Cover image for Let's Dance : learn to swing, jitterbug, rumba, tango, line dance, lambada, cha-cha, waltz, two-step, foxtrot and salsa with style, grace and ease
Let's Dance : learn to swing, jitterbug, rumba, tango, line dance, lambada, cha-cha, waltz, two-step, foxtrot and salsa with style, grace and ease
Bottomer, Paul.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Black Dog and Leventhal, 1998.
Physical Description:
256 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Tango -- Merengue -- Salsa -- Lambada -- Samba reggae -- Line dancing -- Mambo -- Rumba -- Cha cha cha -- Paso doble -- Samba -- Jive : from Lindy hop to rock'n'roll -- Social foxtrot -- Waltz -- Quickstep -- Modern tango -- Slow foxtrot -- Viennese waltz.
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
Central Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
Clearfield Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Marilla Free Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library GV1751 .B68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Step-by-step lessons from the basics of the Foxtrot to the nuances of the Argentine Tango are presented in detailed description and over 1300 informative full-color photographs, illustrations and diagrams. Beginners and advanced dancers alike will find the lessons easy, fun and a novel way to spend time with new partners, add spice to mature relationships or find a new dance mate.

This book covers an immense selection of styles for every kind of music from the Electric Slide, the Hustle and the Chicken Walk to the Viennese Waltz, the Slow Foxtrot and the Modern Tango. Specific dance moves like Spot Turns, Hip Twists and Feather Steps will make any couple an instant sensation on the dance floor.

Full of footprint diagrams, style tips, music suggestions and hints on getting started, this big book has everything that you need to explore the exhilarating world of ballroom and club dancing.

Author Notes

Paul Bottomer and his wife and partner, Elaine, are world-renowned dance champions. They have been the World & European Supreme Champions in Argentine Tango four times and were grand finalists in the All-England Professional Ballroom Championships. Paul teaches and lectures internationally, appears on various television programs and at social dance conferences.



