Generally, the oldest term used to describe Tango, Quickstep, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Slow Foxtrot is a ballroom. Sometimes, it is used for the Latin American dances like Samba, Cha cha, Paso Doble, Rumba and Jive. Also, ballroom is referred to Sequence and Old Time dances. Over the years, the term Modern Ballroom was first introduced in Britain, it indicates that it was not about the Latin American, Old Time or Sequence dances. In the UK, the modern ballroom was used to refer to a different type of dance such as jazz and other forms of solo dancing. Instead, the European community called it Standard.
As time went by, the international dancing community described the competitive aspect of Latin-American and Standard styles of dancing as Dance sport. The participants perform a couple of times depending on how many judges in the competition, they perform in each judge. The purpose for this type of judging is to get the highest placing.
The dance sport is composed of three branches: Latin-American, Standard and 10-dance. The first two branches are familiar but the 10-dance is the mix of Latin and Standard. If you are going to participate in the 10-dance, you must perform 5 Latin and 5 Standard dances.
On the other hand, to avoid the technicalities of dance sport and you can just dance with your own style and pleasure, there is Social dancing. You can enjoy at the same time meet new acquaintances. In social dancing, the style of dancing is not important.
In the UK, they have dance sport categories. In the amateur ranks, the groups are:
- Juveniles – up to 12 years old
- Juniors – up to 16 years old
- Youth – up to 21 years old
- Adult Amateurs – 16 years old and up
- Seniors – 35 years old and up
- Over 45’s – 45 years old and up
However, the age groups indicated above are not exclusive since the Youth and Seniors can join the Adult Amateurs. This means that a qualifying participant from the Senior and Youth can participate in the Amateur competitions but this rule does not apply to every competition. In the Professional category, the age groups are not divided since all competitors dance in a single category.
Also, there are different levels in dance sport. In the UK and the world Open competitions, the amateur age groups are divided by expertise like:
- Pre-Championships or known as Pre-Champ or Pre-Amateur
- Open Amateur
Please take note that the Pre-Am is not the same with Pro-Am, the term Pro-Am is the Professional-Amateur division where the couple is composed of a Professional and Amateur dancers.
These are the different dance sport categories in the UK.