Artistic Latin American
General recommendations for Artistic Latin American
We are looking for an artistic interpretation in all dances of this section in contrast to the more
sportive approach to the dances of the International Latin American style. We want to see
innovative figures mixed with spectacular entertaining dancing. Low lifts are allowed!
(Low lifts means that no part of the lifted partner’s body will be above the lifting partner’s
shoulders except for the arm needed for supporting the lift).
Artistic Cha-Cha-Cha
Tempo of the music = 30 – 32 bars per minute (120 – 128 beats per minute).
Note the tempo!
Artistic Samba
Tempo of the music = 50 – 52 bars per minute (200 – 208 beats per minute)
Artistic Rumba
Tempo of the music = 28 – 30 bars per minute (112 – 120 beats per minute).
Note the tempo!
Artistic Jive
Tempo of the music: 42 – 44 bars per minute (168 – 176 beats per minute)
Artistic Paso Doble
Tempo of the music: 56 – 60 bars per minute (224 – 240 beats per minute)
Artistic Ballroom (Standard)
General recommendations for Artistic Ballroom (Standard)
We are looking for an artistic interpretation of all dances in this section in contrast to the more
sportive approach to the dances of the International Ballroom (Standard) style. We want to see
innovative figures mixed with spectacular entertaining dancing.
The judges will reward Low lifts, separations, side-by-side figures, floor drops and similar.
Couples dancing with the Ballroom hold the whole time will be marked down.
(Low lifts means that no part of the lifted partner’s body will be above the lifting partner’s shoulders except for the arm needed for supporting the lift). Enough space has to be given to the
couples when performing. Recommended amount of couples is 4 in each heat unless the floor is
very large).
Low lifts, separations, side-by-side figures, floor drops and similar are allowed
Artistic Slow Waltz
Tempo of the music = 28 – 30 bars per minute (84 – 90 beats per minute)
Artistic Slow Foxtrot
Tempo of the music = 28 – 30 bars per minute (112 – 120 beats per minute)
Artistic Tango
Tempo of the music = 32 – 34 bars per minute (128 – 136 beats per minute)
Artistic Quickstep
Tempo of the music = 48 – 50 bars per minute (192 – 200 beats per minute)
Artistic Viennese Waltz
Tempo of the music = 58 – 60 bars per minute (174 – 180 beats per minute)
Artistic Dance Departments, Divisions and Competition Rules
Page B-1-10 Artistic Couple Dance Department
Caribbean style
Bachata
Tempo of the music = 28 – 32 bars per minute (112 -128 beats per minute)
Exception: Mini Kids & Juveniles = 30 – 34 bars per minute (120-136 beats per minute)
Characteristics and Movement:
Bachata is of Caribbean origin, and does not move along the Line of Dance (LOD). The basic
action is a rather slow, flowing, romantic and passionate movement. The basic is composed of a
3-step moving pattern with a lifting/tilting hip moment without transference of weight on 4. The
4th beat is a hip action (lift, drop), counted “and 4”, and NOT a weight transference – “in place, in
place” – rather like a Cha-Cha-Cha action/timing, which should only be used as a variation, and
not in the basic. A slight counter sway is often used to compliment the Latin Hip movement.
There are also many other rhythms, including syncopations, slows and quick’s etc., that may be
used to interpret the music. Bachata is a club dance, and the couples should focus on one another
to create an earthy and sensual feeling through the use of close, intricate rotational movements
coupled with an almost playful teasing interaction with one another.
Bolero
The dance known as Bolero in Cuba is usually written in 2/4 time but elsewhere often in 4/4
time. The tempo is in the range between 24-26 Bars per minute, 96-104 Beats,
The first step is typically taken to the side on the first beat, held during the second beat with two
more steps falling on beats three and four (cued as “slow-quick-quick”). There is a characteristic
rise in the leg and body on the side step (1, 2 counted Slow) when the 3rd and 4th beats of the bar
are taken there is a lowering of the body by stepping on to a bent leg. This dance is quite
different from the other American Rhythm dances in that it not only requires Cuban motion but
rises and falls such as is found in Waltz with strong contra body movements. Popular music for
this dance style need not be Latin in origin. Opposite to Mambo and Rumba, the inner leg in
Promenades (New Yorkers) taken in Bolero is taken on a bent leg lowering through the body (fall)
with no hip action. In Mambo and Rumba the inner legs are taken on a straight knee with a hip
action.
Mambo
Mambo is a Latin Dance with its origin in Cuba. Mambo was created during the late 1930s by
native a Cuban musician and composer Arsenio Rodrigues and later developed and made popular
by Perez Prado and others. The music is written in 4/4 time and the tempo is between 34-36
Bars per minute 136-144 beats per minute.
The Mambo dance that became popular in the 1940s and 50s in Cuba, Mexico City, and New York
is completely different from the modern dance that is now called ‘Mambo’, which is also known
as Salsa “on 2”. The original mambo dance contains no breaking steps or basic steps at all.
Cuban dancers would describe mambo as “feeling the music” in which sound and movement are
merged through the body. The Mambo has been standardised for the social and competitive
market. The standardised Mambo is very much like the Salsa as the basic steps are taken in the
well known format of stepping forward on the LF breaking on the second beat of the bar counting
234-1 and stepping back on the RF again counting 234-1, Lady opposite. As many dancers are
used to competing in Salsa where the basic steps are often danced stepping forward on LF
breaking on 123-4 it is also acceptable with this rhythm as long as the rhythm is kept through out
the performance and that the dancers do not travel in the rhythm.
Merengue
Tempo of the music = 30 – 34 bars per minute in 4/4 time signature (120-136 beats per minute)
Characteristics and Movement:
Merengue is a Latin American Spot Dance, which does not move along the Line of Dance (LOD).
Steps are compact at times Latin Hip movements are used throughout in staccato. A slight
counter sway is often used to compliment the Latin Hip movement. The basic action is similar to a
marching rhythm, but many other rhythms, including syncopations, slows, etc., may be used to
interpret the music. Merengue is a club dance, the couples should focus on one another to create
an earthy and sensual feeling through the use of close, intricate rotational movements coupled
with an almost playful teasing interaction with one another.
Artistic Dance Departments, Divisions and Competition Rules
Artistic Couple Dance Department Page B-1-11
Salsa
Tempo of the music = 46 – 50 bars per minute (184 – 200 beats per minute).
Characteristics and movements:
Salsa basic is a double three-step pattern taken during 8 beats of music, in a quick, quick, slow –
quick, quick, slow rhythm. It is allowed to break on the 1st and 3rd beat in the bar or the 2nd
and 4th beat in the bar. What is important is to keep the consistence of the breaking. If one
starts breaking on 1 or 3 it must be continued throughout on 1 or 3 and not suddenly change to
break on 2 and 4. Salsa is a very popular club dance in that it allows the dancers much freedom
to interpret the music using movements and elements from many different Latino dances. Salsa
means, “Sauce”, and the dancers should depict a very hot and spicy interaction with each other.
Salsa basics involve clever hand and arm movements as well as changes of handhold while
maintaining flowing movements, which are all typical of the dance.

Traditional style
Artistic Argentine Tango
Tempo of the music = 30 – 32 bars per minute (120 – 128 beats per minute).
Characteristics:
Argentine Tango is a social dance that falls into a smooth category of dance. It follows the Line of
Dance (LOD), going around the dance floor in a counter clockwise direction. This dance expresses
love and passion, which is evident by the closeness of the dancers, by the man’s control and the
woman’s seductiveness. The dancers execute the figures mainly from the waist down while trying
to achieve an interesting interplay between them. This interplay between the partners is dictated
by the music, and the dancers should be dancing to something “in” the music. One should be able
to see the melody expressed through their movement. The epitome of Argentine Tango is to see
the couple dancing with good posture, good extension through the legs, feet almost always
caressing the floor, and pausing with the music with a sense of rhythm that is clear to those
watching.
Typical Movements: Walks, turns, Ochos to front and back, sandwiches, twists and curls, legwraps, drags and saccades to front and back, Boleos that leave the floor and other decorations
that allow the legs to swing. Molinetes, Paradas, Barridas, and pauses with the music are also
typical of this dance. Brushing and follow through technique is essential in all movements.
Lifts and Acrobatics
Low lifts, separations, drops, shadow figures, open figures without hold can be used but no
acrobatics
Tango de Salon
Tempo of the music:
Three different pieces of music at different speed Characteristics:
Tango de Salon is the typical dance that is danced in dance halls at Milongas. Once the hold is
formed the couple may not separate while the music is playing. This means that they will not
break the embrace, which is considered the basic dance position in tango. For the position to be
considered correct, the body of one must be encircled by the arm of the other. It is understood
that in certain figures, this may be flexible, but not throughout the duration of the dance. All
movements must be made within the space allowed by the couple’s embrace.
Typical Movements:
Within these parameters, the couple may perform any commonly used figure, including barridas,
saccades, enrosques, etc.
Jumps, climbs, separations and lifts are totally forbidden.
Couples will dance to three different pieces of music at different speeds to show their musicality
and ability to improvise. Judges will take into account musicality, improvisation and style of walk.
Exception for dancing the final:
All couples dance together to three different tempos and will be evaluated by the 2-dimensional
system.
Tango Escenario Show
Argentine Tango is a social dance that falls into a smooth category. It follows the line of dance
(LOD), going around the dance floor in a counter clockwise direction. However, the Tango
Escenario is the Performing Art of Argentine Tango, which is more adapted to the stage format.
The performance expresses love and passion, which is evident by the closeness of the dancers,
the man’s control and the woman’s seductiveness.
The dancers execute the figures mainly from the waist down while trying to achieve an interesting
interplay between them. This interplay is dictated by the music when the dancers should be
dancing to something IN the music. One should be able to see the melody expressed through
their movement.
The epitome of Argentine Tango is to see the couple dancing with good posture, good extension
through the legs, feet almost always caressing the floor, and pausing with the music with a sense
of rhythm that is clear to those watching.
Typical Movements: Walks, turns, Ochos to front and back, sandwiches, twists and curls, legwraps, drags and saccades to front and back, Boleos that leave the floor and other decorations
that allow the legs to swing.
Molinetes, Paradas, Barridas, and pauses with the music are also typical of this dance.
Brushing and follow through technique is essential in all movements.
Artistic Dance Departments, Divisions and Competition Rules
Page B-1-14 Artistic Couple Dance Department
Tango Escenario Competition format
a. Music is of the dancer’s own choice. Tempo of the music is free.
b. All couples dance one by one to their own music.
c. Time Limit: Music must be between 3 and 4 minutes.
How to perform Tango Escenario
a. Tango Escenario is a choreographed performance.
b. Acrobatics are not allowed.
c. Lifts are allowed.
d. Scenic props like a chair or table and hand props like a hat or an umbrella are allowed if
they can be brought on to the floor in less than 20 seconds.
Criterion for Judging
a. The judges will reward clever choreography which will capture the audience’s interest.
b. Innovative use of modern figures and movements within the Argentine Tango style of
dancing will be appreciated.
c. During the qualifying rounds the judges will use the 2-dimensional system by awarding
two sets of crosses, one for Artistic Merit, the other for Technical Merit.
d. In the final the judges will use the 2-dimensional system by awarding two sets of
placings, one set for Artistic Merit, the other for Technical Merit.
Open marking is not to be used
Discofox
Tempo of the music: 33 – 36 bars per minute (132 – 144 beats per minute).
Characteristics and Movements:
The characteristic of the dance is basically stationary, although the couple can move with walks
and turns across the floor. Most of the time it is danced in double or one handhold in every
variation like cross handhold, right in right hand and others. Wrap figures, spin turns, pivot turns,
throw outs, let go and catch again actions are the main characteristics of the dance. Natural hip
movements are accepted. Pose figures like over sways, leans, checks, drops and points are
allowed.
Typical movements:
Disco Fox is danced in open or closed facing position with different hand-holds. It consists of
basic steps and basic step variations which are in the rhythm of 1 2 &3 but can be 1 2 3&, 1 &2
3, &1 2 3 or syncopated such as &1 &2 &3. Normally the Man dances on the LF and the Lady on
the RF on 1.
Poses and drops are allowed.