Dancing With The Stars has Starlight dancers Mark Ballas, Derek Hough and Julie Anne Hough Learn ballroom and latin in classes at the Kensway Dance Club, Streatham, South London

Starlight Streatham Dance Studio, 103-105 Streatham High Road, Streatham, London, SW16 1HJ

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More Ballroom Dancing Information

The Starlight Dance School at Streatham, South London is used by top competitors during the day for the ballroom and latin standard dancing styles. This is because the Directors who own the school are all ex-World Professional Champions such as Sammy Stopford, Shirley Ballas, Marcus and Karen Hilton MBE, Alison Lamb etc. Because of their international status they only teach the top dancers in the world. These are professional dancers who themselves teach competition dancers for their living and also Amateur dancers who compete at an amateur level but do not make money from their dancing activities until they turn professional.

Some people may have seen Dancing With The Stars on Watch TV. Dancing With The Stars is the American equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing. Two of the most successful dancers on the show have been Mark Ballas and Derek Hough with great dance moves. Mark Ballas was the son of dance studio Director Shirley Ballas. Together with her ex-husband Corky Ballas they also helped raise Derek Hough and Julie Anne Hough who are also on Dancing With The Stars. Derek starred in the West End musical Footloose and Mark Ballas starred in the West End musical Buddy as Buddy Holly with sensational dance moves. Derek has been in the news recently for his friendship with Cheryl Cole of X Factor fame. Both Mark and Derek went to the Italia Conti School and also have a band which plays regularly in L.A. Both Mark and Derek are trained in many types of dancing and types of dance.

The difference between competition ballroom and latin dancing and social dancing lies in the degree of complexity of these dance styles and the associated dance moves. They are types of dancing with the same origins. Both share their roots in the basic steps that social dancers learn so there is always the potential for dance school students to begin to enter the first lower stages of competition dancing. Simple dance moves can become more advanced. High level competition dancing has harder steps with more stretch of the body. In Latin there may be back bends for the ladies, traveling spins along the floor, jazz isolation like movements of the upper body, a little floor work and more theatre performance quality. Professional ballroom dancers have more developed choreography, a lifetime of posture training and generally more pronounced body flight along the floor. Development can be made from one type of ballroom dancing to the other with training and development of their dance moves.

Ballroom dancing style follows an anticlockwise progression along the floor. This is unique to this type of dancing from other dancing dance styles. All ballroom dance alignments proceed from the Line of Dance (LOD). Diagonal alignments include Diagonal to Wall and Diagonal to Centre. The Wall is always to the right as the dancer progresses along the LOD and the Centre to the left.

Ballroom dance technique has terms such as positions of feet, left or right shoulder leading, Outside Partner, Promenade Position, Contrary Body Movement (CBM) and Contrary Body Movement Position (CBMP), Alignment, Direction, Amounts of Turn, Outside of a Turn, Inside of a Turn, Rise and Fall, Sway, No Foot Rise, Footwork, Poise, Balance.

Latin American dancing is a more grounded dancing style than ballroom in that there is a greater tendency to dance into the floor. Latin American dancing style dance technique used terms like Poise, Alignment, Amounts of Turn, Arm Positions, Hand Holds, Leads. There are technical terms for steps like Checked Forward Walk, Forward Walk Turning, Delayed Walks, The Latin Cross. Latin Dance positions include Close Hold, Open Position, Fan Position, Fallaway Position, Open Fallaway Position, Promenade Position, Counter Promenade Position, Open Promenade Position, Open Counter Promenade Position, Spanish Line, Shadow Position, Contra Promenade Position, Contra Counter Promenade Position, Open Contra Promenade Position, Open Contra Counter Promenade Position. For the social dancer none of these names need to be known as they are incorporated naturally into dance variations. Both types of dancing i.e. ballroom and latin are taught in a social dance class. Come and learn your dance moves. Ballroom