Ballroom Dancing Is a Revolution Taking Place Right Under Our Noses!

Dancers enjoying a SBDC Dinner Dance. (Photo by Sheila Honey)

Dancers enjoying a SBDC Dinner Dance. (Photo by Sheila Honey)

Diana Wille

In the 15th through the 19th century, the Minuet and the Waltz were the dances and music of the day. Then the revolution started.

Jazz and the dances that accompanied it—Swing, Charleston, Foxtrot, and Lindy Hop—became popular. In the 1930s the ballroom dance trend really began to boom. Dancers like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers took dancing to the big screen where it was seen by bigger audiences all around the world.

But in the 1960s, with the introduction of The Twist, partner dancing was no longer in vogue.

Still, hope was not lost!

In the 1970s partner dancing began to grow again, beginning with the Hustle in New York. With the release of the movie Saturday Night Fever, partner dancing was reborn. Enthusiasm grew in the 1980s and 1990s when movies such as Scent of a Woman, The Forbidden Dance, and (my all-time favorite) Dirty Dancing portrayed partner dancing as the perfect romantic thing to do.

Then the revolution went full scale.

Dancing With the Stars brought ballroom dancing right into everybody’s living room. Ballroom dancing continues to grow every year as dancers enjoy more modern music and styles. The SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club (SBDC) DJs spend hours putting together an amazing playlist. “Neon Moon,” by Brooks & Dunn, is a Cha Cha. “A Hard Day’s Night,” by the Beatles, can be East Coast Swing. We hustle to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration.” Nightclub 2 Step is the perfect dance for Michael Buble’s “Home.” Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” will have you West Coast Swinging, and Engelbert Humperdink will bring you out to waltz with his song, “The Last Waltz.” Often a song lends itself to several different dance styles. For example, my partner and I enjoy doing a slow swing to “Neon Moon.” So new dancers, with just a few steps, can dance the night away.

Rick and Kaye Baumgartner, who often DJ our SBDC dances, spok about selecting music.

“For our Dinner Dances, we want the music to be familiar (from lessons and previous dances), not too long and not too short, with a good beat. We want beginners as well as more advanced dancers to enjoy themselves. We try to mix the eras—from Frank to Rod to Kool and the Gang. When finding new songs, Kaye uses Google, YouTube, and iTunes, to search for songs by dance type. We then listen, try the dances for tempo, and also to see if they fit into the era of songs the club members prefer. Our parties are for fun dancing. The music shouldn’t be too challenging. We want everyone to join us on the floor (and smile!),” they said.

A great place to dance is at your own SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club. Please visit our website at for dance opportunities. You’ll find registration times and places for free lessons and dances. Please join us at SBDC, where the learning continues and the fun never ends.

Save the dates:

The following dinner dances are scheduled in the MountainView Ballroom: Jan. 23, 2021; Feb. 20, 2021; A Sunday TBD in March; April 10, 2021; Oct. 23, 2021; and Nov. 20, 2021.

Visit three weeks before the event for info and to reserve your place.