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 Social Classes
Salsa is one of the most popular social dances in the world, with diverse influences and origins. You can find nightclubs and bars in almost any city around the world where people come to dance Salsa.
We offer three levels of classes so whether you’re completely new to dance or an expert salsero/a, you can learn how to feel Latin rhythms and improvise while dancing with a partner!
Bachata Social Classes
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.
There are three levels of classes so all levels of ability are covered.
Salsa & Bachata Freestyle Team
For those who want to improve more quickly and get serious about Salsa and Bachata can join our team trainings every Sunday. Many universities around the country have started hosting Salsa and Bachata Festivals featuring competitions, workshops and awesome parties!
There are two levels of training, one for those who have just started learning Salsa (our Beginners S&B Team) and another for those who have a year or more experience in Salsa and/or Bachata.
The Imperial College Salsa and Bachata Team has a great track record of winning many trophies in many categories at competitions around the country, so we hope you will be motivated and excited to join us!
Salsa Performance Groups
On top of the social and competitive freestyle classes, every year we run choreographed performance groups! In the past two years we have run an advanced Salsa Performance Group that won first place at Birmingham University’s Afro-Latin Festival both times, against many other university teams.
We run two groups: Auditions are required for the Advanced group in first term, however anyone is welcome to join our Beginners 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!
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 with the aim of giving everyone a solid foundation for learning Tango.