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Influence Of Culture On Ballroom Dance

During the twentieth century many styles of ballroom dance were either invented or introduced from other countries to the United States.  The fox-trot, swing, waltz, cha-cha, rumba, tango, samba, mambo, and meringue are some of the most common dances performed in ballroom dance.  The influence of these dances stem from people and countries throughout the world.  All ballroom dance, except the fox-trot and swing, descended from European, Caribbean and South American dances.  Ethnic influence in ballroom dance can aid in understanding other cultures and provide an opportunity to experience one's own heritage.

The fox-trot is an American form of ballroom dance.  The fox-trot gets its name from a musical comedy star, Henry Fox  (1913-14), who danced a fast but simple trotting step to ragtime music in one of the Zeigfeld shows.  Since that time, through a gradual refining process, it has developed into a beautifully smooth dance.  Today, some 70 percent of the dances on an evening's program will be the fox-trot.  

The waltz developed from early folk dances and the roots are firmly implanted in dances from Germany and Austria, as early as the seventeenth century.  Early use of the waltz in America occurred in the elegant social balls and cotillions.  

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