Do you Speak Dance? Common Dance Terms Defined

dance lessons near meLearning to dance also means learning a new language, on and off the dance floor. As a new student at Arthur Murray Dance Now, you’ll learn new dance terms, but more importantly you’ll learn how to move your body in new ways and expand your social circle and make new friends!

Here are some common dance terms, broken down.

Ballroom Dancing vs. Partner Dancing

Unlike its name, ballroom dancing does not mean learning how to dance in a formal ball or at a competition. Ballroom dancing is an overarching term, meaning many different types of partner dances, including Salsa, Swing, Fox Trot, Waltz, Cha Cha and more! Learning to ballroom dance with us means you’ll learn how to dance socially—at weddings, dance clubs, and other fun events you’re already attending.

Benefits of Ballroom Dancing

Not only is dancing a great form of cardiovascular exercise, dancing can also improve your memory, reduce your stress, increase your energy, and be a great way for you to make social connections! You can also follow us on Instagram @amdancenow to start getting connected to us and fellow dancers!

Traveling Dance vs. Spot Dance vs. Slot Dance

Dance lessonsNot all dances are the same. Some dances move all around the dance floor, while others stay in one stationary spot for the majority of the dance.

Traveling dance (sometimes called progressive dance) is where the dancers travel around the dance floor. Examples of traveling dances include Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep, Paso Doble, and Country dances such as Two Step and Shuffle. You generally need a larger dance floor for these dances.

Spot dance (or stationary dance) is where the couple finds a place on the dance floor and stays in that general area throughout the dance. Examples of spot dances include Rumba, Cha Cha, East Coast Swing, Bolero, and Latin Club dances such as Merengue and Bachata. Spot dancing is best suited for night club dancing.

Slotted dance is where the couple maintains a column shape (or slot) on the dance floor. These dances include the West Coast Swing, Hustle, Zouk and Salsa. Also best for night club dancing since there is limited space to move around.


Styling in dance is how to make your dance look and feel like it’s your own. There are certain things that make you “you” and those can be incorporated into your dancing for moves that have your personal spin on them!

Each person and dancer who comes through our doors has their own personality and style that we want to see represented on the dance floor! While we teach technical skills like how to stand and which foot moves to which beat, we also teach freedom and expression through dance. After all, isn’t that what dancing is all about?






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