Waltz - This dance became popular in the early 19th century in Europe, mainly in Germany and Austria. The present Waltz, probably the most well known of the Ballroom dances, evolved in England around 1910 to the version we have today.
Foxtrot - The foxtrot originated in the American night clubs in the early 1900's. It is possible that the name derives from Mr Harry Fox who popularised this dance by including it in the famous Ziegfeld Follies.
Tango - The Tango originates around the time that the Spanish conquered South America. It has a distinctive style which started out similar to Flamenco, and then evolved to become the Argentinean Tango. The Ballroom Tango is an Americanisation of this South American dance.
Quickstep - This dance became popular in many other forms. When Ragtime music evolved into Swing in the 1920's, it became known as the Quickstep around 1923-1925 and was very popular with band leaders at the time.
Samba - The Samba originates from the 1800's and it was thought to be brought to South America by slaves. Carnival steps were added to the dance as it evolved. The Samba was a favourite of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1940's.
Rumba - This dance also originated in the slave trade. Negro slaves were brought to Cuba in the 19th Century and brought the dance with them. The dance emphasises movement of the body rather that the feet. The standard International Rumba is danced with a break step on beat one of the bar.
Cha Cha Cha - This dance originated in South America too and was originally danced like a Rumba with the akternative faster beat. It was also known as a Mambo in the 1950's.
Jive - This dance originated in the Southern USA. It came to the UK as a series of simpler dances such as the Turkey Trot, Bunny Hop, etc. In 1910 all these individual dances were brought together to form the basis of the International Jive we have today. The 1960's saw Jive become one of the most popular dances in the UK.