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Dancing Lexicon

So you and your partner have decided to go Fred and Ginger for a dramatic dance at your reception-but you don't have a clue which one suits your style? Herewith, a master list of common wedding dances to provide some inspiration.

Ballroom Dance
Any social dance performed by a couple, including the fox-trot, waltz, tango, rumba, swing, mambo, samba, and cha-cha.

Carolina Shag
An upbeat, trendy style danced to swing music that originated in the South.

Cha-cha
A simplified version of the rumba characterized by small, hip-based movements and a two-three rhythm.

Fox-trot
A social dance of American origin that grew popular around World War I.

Kaslamantiano
A traditional Greek dance usually performed at weddings.

Hustle
A fast-paced variation on swing dancing that’s performed to disco music. The most common, pure version of the dance is referred to as New York hustle.

Mambo
A variation on rumba that grew out of a fusion of swing and Cuban sounds.

Rumba
A generic term encompassing a number of lively, offbeat dances that grew out of sixteenth-century African slave culture.

Salsa
A fast, sultry dance set to Latin music that originated in Cuba.

Samba
A very difficult Brazilian dance sometimes referred to as baion or batucado, incorporating rapid twisting of various body parts.

Syrto
Better known as the “napkin dance,” a group dance in which participants form a long line that snakes through the party and wave handkerchiefs.

Tango
A popular Argentine style of sultry dance that has many offshoots and regional derivations and is characterized by the near-embracing stance of the dancers.

Viennese Waltz
The best-known ballroom dance, the fast-paced, refined style is danced to classical waltzes and performed in triple time.

From the Fall 2005 New York Wedding Guide

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