Carolina Shag

The Carolina Shag is thought to have originated along the strands between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, during the 1940s.  The Carolina Shag, like all swing dance styles, is a direct descendant of Jitterbug, known in today's dancing circles as Lindy Hop.  Due to this relation, Carolina Shag can be danced with 4, 6 or 8 steps as part of the standard basic step.  Here is a video of two of the premier Shag Dancers of our time, Charlie Womble and Jackie McGee.


Country Two-Step
As with many dances, the Two Step was an evolution of a variety of dances, most notably the American Foxtrot and the Two Beat Waltz.   Today, the Two Step is known as a traveling dance that combines a variety of complex patterns with lots of turning, and people are no longer confined to dancing it in one straight line. Here is a video from our curriculum that provides instruction on one of the basic patterns.


The cha-cha-chá, or cha-cha as it’s called in the U.S., is a dance of Cuban origin.  The rhythm was developed from the danzón-mambo, which was also the fore-father of modern Mambo.  In the early 1950s, Enrique Jorrín worked as a violinist and composer with the band Orquesta América, who were a traditional ensemble that plays Cuban dance music. While performing at the dance halls in Havana, Jorrín noticed that many of the dancers had difficulty with the syncopated rhythms of the danzón-mambo. To make his music more appealing to dancers, Jorrín began composing songs where the melody was marked strongly on the first downbeat and the rhythm was less syncopated.  When Orquesta América performed these new compositions, it was noticed that the dancers had started improvising a shuffling triple step in their footwork producing the sound "cha-cha-cha". Thus, the new style came to be known as "cha-cha-chá" and became associated with a dance where dancers perform a triple step along with the traditional forward and back breaking steps associated with mambo.
Tara Hoy
Zumba Instructor
LaToya Purvis
COMMIT Instructor
American Foxtrot
The Foxtrot premiered in 1914, but gained popularity through the efforts of Vernon and Irene Castle, a husband-and-wife team of ballroom dancers and dance teachers who appeared on Broadway and in silent films early in the 20th century. The Castles are credited with giving the Foxtrot its signature grace and style, but it was dancer Arthur Murray who introduced the more modern version of the Foxtrot which imitates the positions of Tango.  At its inception, the Foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime music.  Today, the dance is customarily accompanied by the same big band music to which swing is also danced.  Over time, the dance split into slow and quick versions, referred to as "foxtrot" used for social dancing and "quickstep" used more for dance sport competitions.
The Rumba is a slow Latin dance originating from Cuba which uses a box step for the base of it's social dance patterns.  All social dances in Cuba involve a hip-sway over the standing leg and, though this is scarcely noticeable in faster Latin dances like Salsa, it is more pronounced in the slow Rumba.  In general, steps are kept compact to allow for partners to dance in closer proximity.

Salsa is a popular form of social dance that originated in the Caribbean. The movements of salsa have origins in Cuban Soncha-cha-chamambo and other dance forms.  The basic Salsa dance rhythm consists of taking three steps for every four beats of music. The odd number of steps creates the inherent syncopation to the Salsa dancing and ensures that it takes 8 beats of music to loop back to a new sequence of steps. 

American Tango
American Tango, commonly referred to as Ballroom Tango, is a ballroom dance that has its roots based in Argentina, but branched away from its original Argentine roots by allowing European, American, Hollywood, and competitive influences into the style and execution of the dance.  The present day ballroom tango is divided into two disciplines: American Style and International Style. Both styles may be found in social and competitive dances, but the International version is more globally accepted as a competitive style. Both styles share a common closed dance position, but the American style allows its practitioners to separate from closed position to execute open moves, like underarm turns, alternate hand holds, dancing apart, and side-by-side choreography.
East Coast Swing

East Coast Swing is a Rhythm Dance developed in the 1940s and has been known by many names over the length of its existence. Some of the more common include Eastern Swing, Jitterbug, American Swing, East Coast Lindy, Lindy (not to be confused with Lindy Hop), and Triple Step Swing. It can be said that there is no right or wrong way to dance it; however, certain styles of the dance are considered correct "form" within the technical elements documented and governed by the National Dance Council of America.  East Coast Swing is considered by most professional dance teachers to be the base for swing dancing due to its flexibility and easy learning curve.

Looking for something different?

African Fusion is a dance style that blends the techniques of formal dance training with traditional dances of West, Central and East Africa. Formal dance styles such as ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary are combined with free flowing loose relaxed movements, making the focus of Afro Fusion being more about expression and rhythm. Expect to find that even Latin Dance styles, like Samba, will be part of the mix.  Dancers of all levels are encouraged to attend. 

