Choosing the Right Dance Style: Part I

a couple dancing at Arthur Murray Dance Center San Antonio

At Arthur Murray Dance Center San Antonio, we teach nearly 30 different styles of dance. With so many different types of dance to choose from, it can be hard to pick exactly what style is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to find the perfect dance style (or styles!) to fit your goals and lifestyle. Whether you’re a novice on the dance floor or have been dancing for years, our team of professional dance instructors at Arthur Murray Dance Center San Antonio are here to help!

Arthur Murray Dance Center San Antonio is proud to be part of the Arthur Murray family, a dance studio franchise with more than 100 years of history. With more than 250 dance studios in 21 countries across the globe, Arthur Murray has become a household name when it comes to quality dance education. Our San Antonio studio teaches social dance for everyone from total beginners to pros. If you’re interested in getting started on your journey in dance, get in touch with us today or sign up for our new student offer to get your first lesson free!


Smooth or Rhythm?

When it comes to social dance, there are two primary categories: Smooth (sometimes referred to as Standard) and Rhythm (sometimes known as Latin). The Smooth style comprises those types of dance that we most often associate with ballroom dancing. At Arthur Murray San Antonio, we teach a variety ofSmooth types of dance styles, including:

  • Waltz
  • Foxtrot
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Ballroom Tango
  • Quickstep

Smooth dances are generally more regimented than Rhythm dances. They involve progressive, anti-clockwise movements around the room, and exclusively closed positions. In Smooth dances, elegance and flow are the objectives.

Rhythm dance, on the other hand, emphasizes the legs and hips. It is generally more sensual than Smooth dance, and provides more room for improvisation. Rhythm dances are non-progressive (stationary), except for the paso doble and samba, which travel around the room. Rhythm dances we teach include:

  • Cha-cha
  • Rumba
  • Samba
  • Bolero
  • Mambo
  • Merengue
  • West Coast Swing
  • Jive

Your Goals

What dance style you choose to learn depends on what your objectives are for taking dance lessons in the first place. Many people choose to take dance lessons in preparation for a special event. Are you looking to turn heads on the dance floor at an upcoming wedding? Perhaps you’re the blushing bride yourself! If so, we recommend taking one of our wedding dance lessons for engaged couples and their loved ones. Not only will we teach you dancing skills that you and your spouse can enjoy for a lifetime, but we can also help create a customized, choreographed dance for the reception.

Perhaps you’ve chosen to learn how to dance as a way to reconnect with your partner. Partner dance is a great way to ignite intimacy, whether you’ve been together five months or fifty years. For those looking to spice up their love life with the power of dance, we recommend trying sensual and expressive styles, such as salsa, mambo, rumba, or cha-cha. Latin dances are known for their fieriness and are a surefire way to turn up the heat between you and your significant other.

Many people turn to dance as a way to get in shape. Dance can help improve your posture, strengthen your core, and even shed some extra pounds. When it comes to the fitness benefits of dance, however, not all dance styles are created equally. If you’ve turned to dance lessons as a way to get in shape, there are certain styles in particular that you should keep in mind:

Salsa dance is not only exhilarating and sexy, but it’s also a great way to achieve your dream body. Salsa follows a quick pattern of six steps along with a count of eight. It involves head swaying, bending, swirling, and more. If practiced properly and regularly, an hour of salsa dance lessons will burn a whopping 400-500 calories. Our clients also love Argentine Tango classes as a fun way to stay fit. Argentine tango involves a lot of embellishments, which not only gives you more room for creative expression, but also more opportunities to move your body. This can help induce weight loss, increase your energy level, and even improve your mood.


While choosing a dance style from one of our many options may seem intimidating, asking yourself just a few questions can make a huge difference. In Part II of this blog post, we discuss how your taste in music can help direct you towards the perfect dance style.

If you’re looking to get in shape, make friends, reconnect with your partner, and have the time of your life, get in touch with Arthur Murray Dance Center San Antonio or sign up for our new student offer to take your first lesson free!