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A Choreographed Ballroom Dance Club

What Is Round Dancing??

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What is Round Dancing??

Imagine a dance floor full of couples dancing in unison, all performing the same seemingly complex and interesting steps and manoeuvres.  Next, imagine you and your favourite partner in the midst of that group of dancers; dancing to popular music from today or dating back to the 50s or earlier.  Some of the music are instrumentals, others are vocals; some are easy listening, some swing, rock, western, or show tunes.  Now, the best part; you're keeping up beautifully, executing all of the figures and dancing smoothly and gracefully as one coherent unit!  It's all very possible within a very short period of time.  It's called "Round Dancing" and it's well within reach right here in Ottawa.
Round Dancing is also known as Choreographed Ballroom Dancing. Round dancing differs from free-style ballroom dancing in that each round dance has been choreographed ahead of time, and a cuer, tells the dancers, as they dance, what dance steps to perform. The dancer learns the dance steps in each rhythm so that when the music is played, the couple can follow the cues provided by the cuer, just in time to prompt the next step to be danced. It is challenging for the mind as well as the body. Every couple on the floor dances each routine in unison, that is, all the dancers on the floor are dancing the same steps at the same time; much like the Victorian style of dancing we see in the movies.
The cuer makes a round dance look different than the usual ballroom dance. The choreography can be relatively complex and interesting (since the man doesn't have to think it up as he goes), but otherwise round dancers are ballroom dancing. We hold our partners in the normal way. We take the same kinds of steps. The rhythms are the familiar rhythms; Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, Rumba, etc. This type of dancing eliminates the traffic jam feeling that sometimes happens while free-style ballroom dancing. Dancers are able to concentrate more on how they are executing figures and dancing as one coherent unit as opposed to trying to think about which figure or pattern to do next. There is rarely any bumping into each other, because the dancers move together in a counter clockwise motion (hence the name: round dancing). There is none of the stopping in the middle of a dance and glaring at your partner. There is no dancing against the flow of traffic.
In ballroom dancing, the man has to think of what figures he wants to do to the music and then he has to lead the woman to do those figures.  Many men tend to have difficulty doing at least three things at the same time: think up the choreography, make his feet do what he has thought up, and lead the lady to do it with him.  Most men can usually think of maybe a half-dozen different things to do, and then he does them over and over. 
So, for the man, the round dance cuer is a saviour.  Someone else has thought up what steps should be danced to this particular piece of music.  The choreographer has selected the steps that best fit each measure of music, and the cuer reminds us of what we should do as we dance.  Instead of only 6 or 8 different figures the man might think of, a more advanced round dance might easily have 30 or 40 different figures.  In round dancing, the cuer might say: "open telemark, “diamond turn", “new yorker”, and “promenade”, which are also ballroom dance terms.
Literally thousands of round dances have been choreographed over the years, and every dance is unique.  What other hobby provides such richness, such mental and physical challenge, and at the same time allows you to hold a beautiful (or handsome) partner in your arms all the while?
How difficult and complicated is round dancing? There are six levels from beginner through easy, intermediate, to advanced. The easy level emphasizes the 2-step and the Waltz. As one makes the transition to the intermediate level, the Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba, Cha Cha and Jive are introduced. Advanced levels add more rhythms and sophistication. In higher levels the dancers might also find themselves doing the Bolero, Quickstep, and Slow Two Step. As in any other activity, the dancers control how far they want to go.
How does the round dancer get started? The aspiring dancer gets started by joining a club which teaches beginners. Beginner clubs offer instruction, workshop review, and dancing fun in a smoke and alcohol free environment. The dance season usually runs from September through to the end of April. If they are really interested, dancers may buy videos to supplement class instruction. The costs are very reasonable; especially when compared with ballroom lessons.