All your favourite

Dance Styles

Our Ballroom dance lessons feature a wide array of social and competitive dance styles. Ballroom dancing in Sydney has experienced a surge in popularity recently, thanks to popular television shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.

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Learn the most popular and exciting Latin and Ballroom dance styles at Arthur Murray

“Ballroom Dancing” can refer to almost any type of social dancing style as recreation. However, with the emergence of competition dancing in modern times, the term has become slightly narrower. It usually refers to the International Standard and International Latin style dances.

Some of our students favourite Dance Styles

At Arthur Murray Dance Studios, we’re proud to offer a comprehensive range of the most popular ballroom dance styles.

Listed below are some of those enduring ballroom and Latin dances that help make social dancing forever popular in Sydney. Below are some of the exciting Latin and International ballroom dancing styles that we teach at Arthur Murray!


Salsa is a dance style that originated from Central and South America. The Salsa dance style was influenced by other dance styles including Cha Cha, Mambo, Pachanga and Jazz. Popularised by Puerto Ricans living in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it became a popular dance in ballrooms and nightclubs. Additionally, Salsa is a fast tempo dance style that is addictive and one of the most popular dance styles internationally.

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Originating from the Dominican Republic, Bachata is a social dance that has evolved since the 1960s. Additionally, Bachata music was popularised in many Central American nightclubs during the 1960s. Bachata can also be performed individually or with a partner and the basic steps were inspired from Bolero.

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Originated in Brazil, the Samba imitates the celebratory, carnival feeling. Light on your feet with forward and backward steps, rocking your body in 4/4 time. This dance truly gives the dancers and audience a fabulous taste of Brazilian culture.

Samba has roots from the African slave trade in Brazil during the seventeenth century. Samba is also the symbolic dance of the Brazilian Carnival and is one of the most popular Brazilian cultural expressions.

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The Milonga is a style of dance performed to Milonga music and incorporates some of the elements used in the Argentine Tango. However, typically, the Milonga allows for greater relaxation of the legs and body with faster movements and generally fewer pauses. Additionally, the Milonga is relatively a more humorous and rustic compared to the more serious and dramatic Tango.

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Argentine Tango

The Argentine Tango originated at the end of the 19th century from the suburbs of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay. The music used to accompany the dance is usually quite nostalgic with elements of sadness and laments for lost love. The style has grown in popularity and spread internationally as a standard ballroom dance style. The Argentine Tango has added modern elements to the dance without removing the classic elements of the style.

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The Tango is a passionate dance that originated from Argentina and Uruguay during the middle of the nineteenth century. Its influences actually come from African, Native American and European culture. The style became popularised by the lower-class in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. Furthermore, it seamlessly marries dramatic, staccato movements with slow, flowing steps to give the audience a view of physicalizing an exciting storyline. Today it is an extremely popular dance style in theatre and ballrooms.

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Tango Vals

The rhythm of Tango Vals is exactly the same as that of Viennese Waltz, the difference is in the speed. Viennese waltz is much slower, therefore allowing for a step on each beat unit. Tango Vals is much faster so normally a step is only made on the first, accentuated beat in each bar.

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Viennese Waltz

Viennese Waltz is one of the most impressive ballroom dances and it is the oldest of the modern ballroom dance styles that are still taught today. It was developed in central Europe and was derived from an Austrian dance. Its height of popularity was in the early 19th century yet never has this dance gone out of style. It is danced about twice as fast as the Waltz and is a partnered dance.

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The Waltz is a graceful, smooth and relatively slow dance that is characterised by rise and fall actions. The Waltz is an early classic that dominated dancing in the 18th century. Additionally, the shoulders always move smoothly, parallel with the floor. The Waltz dates its origins back to sixteenth-century Europe.

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Swing is a dance style that complements jazz music and was popularised between the 1920s and 1940s. There is a long history of social and competitive Swing as well as many derivatives. Furthermore, Swing dance suited many jukebox tunes of the day and is known for the way that the rhythm can suddenly swing.

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Bolero is a dance style characterised by it movements to slow-tempo Latin music. Bolero originated from Spain in the late 1700s as a popular ballroom dance that was influenced by musicians from around the world.

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The Fox Trot encapsulates the pure essence of smoothness and grace. The Foxtrot is a dance style that is known for its long and continuously flowing movements. The name ‘trot’ originates from the dance’s ‘down, up’ movements which flow beautifully. Many suggest that the dancers look as if they were wearing ‘ice skates’ due to the smooth nature of the dance.

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Rumba became a marketing term for Cuban music in North America during most of the twentieth century. The term Rumba was used by Cubans as a synonym for “party” that involved dance, rhythm and singing.

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Cha Cha Cha

Originally known as the ‘Cha Cha Cha’, this Cuban dance is fun to learn and a joy to perform. Recognised for its ‘1, 2, cha, cha, cha’ rhythm, the Cha Cha is a fast dance with sharp actions and quick foot movement. It was a very popular dance style in the 1950s that was danced to steady and energetic beats.

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Country Western

Country Western Dance encompasses many different dance styles that originated from country-western music in the USA. The origins date back to the early nineteenth century. Some of these dance elements date back to the early 1700s when immigrants brought these moves to the US. Additionally, Country Western dance styles are fun and addictive and have become integrated into popular culture.

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The Hustle is a dance style popularised in the 1970s by Puerto Rican youths from The Bronx. It has some features that are similar to those in Salsa, Mambo and Swing.

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Mambo originated from Cuba where it was developed in the 1940s. The dance complemented the Mambo music which was becoming popular in Latin America during that time. The dance was described by Cuban dancers as “feeling the music” in which sound and movement worked in harmony.

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Merengue originated from the Dominican Republic where it was extremely popular during the middle of the nineteenth century. It movements can be characterised by spectacular upper body movements whilst the turns are slow.

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The Quickstep is an energetic and fast-flowing dance that was developed in New York during the 1920s. Considered to be light-hearted, the Quickstep includes an array of skips, flicks and hops which can thrill the audience. Upbeat music is at the heart of this fun dance and is more than suitable for formal and informal events. It is suitable for both formal and informal events and was the inspiration behind modern Swing dancing.

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Nightclub Two Step

The Nightclub Two Step is a partnered dance developed in the mid-1960s and was one of the most popular forms of contemporary social dance. Also known as the Disco Two Step, this fun dance style features a more relaxed hold and is characterised by a quick-quick-slow beat.

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