Entertainment Performing Arts 12 Types of Ballroom Dances Share PINTEREST Email Print Performing Arts Dance Styles Basics Gear Singing Acting Musical Theater Ballet Stand Up Comedy By Treva Bedinghaus Treva L. Bedinghaus is a former competitive dancer who has studied ballet, tap, and jazz. She writes about dance styles and practices and the history of dance. our editorial process Treva Bedinghaus Updated December 06, 2018 People all over the world enjoy the social and competitive nature of ballroom dancing. These dances are partner dances enjoyed socially and competitively worldwide. The following 12 ballroom dances are seen on dance floors, on stages, in films, and on television. How many of these ballroom dances are you familiar with? 01 of 12 Cha-Cha Ailura / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 The cha-cha is a lively, flirtatious ballroom dance full of passion and energy. The classic "Cuban motion" gives the cha-cha its style. Partners work together to synchronize each movement in perfect alignment. 02 of 12 Foxtrot Sheridan Libraries/Levy/Gado/Getty Images The foxtrot is a ballroom dance that is lots of fun and simple to learn, making it an excellent dance for beginners. In the foxtrot, dancers make long, smooth, flowing movements across the floor to swing or big-band music. 03 of 12 Jive CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images Jive is a ballroom dance style that originated in the United States with African-Americans. It is a lively form of swing dance and a variation of the jitterbug. 04 of 12 Lindy Hop Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images The Lindy Hop is the ballroom dance considered to be the father of all swing dances. It is known for its athletic style and often contains aerial jumps, twists, and flips. It was named for Charles Lindbergh's (Lucky Lindy) transatlantic flight and popular in the 1930s. 05 of 12 Mambo I.C. Rapoport/Getty Images The mambo is one of the most emotional Latin American ballroom dances. Swaying hip movements, facial expressions, arm movements, and holds all contribute to the sensuality on display in the dance. It's different than what modern Americans call the mambo and was hot in the 1940s and '50s in Cuba and New York, after being invented by Perez Prado. 06 of 12 Pasodoble Bob van Ooik / Contributor / Getty Images The pasodoble is one of the liveliest ballroom dances, originating in southern France. It is modeled after the sound, drama, and movement of the Spanish bullfight and is danced to music used during a bullfight. 07 of 12 Quickstep oleg66 / Getty Images The quickstep is a quick version (naturally) of the foxtrot. It is a ballroom dance composed of extremely quick stepping, syncopated feet rhythms, and runs. The quickstep is exciting to watch but among the most difficult of all the ballroom dances to master. 08 of 12 Rumba oleg66 / Getty Images The rumba is considered by many to be the most romantic and sensual of all Latin ballroom dances. It is often referred to as the "Grandfather of the Latin dances" and its music has an insistent 4/4 beat. The ballroom version derives from Cuban son. 09 of 12 Samba Lonely Planet / Getty Images Possibly the most popular of all Brazilian ballroom dances, both young and old enjoy dancing the samba. It can be performed solo, such as during the Carnival in Rio de Janiero, or with a partner socially. 10 of 12 Tango Julian Finney / Getty Images The tango is one of the most fascinating of all ballroom dances. This sensual dance originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the late 19th century. The style used in competitions today is different than Argentinian styles of tango. 11 of 12 Viennese Waltz Imagno/Getty Images The Viennese waltz is a quick rotating ballroom dance with a subtle rise and fall. It is considered by most to be one of the most difficult dances to learn. The simple and elegant rotational movement characterizes the Viennese waltz. It's up to four times faster than the regular, or slow, waltz, and the steps are slightly different. 12 of 12 Waltz RichLegg/Getty Images The waltz is one of the smoothest of ballroom dances. It is a progressive dance marked by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and rise and fall. The dance is so graceful and elegant that waltz dancers appear to glide around the floor with almost no effort.