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Waltz - Tango - Foxtrot
Waltz is also considered the forerunner of today’s popular dances. Beginning in 17th century Germany, it grew and was popularized all over the world with the music of Johann Strauss in the 20th century. It is a much disciplined dance, and is not easy to master quickly. Waltz comes from the German word "waltzen," which means "to turn." The turn is the essence of the waltz step. The waltz is done in 3/4 time with an accent on the first beat of every measure. It is comprised of walking steps and side steps with the added characteristics of rise and fall, sway, rotation, and pendulum action. This styling makes the Waltz beautiful and elegant.
The Tango became popular when Rudolph Valentino demonstrated a highly stylized form of Argentine tango in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As a result, the Hollywood style steps mixed in with other social dance steps of the times began this branch away from the Argentine style. Today, American style Tango allows its dancers to separate from closed position to execute open moves, like underarm turns, alternate hand holds, dancing apart, and side-by-side choreography.
The Foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime. Today, the dance is customarily accompanied by the same big band music to which swing is also danced. From the late teens through the 1940s, the foxtrot was certainly the most popular fast dance and the vast majority of records issued during these years were foxtrots. Over time, the foxtrot split into slow and quick versions, referred to as "foxtrot" and "quickstep" respectively. In the slow category, further distinctions exist between the International or English style of the foxtrot and the continuity American style, both built around a slow-quick-quick rhythm at the slowest tempo, and the social American style using a slow-slow-quick-quick rhythm at a somewhat faster pace.
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