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American Rhythm

See also: Categories: Dances, Ballroom, DanceSport, Style

America Rhythm consists of five dances:
Cha Cha Cha
East Coast Swing


American Rhythm refers to a category of dances in American Style Ballroom competitions. This division includes dances known as the Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Bolero, and Mambo. Sometimes it may even include the Samba and the West Coast Swing.


American Rhythm along with American Smooth are the two categories of Ballroom Dance that constitute what is known as the American Style. Just like Latin and Standard make up the International Style of Ballroom Dance, the same goes with Rhythm and Smooth in comprising the American Style.

American Rhythm loosely corresponds to the "Latin" category of the International Style, just like American Smooth corresponds to Standard.

American Rhythm, just like American Smooth, is mostly danced in the United States and Canada, while International Style Latin and International Style Standard are danced internationally, all around the world. American Style Ballroom Dance combines elements of both traditional Latin and Ballroom dances.

The dance technique used for both International and American styles is similar, but have some distinctions of course. In addition, different sets of dance figures are usually taught for the two styles. For example, International Latin and American Rhythm have different styling, and have different dance figures in their respective syllabi.

The Rhythm dances were also influenced by American dancers of the post-WWII era, but the differences between this style and International Latin are more subtle. Costumes are similar, and while step patterns are not identical, movements are as free and explicitly sensual as in Latin.


Rhythm and Latin dances are commonly danced to contemporary Latin American music and, in the case of Jive, Western music. With the exception of a few traveling dances like the Samba and Paso Doble, couples do not follow the line of dance but perform their routines more or less in one spot.


In competitions, the women are often dressed in short-skirted Latin outfits while the men are outfitted in tight-fitting shirts and pants, the goal being to emphasize the dancers' leg action and body movements.

American Rhythm Competition Dances (only in the U.S. & Canada)

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