Barbara Capaldi's Atrium Dance Studio
August 2017 Highlights
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Dance Parties

1st & 3rd Friday
R&B Line Dance Party
8:00p – 1:00a

Every Saturday
Latin Night Salsa Party
8:3 0p – 2:00a

1st & 3rd Sunday
Tango Brunch Milonga

12:00p– 3:00p

1st & 3rd Sunday
Ballroom Mix Party
3:00p – 6:30p

Every Wednesday West Coast Swing & Hustle Party 8:30p-11:00p

No partner necessary
Wear comfortable shoes

All classes are $12
Lesson Pricing Info.

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Where to dance
in South Jersey

Our classes

American Ballroom Dance

Ballroom dance is a style of partner dance which originated in the western world and is now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the globe. Its performance and entertainment aspects are also widely enjoyed on stage, in film, and on television.

Ballroom dancing is derived from the word "ball", which in turn orginates from the latin word "balare" which means "to dance".

The definition of "ballroom dance" depends on the era. We all know or have heard of balls that featured Minuet, Quadrille, Polonaise, Pas de Gras, Mazurka, and other popular dances of the day, which are now placed into the category of historical dances.

In times past, ballroom dancing was "social dancing" of privileged classes, leaving "folk dancing" for the lower classes. Today ballroom dancing is much more democratic, and the boundaries between once-polarized ballroom and folk dances become blurred. However, even in times long gone many "ballroom" dances were elevated folk dances.

Most competitive ballroom dances were social and/or folk dances before being formalized as ballroom dances, and many of these dances are still danced as social and folk dance.

Ballroom dancing has been in continual use as a social art form since its inception with one obvious exception in the 20th century. Dance historians usually mark the appearance of the Twist in the mid 1960s as the end of social partner dancing, and they credit what was then called the Latin Hustle for bringing it back in the late 1970s.

Today one may speak of competitive ballroom dancing, with its competitions, schools, societies, and books of technique, and of social ballroom dancing, with its emphasis on having fun.

"Strictly Ballroom" - competitive dancing

Contemporary ballroom dance technique has been extensively studied and formalized. Medal examinations are a commonly accepted standard of measurement of a dancer's technique according to conventional standards. Franchise studios in the United States classify them as Bronze, Silver, and Gold for the social dancers. For amateur competitive dancers the rankings go Bronze-> Silver-> Gold-> Novice-> Prechampionship-> Championship (roughly corresponding to the E->..-> A-> S rankings in Europe and Australia), then Rising Star and Open Professional for the pro ranks. The International Olympic Committee recognizes competitive ballroom dance as a DanceSport.

Coming from grouping dances in competitions, the following divisions of contemporary ballroom dance are recognized: International Standard and International Latin. In addition, American Smooth, and American Rhythm are widely popular in the USA. The former two divisions are called International Style and the latter two are American Style.

As you may see below, both International and American styles include dances with the same names. However, they are danced quite differently. Therefore, when discussing dance technique, the dance is named including its style, e.g., it is spoken of American Style Rumba vs. International Rumba or American Tango vs. International Tango. In a way, "Standard" matches "Smooth" and "Latin" matches "Rhythm".

Australia also has a division called New Vogue and is often referred to as 'Australian New Vogue'. It is danced both competitively and socially. In competition there are 15 recognised New Vogue dances which are performed by the competitors in sequence.

As a historical curiosity, ballroom dancing competitions in the former USSR included the Soviet Ballroom dances, or Soviet Programme, in addition to Standard dances and Latin dances.

International Standard is sometimes called International Ballroom or Modern Ballroom.

Standard and Smooth are travelling dances: couples travel around the dance floor (along the line of dance (LOD), counter-clockwise). Time may be 2/4 (tango), 4/4 (Foxtrot, Quickstep), 3/4 (Waltz), or 6/8 (Viennese Waltz).

Most Latin and Rhythm dances are spot dances, which do not travel, although Samba and Paso Doble travel along the LOD. Time is 2/4 or 4/4.

Social Ballroom

Of course, all the above can be and are danced socially in numerous dance clubs, schools, and studios.

In addition, in social ballroom dancing, as well as in dance competitions in the United States the Nightclub dance category is recognized, which includes dances such as Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, and Hustle. Nightclub dances are less formalized than the others. A number of them are proudly called Street dances. Nightclub dances are danced differently in different places, and club/street styles differ from the styles taught in ballroom studios.

Another category recently formalized in Europe is the "Latin Swing" class, which consists of five dances: Tango Argentino, Mambo, Lindy Hop, Swing Boogie (sometimes also known as Nostalgic Boogie), and Disco Fox.

There's also a Rock'n'Roll dance variant accepted as a social dance.

Akin to "Ballroom dances" and "Nightclub dances" are Country/western dances, danced both competitively and socially at C/W bars, clubs, and ballrooms.

A related category is Regional Ballroom Dances. One example would be the subcategory of Cajun dances which originated in New Orleans, with branches reaching both coasts of the United States.

4721 N. Crescent Boulevard
Pennsauken, NJ 08110



4721 N. Crescent Boulevard Pennsauken, NJ 08110 856-661-9166 ©2007 ATRIUM DANCE STUDIO