Open Studio Practice 

Our monthly open studio practice session gives students the opportunity to work on their individual dances in a relaxed atmosphere while maintaining a set structure and format. The first 30 minutes of every practice session will be devoted to a group warm-up, including practice of basic step elements that are a part of our Ballroom and Latin curriculum.  The focus of this component is to get dancers familiar with the process of watching their own movements and technique in the mirror and beginning to work on dance form, posture and control.

After the warm-up phase, the next hour of the each session will consist of practice music played in a set order that will be listed and available to the dancers for reference.  To maximize practice time, only a few dances will be featured and practiced in each session.  Dance styles will rotate each month to offer practitioners an interesting variety.

Zumba Returns in January 2018

Order a Newly Redesigned Positively Ballroom Tee

We are taking orders for our newly designed studio tee-shirt! We have a variety of colors available from blue, to green, to classic black and more!  We have both men's and women's shirts and all colors and sizes are only just over $15 each!  Click on the button below to order your's before the store closes on November 30!

Featured Dance Styles for December
N.Y. Hustle
The couple dance form of hustle is usually called "New York Hustle" but frequently referred to by other names including "la hustle" or "latin hustle". It has some resemblance to, and steps in common with, swing and salsa dancing. As in the Latin dances, couples tend to move within a "spot" on the dance floor, as opposed to following a line of dance as in foxtrot, or as opposed to tracking within a slot as in West Coast Swing or LA Hustle.  One similarity between hustle and swing is that the lead takes the back-forward steps from his left foot; however it is not exactly a rock step (there is no rocking action because of speed) and if the dance is taught by counting, the steps happen at the beginning of the count – "and-one, two, three" rather than at the end of the count as in swing – "left, right, rock-step".
American Waltz
The American Waltz differs from the International Standard Waltz in many respects. Most notably, American Waltz often involves an almost complete loss of contact between dance partners during some of the movements whereas International Standard Waltz does not permit leaving closed position. This dance visited the Austrian Court in Vienna for Peter the Great in 1698. Although, the minuet, a more proper dance, was more popular in the halls of nobles, the waltz spread quickly throughout Bavaria. In the late 18th century Don Curzio noted that Viennese women danced with celebrated grace and endurance. The dance at this time was far bouncier with much more rotation. The age and popularity of the waltz and the fact that it featured a closed position, allowed the waltz to serve as the foundation for several ballroom dances. The earliest sources describe the waltz as a sliding or gliding dance from the 16th century. Hans Sachs, an early observer noted that the large wild steps of the peasants had been refined by those in higher society to shorter more elegant movements.
The Rumba is a slow Latin dance originating from Cuba which uses a box step for the base of it's social dance patterns.  All social dances in Cuba involve a hip-sway over the standing leg and, though this is scarcely noticeable in faster Latin dances like Salsa, it is more pronounced in the slow Rumba.  In general, steps are kept compact to allow for partners to dance in closer proximity.
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Argentine Tango
Argentine tango is danced in an embrace that can vary from very open, in which leader and follower connect at arms length, to very closed, in which the connection is chest-to-chest, or anywhere in between.
Tango dance is essentially walking with a partner and the music. Dancing appropriately to the emotion and speed of a tango is extremely important to dancing tango. A good dancer is one who transmits a feeling of the music to the partner, leading them effectively throughout the dance. Also, dancers generally keep their feet close to the floor as they walk, the ankles and knees brushing as one leg passes the other.
Argentine tango dancing relies heavily on improvisation; although certain patterns of movement have been codified by instructors over the years as a device to instruct dancers, there is a "basic step" called "basico". One of the few constants across all Argentine tango dance styles is that the follower will usually be led to alternate feet. Another is that the follower rarely has his or her weight on both feet at the same time. In many modern variations of Argentine Tango, particularly in Europe, teachers of Tango may establish a "basic step" in order to help students to learn and pick up the "feel" of the dance.

Ballroom Dance Camp

Summer time is the perfect season to try something new, to grow and to learn. Our Dance camps are designed to introduce students to some of our most popular dances, without a huge time commitment.

​Our 7-week Summer Dance Camp is designed to offer students two weekly workshops over the course of June and July.  Each workshop is 90 minutes in length, with a 10 minute break for refreshment.  Each individual workshop is designed to introduce one dance style to camp participants. Attendees can expect to receive instruction in basic steps, tempo, technique, styling, a few social patterns for the dance and of course, practice in the dance style scheduled for that session.  Please check our calendar to discover what dances are being offered in each weekly session.  Students may attend the entire camp or simply drop-in for one session.  Click on the button below to see what workshops were offered at our 2017 Summer Camp.

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