Dance Styles

Every wedding couple has a vision for their wedding dance, but may not be familiar with the different dance styles . Each wedding dance is customized  for our clients. Some song have a few different dance styles. Let us listen and help you choose the dance of your dreams. You may want to choose songs based on dance styles. Learning multiple dance styles over time does improve your over skill level. Dance styles can open your ears to a whole new world of music. See some descriptions and history below about our dance styles that we offer at Windy City Wedding Dance.


The US dance known as the Rumba is a combination of several dance styles popular in Cuba. This includes the Guaracha, the Cuban  Bolero and the cuban Bolero. They have simulaur rhythms that can be traced backed to African dance styles.

Cha Cha Cha

In 1953 the Cuban orchestra “America” started playing the time-honored “Danzon” with a new syncopated beat. This sounded like a slow Mambo, and Cuban dancers used a slight triple hip undulation on the slow count. Gradually this was changed to a triple step on the slow count and the Cha Cha was born. The Cha Cha was introduced to the United States in 1954, and by 1959 Americans were “gaga over Cha Cha”, with dance studios reporting it to be their most popular dance. It is such an “on the beat” dance that you can’t help inject your own feelings into it.


The Jitterbug (initially called the “Hop”) first became popular in the 1920’s. The name Lindy was appended to the “Hop” in  1927 at the Savoy Ballroom (New York), supposedly in commemoration of Charles Lindburgh’s famous flight across the Atlantic.  The music that this dance accompanied was jazz, which by the 1930’s was also called Swing. Its origins can be traced to Ragtime,  Dixieland and Blues.It is said a young dancer named Frankie “Musclehead” Manning created the first air steps (aerials), and the Lindy Hop “soared.”  As a performance art, the Lindy Hop involved ensemble dancing, choreographed routines and acrobatic air steps (much like those  recently shown on the Gap commercials). These require a superb degree of expertise and are usually not danced socially, but only  for performance (for many years, the better establishments frowned upon the wilder forms of Lindy, because the aerobatics involved  limiting the number of people who could dance at one time).From the early days of the “Hop” until the mid-1930’s, the mainstream of jazz music and Swing/Lindy/Jitterbug dancing was  developed and defined in the United States by African-Americans.In the mid 1930’s, as the swing music of Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford and Lionel Hampton embraced the nation, the Lindy Hop  became the rage of the young generation. The term “Swing” became associated with the Lindy as Big Band Swing came into popularity.


The Bunny Hug, Turkey Trot, and  Castle Walk were but a few of the many strutting and walking dances that quickly caught the publics fancy.The Foxtrot is no longer a fox trot at all, but rather a smooth, elegant dance. When watching a couple gliding gracefully across  the dance floor one doesn’t think of the ragtime music. When the British dance masters imported this  American Style to England, they smoothed away the trotting, hops and kicks to a much  smoother version which has endured over the years. A variation of the Foxtrot is the Quickstep and even dances such as Lindy (Swing)  and Hustle are derived to some extent from the Foxtrot.The Foxtrot is the most significant development in all of Ballroom DancingThe combination of quick and slow steps permits  more flexibility and gives much greater dancing pleasure than the monotonous one-step and two-step which it has replaced. There  is more variety in the Foxtrot than in any other dance, and in some ways it the hardest dance to learn.


The Waltz is the oldest of the ballroom dances,  dating from the middle of the Eighteenth Century. The German “Lander”, a folk dance, is supposed to be the forerunner of the Waltz.  During this time period a dance developed which was called the “Walzer”, a word owing its origin to the Latin word Volvere, which  indicates a rotating motion. Napoleon’s invading solders spread the Waltz from Germany to Paris; then the dance glided across the  channel to England and finally made its way to the United States.When the Waltz was first introduced into the ballrooms of the  world in the early years of the Nineteenth Century, it was met with outraged indignation, for it was the first dance where the couple danced in a  modified Closed Position – with the man’s hand around the waist of the lady.


It was danced in the United States first by the Castles who elevated it to a dance accepted in any ballroom,  by purifying it of its coarse associations and turning it into a thing of beauty. The Broadway show, Tango Argentino, helped to rekindle  enthusiasm for this exciting, sensual dance.There are essentially three different dance styles and types of Tango – Argentine, American and International Dance Styles.Argentine Tango: A dance created by the Gauchos in Buenos Aires was actually an attempt on their part to imitate the Spanish dance “Danza”  except that they danced it in a closed ballroom position.American Tango: Unlike the Argentine Tango, in which the dancer interprets the music spontaneously without any predetermined slows or quicks,  the American Tango features a structure which is correlated to the musical phrasing. The dance is executed both in closed position and in various  types of extravagant dance relationships which incorporate a particular freedom of expression that is not present in the International style.International Tango: This is a highly disciplined and distinctively structured form of the Tango which is accepted worldwide as the format  for Dancesport events. The dancers remain in traditional closed position throughout and expresses both the legato and staccato aspects of the  music.The Tango has continued to enjoy undiminished favor throughout the United States. Its one of the preferred dance styles


Salsa is a Latin American dance that emerged in Cuba and Puerto Rico due to a lot of African rhythm influence from the slaves the Spaniards brought over. It consists of a lot of hip movements, fluid transitions and intricate footwork. Its a combination of different dance styles.


Arguably, not as prevalent as other counterpart Latin dance styles, Bachata has nevertheless flourished with a mainstay of interest; particularly amongst couples and competitive dance partnerships. Originating in The Dominican Republic, the Bachata is famous for its story telling themes, predominately tied to romance and ensuality.

Country 2 Step

The two-step is a partner dance, consisting of a “leader” (traditionally a man) and a “follower” (traditionally a woman). The leader determines the movements and patterns of the pair as they move around the dance floor. It is a progressive dance that proceeds counterclockwise around the floor. The country 2 step is a combination of different dance stylesThe partners generally begin in closed position with the leader facing the line of dance. The follower stands facing the leader. In a traditional “frame” the leader places his/her right hand over his/her partner’s left shoulder. In the more contemporary styling, closed position is formed by placing the right hand under the follower’s left arm, and on his/her back. In either case the leader holds the follower’s right hand in his/her left hand at about shoulder height.

‘You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching…” – William W. Purkey


Windy City Wedding Dance
Located at
410 S. Michigan Ave.,