There are many, many partner dances in the wonderful world of dance.  Below is a list briefly detailing some of the more known and lesser known partner dances.  We’ve included YouTube videos that offer a visual sampling of the dances, but these examples certainly aren’t meant to represent the totality of each dance.  For more in-depth histories of these dances please consult Wikipedia.  This post is meant to shed some light on the wide variety of partner dances in the world…and hopefully encourage the dance community to try something new!

Dancing is like food.  There have been many different tastes and flavors cultivated through out the world and we believe it is wise (and fun) to try a little of everything because you never know what you might like!  So below is our list of “15 Partner Dances To Try Before You Die”.


Chicago Style Stepping (or simply Steppin’)  – Dance originated in Chicago that is rooted in swing dancing and is popular in the African-American community.  A song often associated  with the resurgence of Chicago Style Steppin’ in the USA is R Kellys hit, ‘Step In The Name Of Love’.


Zydeco Dance – Meant to be danced to Zydeco music which has a heavy cajun/creole feel.  We’ve never tried it, but it looks incredibly fun!


Balboa – Fusion of dances that originated in the 1920s and 30s.  Balboa is named for the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California where the dance was invented. Typically danced in the closed position. 

East Coast Swing – Perhaps the most widely recognized version of swing. Developed in the 1950’s, it is a great “starter dance,” and excellent for beginners. The dance often thought of in 50’s sock hops.

Lindy Hop – Considered the ancestor of all swing dances. Lindy Hop emerged with the big band era in the late 1920′s and 1930′s to bring to the ballrooms an energetic style of partner dancing.

West Coast Swing – Rooted in Lindy Hop and the official dance for the state of California.  It is a extremely versatile in that it can be danced to a wide variety of musical genres.


Argentine Tango – Dance originating in the working class neighborhoods in Argentina and Uruguay.  Other popular styles of tango include Salon, Milonguero, Club, Ballroom, Orillero, and Nuevo.

Bachata – Dance born in the Dominican Republic with roots in Bolero. Current popular styles include traditional Dominican, Bachata moderna, Dominican fusion, and Bachatango.

Merengue – Another dance originating in the Domican Republic and is the countries national dance style.

Kizomba – Angolan born, sensual dance with roots in Semba.

Salsa – Dance with history and roots in Puerto Rico and Cuba that saw a rise in popularity in New York in the 70s.  Popular styles include Los Angeles “On1” Salsa and New York “On2” Mambo.


Rumba – International dance style that correspond to slower Cuban music, such as the Bolero-Son.


Country Style Two Step – Often called the “Texas two-step” and traditionally danced to country western music.  Can be danced in a variety of positions including ‘Sweetheart’, ‘Promenade’, ‘Wrap’ and ‘Skater’. Variations of two-step can be found in other dance genres as well.


Modern Jive – Developed in the United Kingdom during the 1980s at three London-based clubs, ‘Ceroc’, ‘Le Roc’ and ‘Cosmopolitan Jive’.  

The Hustle – Born in the early 1970s and made popular by the 70s movie, ‘Saturday Night Fever’.  Has been known as the “Spanish Hustle”, “Latin Hustle” and “New York Hustle”.

If you have partner dances to add to our list then leave us a comment and let us know! 🙂



Leave a Reply