Partner Dances for Modern Pop Music


The popularity of competitive reality dance shows, Dancing With The Stars and Strictly Come Dancing, have no doubt boosted the awareness of partner dancing worldwide in the last 10 years.

Several of the dances we see on these shows were created almost a 100 years ago; some more than hundred years ago. These dances were designed visually and kinaesthetically to suit the popular music of culture at the time of their creation. Many of these dances have tried to evolve with new tastes in music, but lets face it, the music these dances were designed for are no longer popular today. Pro dancers on these shows go to great lengths in their choreographies, to make these dances look relevant to the music we hear. If you wish to dance any of the official Ballroom dances, then you will have to do so at the social events hosted by dances schools who specialize in these dances. Try going out to a modern day dance club and try dancing any one of these dances socially to the music a DJ will typically play – you will be disappointed.


So what are the best partner dances for modern pop music?

(click each link for full descriptions and videos of each dance)

West Coast Swing – Can be danced many genres of modern music both fast and slow tempos, with lots of freedom for improvisation.

Hustle – This dance was created in the disco era of the late 1970’s. It is still well suited for modern dance music that uses the ‘house’ beat that we hear in over ninety percent of all popular dance music today.

Blues – Although Blues dancers typically dance to traditional blues dance music, Blues dancing has tremendous potential to used with any modern music with a slow tempo.

Kizomba – This dance is ‘The Argentine Tango of the Modern Era’. It offers the intimacy of Argentine Tango, but stylistically looks correct with modern music. It also includes the highly sexualized ‘Tarraxinha’ movement, which may make some people blush!

Zouk– The flowing nature of Zouk is highly improvisational, and looks to be the antithesis of rigid looked ballroom dances. It is danced best to medium paced music, with emotional themes.

Merengue – This simple two step dance, will probably never go out of style. Any song with a simple continuous marching beat is perfect to merengue to. For people who think they could never dance, they should begin with Merengue.