Everything Else

Dancing in Sequence

Having read the feature on Ballroom Dancing in the U3A magazine Sources I wanted to add to the discussion and talk about the art of Sequence Dancing.

Sequence Dancing consists of couples dancing around the floor in an anti-clockwise direction to a set of variations within 16 bars of music and those variations are repeated until the music ends. It also means that you don’t crash into other couples, an avoiding skill that is required of ballroom dancers.

My own background with first learning Ballroom Dancing goes back to 1944 and I guess apart from helping to raise children, I have been involved ever since and as the reader can imagine, as I belong to the U3A, then I have been around the floor a few times. I eventually moved in to Sequence as it appeared that for a time Ballroom went out of fashion.

Sequence is divided into 3 types: Modern, Classic and Latin American. I won’t go into all of the different dances here but give enough I hope for the reader to get a glimpse.

  • Modern: would be Waltz, Quickstep, Slow Foxtrot, Emerald Quickstep and Tango.
  • Classic: would be Saunter, Blues, Swing, Waterford Waltz and Tango. (Note that the Classic tango does not always retain the standard hold.)
  • Latin American: Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba Memoire, Jive, Mambo and Bossa Nova.

In order to experience new dances the professional bodies create “Inventive” meetings around the country in which there are competitions generally split into the 3 types. Professional couples design a dance, individually demonstrate it and if finally successful teach it to the audience. As an approximation, there are 36 new dances each year and keen amateurs go to learn them. Some of these new dances become entrenched in their popularity whilst others are lost by the wayside.

This type of dancing is popular particularly with the retired age group and it ranges from being a social event at a village hall, the dancers being quite content to repeat the older dances that they are used to, to the aforementioned keen couples who are anxious to try the latest whilst reflecting on the quality of the floor.

If you are interested in learning more, this is my partner, Freda and I illustrating 5 dances: