mende dance studio home directions & hours private & semi private lessons group lessons events and socials wedding choreography teacher training
meet the staff ballroom and latin dances photos videos testimonials children and teens memorial subscribe to elist links


Dance History

We Teach a variety of dances including: Argentine Tango; Bachata; Balboa; Bolero; Bossa Nova; Cha Cha; Cumbia; Fox Trot; Free Style; Hustle; Mambo; Merengue; Paso Doble; Peabody; Polka; Quickstep; Rumba; Rumba Bolero; Salsa; Samba; Swing; Tango; Two Step; Viennese Waltz; Waltz; West Coast Swing.


Latin Dance History

Rumba (circa 1914) Originally this dance was done for amusement on farms in Cuba. The music has a seductive charm and when danced correctly the Rumba is as smooth as the Fox Trot. It became a popular ballroom dance and was introduced to the U.S. in about 1914. It is in 4/4 time, using hesitations in weight shifts that create hips to sway side to side. The purpose of learning this dance is for rhythm


Tango (circa 1914) The history of the Tango can be traced back to the country-dance of the 17th century England. As each country learned to dance from their neighboring country they would take it back and make it their own. The chronology is as follows:

1650 Country Dance England

1700 Contre Danse France

1750 Contra Danse Spain

1800 Danza Spain

1825 Danza Haganera Cuba

1850 Habanera

1900 Habanera del Cafe

1910 Tango

** Latin American Ballroom Tango is danced in 4/4 time.** The purpose of learning this dance is for control.


Samba (circa 1939) This Brazilian dance was first introduced in 1917. The style is to bounce steadily and smoothly in 2/4 time. It was first introduced to the U.S. in 1939 by Carmen Miranda. The purpose of learning this dance is for flexibility.
Mambo/Salsa (circa 1944) The fusion of swing and Cuban Music produced this rhythm and in turn created a new dance. It may be described as a riff or a rumba with emphasis on the 4th beat in 4/4 time. This dance was made popular again in the 1980's by the movie Dirty Dancing. The purpose of learning this dance is for agility.

Cha Cha (circa1950) It was triple mambo which produced a cha cha cha sound. Cha Cha is an advanced stage in interpretive social dancing, born of the fusion of progressive American and Latin music. The purpose of learning this dance is for weight change.

Merengue (circa 1957) There are 2 forms of merengue. The haitian merengue and the Dominican merengue. The dance of the Dominican Republic is 2/4 time with syncopation of the 1st beat interpreted by dancers as a slight limp. The purpose of learning this dance is for cuban motion.
Bossa Nova (circa 1961) The music of the Bossa Nova comes from Brazil. The dance originated in Carnegie Hall, and is nothing more than salon samba, meaning a faked version of the true Samba. This dance is a combination of Rumba and Samba. The purpose of learning this dance is for timing.

ballroom dance history

Waltz (circa 1913) Waltz dates back to late 17th century Europe. It originated in Italy as a round dance called the "Volte". Since then it has changed very much, each succeeding decade has added something to it's charm. It was adapted in the U.S. as the hesitation waltz around 1913. It is done in 3/4 time. The steps are smooth and gliding, and include many turns. The purpose of learning this dance is for balance.


Fox Trot (circa 1913) Fox Trot is a standard ballroom dance, and serves good foundation for social dances in 2/4 and 4/4 time. The purpose of learning this dance is for smoothness.
Swing (circa 1950) A hodge podge of several American dances (lindy, ragtime, jazz and blues). Today it generally refers to the ballroom version that is based on the slow and 2 quick counts of rhythm dances. It is done in 4/4 time. The purpose of learning this dance is for agility.
Hustle (circa 1972) This is a dance created in the discos of the U.S. The dance was popularized by the move "Saturday Night Fever". It's roots are taken from the swing. Danced in 4/4 time.


Ballroom and Latin Dance Web Special Sale!
Mende Dance Studio Ballroom and Latin Dance

Home . Directions & Hours . Private & Semi-Private Lessons . Group Lessons . Events & Socials . Weddings . Teacher Training . Meet the Staff . The Dances . Photos . Videos . Testimonials . Children & Teens . Memorial . FREE Dance Lessons . Links . YouTube . Facebook . Contact Us