Standard Ballroom Dances
For couples of all ages, Standard Ballroom Dances are the ballroom dances in the true sense of the word and take up a firm place in social life, i.e. at a wedding or a ball. As the music is familiar and the basic steps are largely similar to our natural walking motions the basics of the Standard Dances are uncomplicated and easy to learn. In contrast to the Latin-American Dances the Standard Dances do not require a dancer's extreme physical fitness.
Standard Ballroom Dances are characterized by a "natural, dynamic movement in a light and easy style" that fit to the rhythm, which in the beginning has been influenced by jazz music. Former round dance steps were replaced by walking movements allowing different fast and wide motions. The dancing posture has been defined later - couples danced without body contact or in close touch, which often was felt offensive in these times.
Since nineteenth century Viennese Waltz as the first Standard Dance rules the ballroom dancing, but it has been established as a Standard Dance after 1951. In 1907 Tango was imported from America to Europe. Because of its South-American origin Tango has been a part of the Latin American Ballroom Dances for a very long time. In 1961 Tango has been integrated in the Standard Dances as fifth competition dance. Ragtime evolved into the Foxtrot (Quickstep), which has replaced many other dances with its differing fast and slow steps.