned by beginners. The Quickstep has a powerful, swinging rhythm and takes inspiration from the Charleston. The songs and dress style of Quickstep are reminiscent of American high society from the Roaring 20s.
The Foxtrot originated in 1913 from the Vaudeville act of actor Harry Fox. This slow dance has smooth steps that glide around the dancefloor.
Ballroom Tango originated from the traditional Argentine Tango but is very distinct in its style and technique. It has an air of intensity, sharpness and contrast of movement. Ballroom Tango is characterised by the staccato movements of the feet and fast switching of positions of the head.
The Viennese Waltz developed during the 19th Century in Austria. This version of the waltz is much faster than the English Waltz, but there are consequently fewer steps to learn. Couples glide and rotate around the dancefloor to the characteristic three beat rhythm.
Our classes cover all five dances of International Latin American style. Beginners start with the well-known Cha-Cha and Jive. If you’re interested in dancing competitively, please see our Team page.
This is the first Latin dance learned by Beginners. The name Cha cha cha, is in reference to the sound of the dancers’ feet shuffling through syncopations in the music. It is a lively and flirtatious dance, designed to put a smile on everyone’s face!
Jive is the second Latin dance learned by beginners. The most noticeable aspects of the Jive are its energy, speed, and bounce: it is one of the fastest dances and showcases lots of kicks, flicks, and spins. This rhythmical and swinging dance is influenced by the Boogie, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Swing.
Mainly inspired by the traditional Brazilian Samba, Ballroom Samba contains elements of many different Latin American dances incorporated into one. It makes use of complex cross-rhythms with lots of hip action. The accomplished dancer is made to look effortless and carefree with knee action, body sway, and “pendulum motion.”
The Rumba relies on the age-old premise of the lady trying to conquer the man by means of her womanly charms. Incorporating all the elements of teasing and withdrawal, it is considered the most sensual of the Latin dances. It is a slow-paced dance with a big emphasis on emotion and the connection between partners.
The Paso Doble originated from Spain, and is modeled after the drama and movement of a Spanish bullfight. The man takes the role of the matador, displaying machismo and strength. The woman’s role in the dance is often that of a gypsy flamenco dancer, or following the matador’s movements like his cape. It is almost always choreographed to the famous Gypsy music “España cañí”.
Ballroom and Latin Social Classes
“I really want to dance, but I don’t want to do competitions” you might think. The Ballroom and Latin Social classes are exactly what you are looking for, it does not matter if you cannot commit to every single lesson or what your level is. These classes are for you to socialise with others, to enjoy the dance and the music, and to develop as a dancer. We offer Ballroom and Latin lessons at the beginners level, and you are also able to take private lessons from the same teacher.
There is also the option to undertake Medal exams. Medal exams are a grading system in Ballroom and Latin dancing starting with Bronze level and progressing to Silver and Gold. They are a good way to mark your progress in Ballroom and Latin dancing, and can help to give you direction as you learn. You do not have to commit to doing the exams if you wish to do the classes, you can just come along to learn steps and have a good time!
For those who are completely new to dancing – do not worry about what to wear, just turn up to the lessons.
Salsa is one of the most well known social dances around the world, with many clubs and thousands of dancers in most cities across the world.
Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced salsero/salsera, you’re sure to find a class that is right for you.
We organise a number of socials, both on campus and at various Salsa clubs around London, which give our members opportunities to show off their skills on the dancefloor.
Salsa Performance Groups
On top of the freestyle social and competitive classes, every year we run choreographed performance groups! In 2017 we organised our first Advanced Salsa Performance group, and they took home the first prize trophy from a competition in Birmingham against nearly a dozen teams from universities around the country. Auditions are run during first term for this group. Anyone, however is welcome to join our Beginners Salsa Performance Group! There are ample opportunities for performance for both groups in shows at Imperial such as the Dance Imperial Show and East Meets West, as well as in dance clubs around London!
Originating from the Dominican Republic, Bachata has become popular around the world and is danced in most places where Salsa is found. The traditional form makes use of strong connection, fast footwork and lots of musicality, while the modern form known as Sensual Bachata, uses body isolations, head rolls and body rolls and a more intimate connection. Both styles are taught at IC.
The third level is open to everyone but the focus will be more on styling, tricks and cool moves to get dancers confident for competing or performance, and is recommended for those on the Salsa Team who want to compete in Bachata as well.
Salsa & Bachata Team
More universities around the country have started hosting Salsa and Bachata competitions, often accompanied by workshops and awesome parties! In order to make the most of these events, we organise weekly training for those who want to be more serious about getting good at freestyle Salsa.
There are no requirements for joining the Salsa Team: all are welcome to join the beginners Salsa Team and any Salsa dancers with a year or more of experience are encouraged to come for the Salsa Main Team practices.
Argentine Tango is one of the oldest social dances around, developing from various dance and music styles brought to Uruguay and Argentina from Africa and Europe, and was one of the first dances to really emphasise creativity in improvisation as well as close connection in an embrace. A Beginners level Tango course is taught throughout the year.