Whether you are looking for Los Angeles Swing dance lessons, or Latin dance lessons in Los Angeles and Orange County CA, then we have the professional instructors and the experience to teach you the right way of salsa dancing. We offer Salsa classes in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach. We also offer Salsa and Ballroom dance classes in Santa Monica and El Segundo.

Avenue 56 Dance Studios offers Swing and ballroom dancing lessons in Los Angeles and Orange County (CA). We have professional dance instructors and have the experience to teach you the right way for the different types of ballroom dance. Our ballroom dance classes are available in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica, El Segundo and other metro areas.

Some techniques for ballroom dance are explained below which you may use for enhancing your dancing skills:


Salsa ("sauce" "spicy or hot") (Puerto Rico / Cuba)
Salsa is a type of ballroom dance which not only looks beautiful to watch, but more elegant to perform. Every dance has a history so as "Salsa" which is explained further. The term "Salsa" was created by a radio deejay in Puerto Rico in the early 1960s. Salsa is the national music and dance of Puerto Rico. Salsa dance is a fast Mambo with moves from East Coast Swing, Cumbia, Cha Cha and other Latin dances. Rather than start on the second beat such as is done in Mambo, the Salsa begins on the one. In addition, only three dance steps are made for every four beats--the fourth beat is held. For instance, the Salsa rhythm is "quick--quick--slow" or "1--2--3--hold 4." One of the most sought after areas in dance is salsa lessons . Los Angeles, CA, we can help you get started mastering this spicy dance immediately.

Cha Cha (Latin America)
Cha Cha was derived from the Rumba and Mambo. It is one of the most popular Latin dances at social and competitive events in America. Rock--steps followed by triple steps along with Cuban action are key characteristics of the Cha Cha. This dance is easily recognizable and remains quite popular in a variety of settings, making it an ideal choice amongst the Latin dance lessons, Los Angeles and Orange County CA.

Rumba (Africa / Cuba) Not only is the Rumba the most popular Latin slow dance in America, it is also the #1 dance chosen by wedding couples. Good thing then that we offer the premier Latin dance lessons, Los Angeles, CA! In addition, the Rumba is the foundational dance of all the other Latin and American Rhythm dances. Cuban action (which makes Latin dances look Latin) is an important characteristic of this dance. The basic rhythm of the Rumba box is "slow--quick--quick." The list of Latin dances from slow to fast is: Bolero, Rumba, Cha Cha, Mambo and lastly Jive. Rumba footwork consists of smooth toe--heel staccato action. This footwork along with Cuban motion, gives Rumba its characteristic hip moving action. The Cuban action develops naturally from alternately bending and straightening the knees. Posture in Rumba is more forward toward your partner than it is in the ballroom dances. In addition, strong Latin arm styling will give your Rumba a fantastic Latin flare. When you're looking for Latin dance lessons Los Angeles and Orange County CA, this might be the best place to start.

Mambo ("shake it" / "say it") Dance (Cuba)
Mambo is a merging of American and Cuban dancing. Danced to energetic and exciting music, the Mambo has its characteristic rock steps and side steps as well as points, kicks, flicks and Latin hip movement. Mambo basic step rhythm is "quick--quick--slow" or "2--3--4--hold 5." Mambo starts on "two." Club Salsa is generally the Mambo danced on "one" mixed with moves from Cumbia, Swing and other Latin dances. The Mambo has its own music for competition, but social Mambo is usually danced to Puerto Rican Salsa music.

Meringue (Dominican Republic)
With its marching steps and single timing, the Meringue is fun, simple to learn and infectious. The intoxicating marching beat of Meringue inspires dancers around the world to move to its beat. Besides the Rumba, the Meringue is a great dance to develop Cuban action. The basic steps of Meringue include walking steps and side steps (chasses). It is the basic walking steps that give the Meringue its marching uniqueness. Another classic choice amongst the Latin dance lessons, Los Angeles, CA.

Bolero Dance (Spain / Cuba)
Related to the Rumba, Bolero has been called the most romantic dance on the planet. It is basically a very slow romantic Rumba. Bolero is characterized by long sweeping side steps, rise and fall and contra--body motion. Bolero is the slowest of the Latin dances and is combined with dramatic expression.

We can help prepare you for your special day. Our professionals will give you dance instructions in Los Angeles that fits your needs and expectations, and one that will be easy and fun. We specialize in all kinds of first dance wedding choreography. Los Angeles, don't miss out on your chance to make the most of this amazing occasion!

Many students, especially men, believe that they have "two left feet" and as such they are anxious about their ability to learn dance.

Samba Dance (Brazil)
The Samba, the national dance of Brazil, made its debut in the U.S. in the early 1940s. The most important distinguishing characteristic of the Samba dance is its vertical bouncing action. As in the other Latin dances, ball steps are taken along with knee action and body sway. The basic rhythm is "slow--a--slow" or "one--a--two." The beauty of Latin dance lessons, Los Angeles and Orange County CA, is that when you learn one you have a head start at learning others.

Paso Doble ("two step") Dance (South France)
Originating in South France, the Paso Doble is mostly a competitive Latin style dance, but it is sometimes danced at social events in Germany, Spain and France. Similar to International Standard footwork, the footwork in Paso Doble is composed of forward steps with heel leads. Paso Doble has less hip action than other International Latin dances. Paso Doble uses music that is played at bullfights. The man plays the role of the matador while the lady plays the role of the matador's cape, the bull or a flamenco dancer.

