The art of ballroom dance has crept further and further into the mainstream world over recent years. What was once an activity mostly enjoyed by professionals is now accessible to thousands of people, novice to expert, worldwide.
We can’t ignore the many greats of ball room dance who have paved the way for the dancing world today. It’s thanks to those listed below that ball room dance is now one of the most respected crafts in the world.
No conversation surrounding ball room dance would be complete without a huge nod to the great Fred Astaire. According to Wikipedia, Astaire is widely considered to be one of the most influential dancers in the history of film. And his contributions to the dance world are still widely felt today.
Believe it or not, Astaire didn’t rise to fame totally on his own. In fact, it was Ginger Rogers, Astaire’s most famous dance partner, who brought the attitude and flare of their partnership to the forefront. Together, Astaire and Rogers took dance to new heights when they famously combined moves from several different dance types into one, single routine.
While surely a lesser known name than Astaire and Rogers, Bradley’s impact in dance is just as noteworthy. According to Wikipedia, “Bradley was among the first ballroom dance professionals of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).” As one of the first members, she helped systematize techniques for some of the most popular ball room dances such as the foxtrot, tango and more.
In 1922, Victor Silvester won the first ever World Ballroom Dancing Championship. This is perhaps the highest title a person can earn as a ballroom dancer. His initial claim to fame, however, occurred when he became one of the first English dancers to ever make use of the full natural turn in the waltz.
One of the better known ballroom dancers in today’s world would have to be Karina Smirnoff. Having risen to fame after securing three prestigious titles (five U.S. Latin Ballroom Championships, one Asian Open Championship, one World Trophy Championship) she went on to become a trademark professional on Dancing with the Stars. She has since starred in numerous Broadway productions, all pertaining to ballroom dance.
This ballroom dancer has managed to make a huge name for himself in the world of ballroom dancing, all without a single World Title. William Pino, having grown up around ballroom dance, says that his love for dance was born out of an initial love for music. Since his passion for dance was “awakened” at nine to ten years old, he has taken the dancing world by storm. Pino is most famous for his nuanced yet sharp choreography.
While these are just a few influential ball room dancers, the list surely goes on. And in the months and years to come, there are sure to be many more tremendous and influential dancers to add to the list.