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What is American Smooth Dance Style?

# Beginner Guides

Did you know that American Smooth is the most recent category created in ballroom dance? This might be your first time hearing about Smooth, so we've brought together some Smooth aficionados to explain what it's all about! Ready to be a Smooth expert?




American Smooth is a ballroom dance style that consists of four dances: the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. It has tremendous freedom in artistry and choreography that allows the dancers to create their own unique look and style. 

The Competitive History

In 1971, the first professional American Style competition was held. This event was a mixture of American Rhythm and American Smooth.

By 1984, the styles were separated. American Smooth became its own four dance event that is danced as it is today.

In 2016, the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival held Smooth for the very first time as a professional event.

The American Smooth Syllabus

The American Smooth Syllabus has a medal system much like the International Styles that progresses through Bronze, Silver and Gold. The syllabus of Smooth and International Ballroom is similar in many fundamental ways.

For example, both dance the patterns of reverse and natural turn using the same terminology and technique.

The main difference between the American Smooth Syllabus and International Ballroom is the couples need to learn how to dance those patterns in different holds and positions which create different proximities between the dancers.

American Smooth Choreography

Jazz, Ballet, Free-Form, Contemporary...almost any dance form can influence Smooth choreography.

While there is no rule about how much closed versus open material is required, a top couple should show a good mix of both.

American Smooth Costumes

American Smooth costuming has as much freedom as the style itself. Followers wear a diverse selection of dresses. Some dresses can be very, very open and revealing. Think like a Latin dress with a long skirt, or they can be completely closed.

Leaders can wear anything from a shirt, short vest, long vest, dinner jacket or even a tail suit. 

American Smooth is a beautiful style that lends itself to so much freedom of expression, while still following the principles of competitive ballroom dancing.

Now, are you ready to dance?

Here's a quick lesson with Jim and Jenell Maranto on American Smooth Tango


How about some musicality lessons?

Join Tatiana Seliverstova's free class here.



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