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International Ballroom, A Maturing Influence

by Bill & Mary Lynn

from a column in Square-'N-Round magazine, April 1962

Some of you old timers in Round Dancing may have stopped to reflect on the trends in different directions our activity leads. Head-strong and head-long, we move from one facet of dancing into a new one. The first major change took place in the introduction of American choreography, followed by American ballroom influence, including foxtrot and swing. Then along came the Latin-American bent, and finally we are in the throes of absorbing the techniques of International (English) Style Ballroom. This move may be the most maturing influence our particular hobby has had so far.

International Style Ballroom is a static form of dance as compared to the American Ballroom picture and few accomplished American teachers are equipped to present this material. Since the patterns and movements are more or less formulated on a scientific basis, by the leaders of the movement, it leaves little flexibility to the commercial teacher of ballroom. Novelties are rarely included in the repertoire of the International Style Dancer. While American Ballroom seems to vacillated from one facet of popular dance to another, the Continental Dancer has maintained a serene equilibrium for many years. Their pleasure and abilities have had the opportunity to develop in an uncluttered, well oriented manner leading to a dance movement that is in many ways more acceptable and appreciated than the ballroom dance in our own country.

Why this discussion of International Style Ballroom when we are concerned with Round Dancing? Basically because this material, absorbed gradually, will contribute many mechanics of locomotion now left to imagination in our Round Dance program, and act as a stabilizing force in our hobby.



Reprinted in DRDC newsletter, July 2010



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