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Shall We Dance?

Essay by review  •  February 5, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,020 Words (5 Pages)  •  768 Views

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We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.” Anonymous.

“Shall we Dance” is a romantic movie of a bored, overworked lawyer, who signs up for a ballroom dancing lessons and in this time he discovers that he loves dancing.

The movie “Shall we Dance” involves the classical ballroom dancing. The term "Ballroom Dancing" is derived from the word “ball”, which it is originated from the Latin word ballare which means "to dance". Ballroom Dancing has its origins in England during the late 18th and early 19th century, primarily among the upper class who participated in social events at balls. During the late 19th and early 20th century, Ballroom Dancing became popular among the working class who attended public dance halls or "popular assemblies." Ballroom competitions gained popularity during the early 1920s. Throughout the years, Ballroom Dancing gained increased popularity throughout Europe, Asian-Pacific, and the Americas.

The movie shows different styles of dancing, because the plot of the movie is about a beginner class, the students should learn several style of dancing. The first one that I recognized was Tango, principally because the teacher used the same technique that we learnt in class, “Tango has five steps, T-A-N-GO”. Then I was able to distinguish some others styles like Mambo and certain Latin dances, also Waltz, which we did not learn on class.

As the movie continues, they start practicing for a competition. Here is when the term Ballroom Dancing comes to scene. This dance, in the movie, implicates four different styles, Cha Cha, Paso Doble, Waltz, and Quickstep.

The Cha-Cha and Paso Doble are Latin styles. The first one, Cha- Cha became popular about 1954. Cha Cha is an offshoot of the Mambo. In the slow Mambo tempo, there was a distinct sound in the music that people began dancing to, calling the step the "Triple" Mambo. Eventually it evolved into a separate dance, known today as the Cha Cha. The dance consists of three quick steps (triple step or cha cha cha) and two slower steps on the one beat and two beat. This style has the mambo step that we learnt in class. The second style Paso Doble is a lively style of dance to the duple meter march-like pasodoble music. It actually originated in France, but is modeled after the sound, drama, and movement of the Spanish bullfight. I recognized this style very easily since I am from a Latin country where Paso Doble is the first song in a wedding, quinceanera party, etc.

The third style in Ballroom dancing is called Waltz. Waltz comes from the German word "waltzen," which means "to turn." The turn is the essence of the waltz step. The waltz is done in 3/4 time with an accent on the first beat of every measure. Each series of movements is a turning step and a close. Today, it is often danced on a light foot, although this was not always the case. Precursors to the waltz were the allemande and the minuet. The allemande was a stately dance done in two lines. The minuet was a square-step dance performed in a rigid and stately manner. The waltz as far as I am concerned, seems a very romantic and slow dance. In Latin America, it is typical to dance the waltz in weddings.

Finally, the last style seen in the movie was quickstep. This is a dance developed during World War I in suburban New York, it was initially performed by Caribbean and African dancers. It eventually made its debut on the stage of American music-halls and immediately became popular in ballrooms. Foxtrot and Quickstep have a common origin. In the twenties many bands played the slow-Foxtrot

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