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A brief overview of Ballroom dancing

Ballroom dancing is a type of partner dance that is performed competitively and socially all over the world. It has a rich history and has been influenced by many cultures and styles of dance.

In the early 20th century, the popularity of ballroom dancing began to rise, thanks in part to famous dancers such as Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray. They helped to popularize the art form through films, dance studios, and instructional books.

In the mid-20th century, British dancers Walter Laird and Lorraine Reynolds developed the International Style of ballroom dancing, which is now recognized as the standard worldwide. In the 1980s and 1990s, a new generation of ballroom dancers emerged, including Espen Salberg, Hans-Reinhard Galke & Bianka Schreiber, and Michael Wentink, who became world champions and helped to elevate the sport to new heights.

Today, some of the most famous ballroom dancers include Michal Malitowski & Joanna Leunis, Bryan Watson, Bill and Bobby Irvine, Augusto Schiavo, William Pino, Christopher Hawkins, Donnie Burns, Gaynor Fairweather, Ruud Vermeij, Jason Gilkison, Peta Roby, Johannes Radebe, Motsi Mabuse, Oti Mabuse, Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko, Darren Hammond, Arunas Bizokas, Dorin Frecautanu and Marina Sergeeva, Edita Daniūtė & Mirko Gozzoli, Karen and Marcus Hilton, Slavik Kryklyvyy, and many others. These dancers have made significant contributions to the development of ballroom dancing and continue to inspire new generations of dancers.

Many organizations have helped to shape the rules and standards of ballroom dancing, ensuring fair competition and promoting the sport around the world. The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), for example, is the governing body for DanceSport in the world, and it regulates competitions and establishes rules and guidelines for the sport. Other organizations include the National Dance Council of America (NDCA), World Dance Organisation (WDO) and the World Dance Council (WDC).

In recent years, ballroom dancing has become more popular with younger generations, with many schools and studios offering dance classes and clubs. This is due in part to the popularity of movies and television shows featuring ballroom dancing, such as Strictly Come Dancing in the UK, Dancing with the Stars in the US, Let's Dance in Germany, and Ballroom e Youkoso in Japan. These shows have attracted large audiences, with some episodes receiving over 10 million viewers.

According to the World DanceSport Federation, there are over 90,000 active licensed competitors in ballroom dancing worldwide, with the sport being most popular in Europe, Asia, and Russia. In the UK alone, there are over 100,000 registered competitors, while in the US there are over 60,000.

Overall, ballroom dancing has a rich history and continues to evolve with the contributions of new dancers and the growing popularity of the sport around the world. With the rise of new technologies, the sport has the potential to reach even larger audiences, and we can expect to see continued growth in the years to come.

By Quintus Jansen

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