Learn how to Dance like Dancing with the Stars

By Kaillaby 

With its intricate sets, heart-swooning choreography, and dazzling nightly themes, we know there’s no place you’d rather be on a Monday night than watching ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. Based on the British tv show “Strictly Come Dancing,” ABC’s Dancing With The Stars has had us glued to our TVs to watch our favorite A-list celebs duke it out on the dance floor since 2005. Each week, celebrity contestants are paired with some of the best competitive ballroom dancers in the world to perform elaborate ballroom numbers before a panel of renowned industry professionals. Using a voting system that combines the judges’ points and votes from viewers at home, couples are eliminated weekly until one pair remains and is crowned champion. Past contestants have included The Masked Singer’s Nicole Scherzinger, professional boxer Laila Ali, and Access Hollywood’s Mario Lopez. Learn about the history of some of DWTS’ freshest dance moves.  

The Foxtrot: A Dance For Lovers 

The foxtrot is a famous ballroom style of dance whose origins date back to the early 20th century. It was popularized by Broadway dance couple Vernon and Irene Castle, and although it was commercialized by the Castles, it was famously first seen at least a decade prior on the dance floor of a Blacks-only dance club. 

Originally named the “Bunny Hug,” no dance was more prevalent in the US between 1910 – 1940. Now, it is commonly performed in dance competitions worldwide traditionally to the rhythm of big band music. This graceful dance style is shared between a couple. It is famously known for its alternating slow walks and quick-paced side steps, and fluid gliding motion. When performed correctly, couples should feel like they’re floating on the dance floor. With the foxtrot, it’s all in the rhythm!  This sophisticated style of ballroom dancing has been on Dancing With The Stars since the show’s premiere. It has been performed by award-winning actress Zendaya, NBA star Lamar Odom, Disney star Jordan Fisher, and season 30’s Melora Hardin. 


The Jive: The Standout Ballroom Dance  

Jive is an American style of ballroom dance with roots in mid 20th century African American culture. The upbeat bop was made famous by American jazz singer and dancer, jive King Cabell “Cab” Calloway III. The swing-inspired dance style was named after the vernacular English dialect of African Americans that derived from Harlem in the 1930s.  Although it started in the U.S., it was formally adopted into the International Latin ballroom scene in the 1960s, becoming one of five official dances in Latin ballroom competitions worldwide (and at 176 beats per minute, it is considered the fastest.). Jive is known for its upbeat bop and high energy jumps, kicks, spins, and hip rocks which are often paired with the genres of swing music, boogie-woogie, and rock and roll. It’s a fun, high-energy dance and is sure to get that heart rate up (The timing for the dance is: 1, 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6). Although this dance requires a leader and a follower like other ballroom dances, it sets itself apart because you don’t have to move around the dance floor.  

The uptempo choreo is performed as a duo and has been seen on Dancing With The Stars in performances by Disney star Skai Jackson, award-winning rapper Nelly, and recently by season 30′ Amanda Kloot. 


Argentine Tango: A Culture Shocking Phenomenon 

This dance is so vital to Latin culture that in 2009, The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (or UNESCO) included it in their Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, immortalizing itself in Latin history. This is the impact of the Argentine Tango. The Argentine Tango is a ballroom dance that has been around since the late 1800s, first appearing in divisions of Argentina and Uruguay. It started making its way around the world in the early 1900s, first reaching Paris before spreading to London, Berlin, and numerous other major European cities. The Argentine Tango’s European, African, and Native American background was a culture shock in Western civilization. Many considered the dance style unusual, if not inappropriate, for its sexual suggestiveness. 

 It made its way to the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century. 

Known for its 2/4 or 4/4 time signatures, this dance is all about the dancer’s connection to the music and their partner. Through a blend of shared embraces, walks, kicks, lifts, and improvisation, couples dance around on the dance floor to the beat of tango music.  

This sexy Latin dance has been famously performed on Dancing With The Stars by ballroom dancer Derek Hough, Olympic champion Meryl Davis, Argentinian actor Juan Pablo di pace, and season 30’s Jojo Siwa.  

 Learn How To Dance Like Dancing With The Stars 

Think you have what it takes to dance like your favorite stars? Here are some resources online that can help! 

  1. Howcast Howcast is a channel on Youtube that brings you high-quality instructional videos from leading industry professionals that cover a wide range of topics. Dancing is one of its most popular. Check out their 3 video playlist on the Argentine Tango or learn how to do a basic foxtrot with their easy-to-follow instructional video.   
  1. Learnhowtodance.com Learnhowtodance.com is a blog that offers step-by-step instructional videos for free. In addition to showing you the basics of partnering, they also provide a series of popular ballroom and Latin dances. Lessons include the tango, the foxtrot, the waltz, and the rumba.  
  1. Takelessons.com Takelessons.com is an online search engine that allows you to book private lessons with experts one on one! Simply search for the service you’re looking for, filter for custom results (you can filter by price, availability, lesson location, and gender), and choose the ballroom expert of your choice!   


Now on its 30th season, the show is currently hosted by supermodel and executive producer Tyra Banks with four star-studded judges on its panel: Italian choreographer Bruno Tonioli, actress and former Fly Girl Carrie Ann Inaba, English ballroom dancer and coach Len Goodman, and the infamous Derek Hough, who joins the panel for the first time after winning a record-breaking six times as a competitor. You can catch more of these hot moves on Dancing With The Stars, streaming now on Hulu.