What are Minor Dances?
Answer: Minor dances are typically nightclub dances, regional dances, or subsets of dances outside of 6 Major Dances. The 6 Majors, or "major six", are: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha-Cha, and Swing. While these 6 are considered to be the most traditional and universal, the Minors are all great dances in their own right. With dances like Hustle, Merengue, Salsa, West Coast Swing, and Mambo, these dances may not be as traditional, but they are not lacking in popularity by any stretch.
A Major Look at the Minors: Nightclub Dances
Of all of the Minors in the sub-category of "Nightclub", none is more popular as the Salsa. With Salsa Nightclubs all over the world, the Salsa community is exponentially more diverse than what it used to be.
While hustle exploded with the popularity with the movie Saturday Night Fever, and the 70's Disco scene, the dance, 40 years later, is still a partner dancing mainstay. There are some who prefer to match their style to the classic disco music of the 70's, and others who prefer a more contemporary take on the, now vintage, dance - the Hustle is a dance rooted in fun music and smooth moves.
The Bachata is, easily, the fastest growing dance over the last 5 years. As a popular and sexy option at Salsa Clubs, the Bachata is the perfect dance complement for any aspiring Latin dancer.
A Major Look at the Minors: Subsets
The Argentine Tango has a loyal, worldwide following, and is the romantic parallel to the traditional Tango. Originating in Buenos Aires, this sexy and confined version of the Tango highlights the subtle nuances of Leading and Following, intricate footwork, and a connection to the music.
West Coast Swing
The story is that West Coast Swing originated out of necessity due to the crowded dance floors at Swing nightclubs in the 40's and 50's. West Coast Swing maximizes a limited amount of space by keeping the movements restricted to a straight line, or "slot". If necessity is the mother of all invention, then the West Coast Swing is a perfect dance example of that. It's characterized by fancy footwork, creative interpretation of the timing, and slow and sassy Swing music.
Technically, this may have been the very first Waltz dance, but this falls into the Minor category because it is more difficult than the traditional Waltz. Viennese Waltz is characterized by sweeping movements around the dance floor to a faster Waltz tempo. It brings the dancer back to the days of tuxedos, ballgowns, and elegant affairs for the social elite. Any aspiring Viennese Waltz dancer will find all of the tools, at a slower tempo, in the Waltz which can all transition to Viennese Waltz when the time is right.
Your Dance Program Needs the Minors
If you think of your dance program as your classes in school, the Majors are the course requirements and the Minors are the electives. While many dance techniques are developed in the Major 6, it's the Minors that offer a broader range of applications for them.
Everything on your Arthur Murray dance program, from patterns to technique, is designed to carry over from dance to dance. In some cases, your Minors can unlock a skill or technique that may have been lacking in your Majors.
This goes back to the principle that at Arthur Murray, you can learn to dance, not just a dance. The Minors add variety to your dance options, without detracting from your progress in any other area.
It's amazing what happens to students on their dance journey. Just like a shopping trip that yields unplanned items at the checkout, the dances a student starts with and what they end up having can change dramatically.
It usually comes down to experience.
When you have an opportunity to experience dances like Bachata, West Coast Swing, and Argentine Tango, it's amazing how much peoples' preferences begin to change.
While they may have a name that seems to minimize their utility, the Minors can be a Major part in your dance program.
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