So, What is american smooth.
The name represents the flawless movement and seamless transitions between the holds and positions.
First things first: we don’t really call it ‘American’ anymore. Since the style has started gaining popularity around the world – it’s just ‘Smooth’. The name represents the flawless movement and seamless transitions between the holds and positions.
Smooth originates from the US, inspired by the flamboyant and innovative style of Fred Astaire.
These days it is a group of four dances: Slow Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. The tempo of the music is adjusted to accommodate the specifics of the style. For example, Viennese Waltz would be slower, while the Foxtrot music would be slightly faster with a more upbeat feel to it.
So what is it actually about?! A simple answer would be: ‘Smooth is Ballroom on drugs‘. Dancers use the same structure of footwork, timing and posture, BUT they break the closed hold and set themselves free. Everything becomes bigger and more dynamic. When dancing open Smooth choreography, the leader and the follower can be in front of each other at a distance, side by side, in shadow position or without any hold altogether. They can also incorporate other dance styles: like PasoDoble or Argentine Tango into their Tango routines or Jazz and Swing into Foxtrot. Many balletic principles of arm movements are used in Smooth, especially in both Waltzes. Standing Spins and other tricks are often used to create the WOW factor – there is really very little you cannot do.
The outfits are also slightly different: ladies wear Ginger Rogers style long sexy dresses, often with one or multiple slits to show off their legs; men are dressed in elegant suits with ties (though not long ago, tails were still in fashion).
Of course, Smooth has a strict syllabus, with its own list of basic figures, explaining the footwork, amounts of turn and all the changes of holds and positions. It’s a great style for kids as it incorporates all the Ballroom technique, but it is less restrictive and more fun to dance.
Currently in US, Smooth is overtaking Ballroom in the numbers of entries at some competition thanks to its exciting and dynamic nature. When dancing Smooth, you really feel like a broadway star!
Are you curious to try?! If you have some experience in Ballroom and/or Latin, take that happy drug of Smooth and you will never look back!