Foxtrot Dance (U.S.) (Slow Foxtrot)
In 1914, the American comedian Harry Fox introduced an innovative dance step to a ragtime song. Observers thought that it looked like Mr. Fox was trotting--so they called his step Fox's trot and the Foxtrot was born. The Foxtrot became a national hit and was America's most popular dance in those days. Although the Foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime music, it soon became the dance of big band music, to which swing is also danced. In the 1950s, Foxtrot continued to be the #1 dance in America as many danced the Foxtrot to the new rock and roll sound. Rather than a rise and fall such as is seen in the Waltz, the Foxtrot rhythm creates a level gliding movement that is smooth and graceful. The rhythm for the basic box step is "slow--quick--quick" while the rhythm for the basic forward progressive step is "slow--slow--quick--quick." The technique and skills acquired from learning the Foxtrot will carry over to all of the other Ballroom dances--including the Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep and Tango. Therefore when taking ballroom dance lessons, Orange County, this is a great place to begin. The Foxtrot is the most popular slow dance in America at weddings, on cruises or at almost any dance event where there is a live band. The Foxtrot is a favorite first dance--only second to the Romantic Latin Rumba.

East Coast Swing Dance (U.S.)
The Charleston (predecessor of the Swing) of the 1920s provided many of the moves for the East Coast Swing, which developed out of America's swing music craze in the 1930s. Indeed, after Benny Goodman played an arrangement of "Stompin at the Savoy," the energetic and playful Swing dance was born in America. Depending on which part of the U.S. you lived, the Swing was called the Jitterbug, the Lindy Hop, Shag, Jive or simply the Swing. The Swing is danced in a relaxed frame position. Swing footwork consists of a rock--step followed by two sets of triple steps. The rock--step is danced on the "one--two" followed by two triple steps (shuffles) "three and four, five and six." In swing, there are six steps for every eight beats of music--this is what makes swing seem so fast. Today, the East Coast Swing is the #1 upbeat dance in America. Don't know where to begin with your dancing Los Angeles? Swing dance lessons will give you the confidence to take on any other dance moves.

Viennese Waltz ("Walzen"--to revolve) Dance (Austria) (Fast Waltz)
The Viennese Waltz originated in Vienna, Austria in the 1780's. Along with its characteristic closed--frame position, even "one--two--three" steps and illusion of turning, the Viennese Waltz is a fantastic flowing dance that is performed at both competitions and social events. The technique of the natural and reverse turns in the slow Waltz is basically all one needs to dance a beautiful Viennese Waltz, making it an ideal way to begin ballroom dance lessons, Orange County.

Waltz Dance (Germany) (Slow Waltz)
During the historic European Waltz dance craze, the Waltz was danced at elegant Royal German Balls. The Waltz is characterized by its rise and fall, and graceful, gliding movements. The rhythm for the basic box step is quite simple. It is composed of all slow "one--two--three" steps. Maybe you will chose a Waltz for your wedding first dance or simply to dance at a social event. It's an easy way to get initiated into ballroom dance lessons. Orange County, you'll never feel awkward again at a social dance if you can master this simple move.

Argentine Tango Dance (Argentina / Uruguay)
Argentine Tango may have originated in Spain, but most believe that its roots are in Argentina. Ballroom Tango has its roots in Argentine Tango.

Ballroom Tango Dance (England / Italy)
The English and then the Italians reinvented the Argentine Tango adding dramatic Staccato action and sharp head and body movements. Tango is a dance of excitement and passion. The rhythm of the basic step is "slow--slow--quick--quick--slow." The Staccato action is initially taught using the letters of the Tango-- "T" "A" "N" "G" "O." When you really want to impress someone with what you learned with your ballroom dance lessons, Orange County, this is the dance you want to master.

Quickstep Dance (England). (Fast Foxtrot)
The Quickstep originated in the 1920s from a blend of Foxtrot, Charleston, Shag and Peabody dances. The English developed the up--tempo Quickstep by combining America's slower Foxtrot and faster Charleston. The rhythm for the basic quickstep natural is "slow--slow--quick--quick." Quickstep has its characteristic hops, runs, quick steps and gliding moves that sail down the dance floor. Quickstep is danced to face--paced ragtime jazz music making it the fastest of all of the Ballroom dances. Social Dances/Ballroom.

Below is a more comprehensive listing of the available dances, from ballroom dance lessons Orange Couny to Salsa lessons Los Angeles, CA.

  • African
  • American Rhythm
  • American Smooth
  • Argentine Tango
  • Armenian
  • Austrian
  • Balkan
  • Ballroom
  • Brazilian
  • Cajun/Zydeco
  • Cambodian
  • Canadian
  • Carolina Shag
  • Cha Cha
  • Chinese
  • Clogging
  • Contra
  • Country/Western
  • Dances of Universal Peace
  • DC Hand Dancing
  • Dutch
  • East Coast Swing
  • English Country
  • English Ritual (Morris)
  • Foxtrot
  • French
  • Georgian
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Hustle
  • Indian
  • International (Variety of folk)
  • International Latin
  • International Standard
  • Irish
  • Israeli
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Latin American (Flamenco)
  • Lindy
  • Line Dancing (C/W)
  • Line Dancing (General)
  • Mexican/Aztec
  • Middle Eastern (Belly, etc.)
  • Modern Jive (Ceroc/LeRoc)
  • Native American Indian
  • Nightclub 2-step
  • Philippine
  • Polish
  • Polynesian/Hawaiian (Hula)
  • Puerto Rican
  • Quickstep
  • Rave/Party
  • Round
  • Rhumba
  • Salsa
  • Scandinavian
  • Scottish ( Highland )
  • Social Ballroom
  • Spanish
  • Square
  • Swing
  • Tango
  • Theatre Arts
  • Turkish
  • Viennese Waltz
  • Vintage
  • Waltz
  • West Coast Swing