Who remembers when ballroom dancing was the height of sophistication? Do you remember watching ‘Come Dancing’? Do you still dance?
Slow, slow, quick, quick slow.
After the war, Britain put on its dancing shoes and discovered an enthusiasm in ballroom dancing. People were eager to seize the moment and enjoy themselves; dancing and the cinema quickly became the most popular forms of entertainment.
Ballroom dancing certainly had a universal appeal as it was a hobby that was shared among generations. Young people, their parents and grandparents danced together.
To intensify this entertainment, Come Dancing was a ballroom dancing competition show that ran on the BBC through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Some of the presenters included: Peter West, Charles Nove, Angela Rippon, Noel Edmonds, Pete Murray and Rosemarie Ford. Who was your favourite?
Members of the Spring Chicken community have been reminiscing on ballroom dancing:
‘Come dancing was much more entertaining than Strictly Come Dancing’
‘I remember my mum wearing sequin dresses. When my dad and her went out to dances, I would go around looking for/collecting all the sequins that had fallen off her dress.’
‘My mother used to love ballroom dancing – it’s how she met my dad!’
‘My dad loved it when Come Dancing was on, because Mum would let him go to the pub so we could watch it on our own!’
Which of these styles was your favourite?
Waltz was introduced in England in the early 19th century – it was the first dance where a man held a woman close to his body. Waltz is performed for both International Standard and American Smooth.
Ballroom tango utilises strong movements and an open frame. It is performed in international competitions.
The Foxtrot can be danced at slow, medium, or fast tempos – depending on the speed of the jazz or big band music. The partners are facing one another and frame rotates from one side to another, changing direction after a measure. The dance is flat, with no rise and fall like the waltz.
The jive is a lively variation of the jitterbug. During World War II, American soldiers introduced the jive in England. In jive, the man leads the dance while the woman encourages the man to ask them to dance, and some technique is taken from salsa, swing and tango.
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