The International Latin-American dances are taught in conventional dance schools, which usually offer a mixture of courses and private lessons plus opportunities to enjoy the dances at regular party nights, Many schools have a program that gradually introduces many of the dances in a single course. This is a great way to get dancing quickly. The course may also include the International Standard dances since it is customary for both styles to be featured more or less equally at each dance party. In such schools, a version of Rock 'n' Roll or Jive will usually be included as part of the Latin-American program. The style and technique taught by qualified teachers in recognized schools will be identical worldwide. In contrast to club dancing, conventional dance schools tend to attract couples, so it is worth asking a friend or partner to come, at least for your first class. Once there, it's time to relax, enjoy the convivial atmosphere and get down to some serious fun! The Cuban Family of Dances Fans of Latin American dancing often notice a similarity between the international styles of Mambo, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Salsa. This is because the dances all originate from the same Cuban source, finding their roots in the Bolero Rumba, the Danzon and the Son. The characteristics of the Rumba produce a slow, sensuous and very beautiful dance of love. The pattern of the Cha Cha Cha moves are similar to that of the Rumba, but the speed is a little quicker and the mood is much more playful and teasing. In Salsa, which is a distillation of manu Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances , turns have become an important feature, so the overall look and feel are quite different from those of the Mambo, though the dances share many of the basic moves. In contrast to the Mambo, where the feel of the dance is generally based on forward and backward movements, Salsa moves have more of a side-to-side feel. Mambo has a pattern, structure and feel that are closer to the Rumba and Cha Cha Cha, although it is a faster and more exuberant dance. The experienced Mambo dancer will use every beat of music and interpret them with four actions, comprising two steps, a movement of the foot in place and a final transfer of weight, In the international style of Mambo used in the introduction to the dance given in this book, three steps are danced over four beats of music. The steps themselves are simplified, so a "Quick" is danced to one beat and a "Slow" to two beats, following a normal pattern of "Quick Quick Slow." There is a great technical debate in Mambo about which action occurs on which beat. Experienced dancers often argue that the transfer of weight occurs on beat one, as has become the norm in the Rumba and Cha Cha Cha, while others maintain that it occurs on the final beat. In practice, dancers with highly developed sense of formal technique tend to dance the weight transfer on count one, while social dancers and the Latinos themselves tend to dance it on count four. Since both are possible, the dancer is entitled to dance to the emphasis of the beat give by the percussionists in any given musical arrangement. For the purposes of this chapter, the rhythm is that favored by most social dancers, where Step 1 occurs on the first beat of the bar of music. Whatever the outcome of the technical debate, no one can be wrong for getting onto the floor and enjoying dancing the Mambo. Music and Rhythm Mambo is as fascinating as it is diverse. Like all Latin American dance music, the rhythm is exciting, and for a dancer, the rhythm is the first concern. In Mambo, the rhythm is set by an astonishing variety of percussive instruments. These include the clave, two hardwood sticks that are tapped together to produce the basic rhythm, the guiro, which produces a rasping sound, maracas, originally hollow gourds filled with dried peas or small pebbles to make a rattle, the campana or cowbell, and a variety of drums, including the conga, tumba, bongo and timbales. When first listening to Mambo music, it is not uncommon for the newcomer to be confused by the variety of rhythms within the umbrella of Mambo. This variety exists because Mambo marks a transition from several earlier dance rhythms into a distillation of all of them. In the same way that different chefs might produce the same dish but with variations according to each chef's preferences, so different musicians might produce one of the three different Mambo rhythms. The first and simplest Mambo rhythm uses four basic beats, which a dancer will interpret as "Quick Quick Slow." This is the type of rhythm used in this book. The second type of rhythm tends to be faster and uses the four basic beats which are interpreted as four "Quick" counts of "Quick Quick Slow" or the two are combined in one dance. This rhythm has largely become associated with Salsa. The third rhythm tends to be slower but splits beat four in half to produce three whole counts followed by two half counts. The two split beats followed by a whole beat give the familiar Cha Cha Cha rhythm. Although it may be interesting to understand what the rhythmic differences are and why they occur in the same dance, it is not necessary to delve too deeply into rhythm analysis in order to enjoy dancing the Mambo. The tempo of Mambo music varies enormously, starting at about 32 bars per minute for Cha Cha Cha and rising to 40 for social dancing, before climaxing at a more challenging 56 bars per minute for expert dancers. mambo music usually has a time signature of 4/4, which means that there are four equal beats to each bar of music, though 8/8 is also possible. Mambo The Mambo enjoys a rich past, originating in the fertile mixture of Afro-Caribbean and Latin American cultures found on the island of Cuba. Cuba has always been able to boast an amazing diversity of dances and rhythms. By the 1950s a new and exciting sound, originally led by Odilio Urfe and Arsenio Rodriguez, was beginning to emerge. A mixture of Latin with a heavy jazz influence, the style was developed by Damaso Perex Prado, a Cuban b and leader based in Mexico who, by 1945, had turned it into the latest dance craze. This hot new dance, the Mambo, is believed to have been named after the voodoo priests who are able to send devotees into wild, hypnotic dances. The Mambo was initially condemned by the Church in some Latin American countries and restricted by the authorities in others. But, like any forbidden fruit, the Mambo gained in popularity and flourished. By the 1950s, spurred on by Hollywood and the amazing popularity of Perez "Prez" Prado, the Mambo had begun to establish itself as a favorite in the United States. Prado was one of the original "Mambo Kings," along with names like Tito Puente, Israel Lopez Cachao and the legendary Mambo musician Machito, all of whom performed at the famous Palladium in New York. They were joined by probably the greatest vocal interpreter of Mambo, Benny More. The singer Celia Cruz also became a Latin legend, but it was Prado's hits, such as "Mambo No. 5," "Mambo No. 8," "Mambo Jambo" and "Guaglione," that really led the music and dance to explode onto the wider world dance scene to become the enduring favorite that it is today, The Holds When dancing Cuban, several different holds will be used, depending on the figure being danced. Most starting figures are danced using a close contact hold. Close Contact Hold The man and woman are in close contact. The man places his right hand around the woman's waist with his right hand around the woman's waist with his right forearm across the small of the woman's back. The woman places her left hand on the man's upper right arm, right shoulder or the back of his neck. the man raises his left hand to just below shoulder level with his elbow away from his body. The woman then places the middle finger of her right hand between the thumb and first finger of the man's left hand. The man closes the fingers of his left hand to take hold. The woman is positioned slightly to the man's right, so that his left foot is outside the woman's right foot when he moves forward onto his left foot, and his right foot is between the woman's feet when he moves forward onto his right foot. Double Hand Hold In this hold, the man and woman are a little apart. The man holds the woman's left hand in his right hand and her right hand in his left hand, just below shoulder height. Right Hand to Right Hand Hold This hold is very similar to shaking hands except that the man holds his hand palm upward and the woman rests her palm on it. The hold should not be tight. the hands are held at about waist height. It is important for both the man's and woman's arms to be taut, but not rigid, to allow the man to give and the woman to receive the lead. What to do with the free arm depends on the move being dance and will be dealt with later in this book. Left Hand to Right Hand Hold In this hold, you will be in an open position, a little apart from your partner. The man takes the woman's right hand in his left hand and the free arm is normally extended to the side at waist height. Right hand to Left Hand Hold This is the same as the hold above, but the woman's left hand is held in the man's right hand. Excerpted from Let's Dance. Copyright (c) 1998 Anness Publishing Limited. Reprinted with permission by BD&L. Excerpted from Let's Dance: Learn to Swing, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Line Dance, Lambada, Cha-Cha, Waltz, Two-Step, Jitterbug and Salsa with Style, Elegance and Ease by Paul Bottomer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Club Dancing
Tango Merengue Salsa Lambada Samba Reggae Line Dancing
International Latin Music Dancing
Mambo Rumba Cha Cha Cha Paso Doble Samba Jive - from Lindy Hop to Rock 'n' Roll
International Standard Partner Dancing
Social Foxtrot Waltz Quickstep Modern Tango Slow Foxtrot Viennese Waltz Further Information

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