The Paso Doble was a military march that emulates the movements of a matador for the man and the cape for the woman. It is believed to have come from Southern France and many of the terms relating to the dance are French.
Ballroom Paso Doble dancing is heavily choreographed and is usually performed in competitions and rarely danced socially.
Performed on the night by Lorraine and Jimmy to “Espana Cani” by The Harmony Group and DJ Ice
American Smooth along with American rhythm are the two forms of ballroom dancing that make-up the American style. It is made up of four dances; the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. The dance is influenced by Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray amongst others.
The Foxtrot is a smooth dance and is known for its long, continuous flowing movements across the width and depth of the dance floor. It was developed in the 1910s reached its height in popularity in the 1930s.
Performed on the night by Jessica and John to “I Just Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Bublé
Charleston is a harbour city in South Carolina. South Carolina is known as the Palmetto State due to the fact its main forth was built on spongey palmetto wood which helped repel a British attack as the cannonballs simply bounced off the fortress. Perhaps it is no surprise the Charleston dance is characterised by its bouncy rhythmic movements.
The Charleston made its debut to the wider world in 1923 in the Broadway show Runnin’ Wild. It is comprised of the African dance Juba and consists of fast footwork with twisting, bouncing heelwork and swinging arms.
Performed on the night by Aoife and Harry to “Pencil Full of Lead” by Paolo Nutini
Swing dancing was born out of the jazz movement of the 1920s in the USA. As the sound develope, so too did the dances and this involved incorporating the popular dances at the time like the Charleston and foxtrot. This would eventually become the lindy hop, a dance many credit as the genesis of swing.
There are many forms of swing and the most popular include lindy hop, jive, the jitterbug and west coast swing. Swing is an exciting fast-paced dance and the participants hold hands.
Performed on the night by Úna and Michael to “Do You Love Me?” by The Contours
The Jive is a dance formed from African-American dances in the 1930s. It’s a more uninhabited version of the Jitterbug. Cab Calloway was an early proponent and it brought it to the attention of the wider public.
It is a very happy and ‘boppy’ dance with the lifting and bending of knees and rocking of the hips commonplace. This dance is usually performed to Swing or Rock music.
On January 22nd, the Active Retirement Group took a trip to the historic Abbey Theatre. We were given an exclusive and in-depth tour of the theatre, stage, and backstage. We were shown how the special effects worked and how the character wigs were made. We grabbed lunch at Wynn’s Hotel before setting back to the Abbey to see ‘Drama at Inish’. It was a great day filled with laughs!
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