Ballroom dancing weekends have become increasingly popular across the country. This is partly due to television programmes, such as Strictly Come Dancing and the annual Eurovision Dance Contest, which have elevated the activity from a social pleasure into a competitive sport.
Organised ballroom dancing weekends can combine both. The emphasis is always on enjoyment and the sheer love of dancing, but dancing competitions are also often part of the weekend, which have the effect of keeping everyone on their toes – literally.
In the world of competitive ballroom dancing there are ten basic dances used in competitions. Five of them are classic standard dances, and five are Latin American dances. The quickstep and the slow foxtrot, tango and the waltz, as well as the Viennese waltz make up the standard ballroom dances, while the pasa doble, samba, rumba, cha cha and jive make up the Latin American offerings.
Those attending ballroom weekends will be very familiar with all these dances, whether in competition or just spending a weekend enjoying the atmosphere of social interaction and healthy exercise.
Ballroom weekends are not just for the older person any more. Ballroom dancing is increasingly attracting younger people who are discovering at first hand the fun and excitement of mastering complicated dance movements with fluid elegance to the rhythm of tuneful music that doesn’t rely on a heavy, thumping, monotonous beat for its dubious appeal.
Because of the increased popularity of ballroom dancing, organisations and companies have sprung up all over the country to cope with the demand. They coordinate with large hotels and advertise ballroom dancing weekends, taking bookings from individuals and couples, all eager to experience the old world charm of a dance art form that seems unwilling and unlikely to ever lose its popularity.
There’s something wholesome and healthy about ballroom dancing. Weekends spent in the company of others of like minds, whirling around a ballroom in sequined dress under the sparkling reflections of a rotating mirror ball has a certain magical quality about it. The elegance and smooth easy motion, whether performed by amateur or professional, has an abiding appeal that stays, weekend after weekend, for thousands of people.
Ballroom dancing breaks are merely the culmination of many centuries of such activity. It’s difficult to pinpoint an origin to this. However, the 16th century is when the courts of Europe started to see those of the noble class enjoying a form of social dancing that was more refined than the more course folk dancing enjoyed by the masses. This evolved into what is known today as ballroom dancing.