The first definitive cleavage between the ballet and the ballroom came when professional dancers appeared in the ballet and the ballet left the court and went to the stage. It was, however, not until nearly two hundred and fifty years later that this new technique actually came into being. We saw the first beginnings of modern dancing when, in 1812, the modern hold made its appearance in the ballroom in the waltz and at that time it aroused a storm of protest in England. Never before had the man clasped the lady to him in a facing position with his arm round her waist and rotated round the ballroom in what was almost an embrace. But this stage of things lasted but a brief while and society surrendered to the new dance. The next advance towards what we call modern ballroom dancing was made in the 1840s when several new dances made their appearance in the ballroom. These included the Polka, Mazurka and the Schottische.


Before the 1914 war, the younger generation , who danced at the clubs rebelled against the artificial technique of the old time teachers with its five positions and “pretty” movements. The coming of the first world war encouraged this rebellion and there was introduced by the dancers themselves-not by the teachers-a free and go-as-you-please style based more or less on the natural movements with the feet in alignment used in walking. The coming of the Foxtrot in 1914 fanned this rebellion and killed the sway of the old time technique. For the Waltz also, the German and Hungarian Orchestras who had set the fashion of speed vanished during the war. New bands arouse and begin to play the Waltz to a slow tempo. Then in 1922 at the first world championship, held in London, the modern Waltz or slow Waltz was born. In the period of 1922-23 the beautiful slow, smooth Foxtrot was now reaching the zenith of its career. American bands in the West End of London were already beginning to play it at a faster speed. So at the 1925 world championships held in London a special competition in the Quick-time Foxtrot was held, this new dance practically displaced the One-step. It was this same year that saw the beginning of the Charleston craze, but this dance could not hope to survive in its original form: it was too crude, too wild to be a continued success. Thus , at the 1927 “star” championships, a new dance was introduced and it was christened Q.T.F.T. and C . which meant “Quick-time Foxtrot and Charleston”. But in 1929 in the same competition the dance was for the first time known as the Quickstep.


Before the developments in the waltz are considered and the division of the foxtrot and the quickstep, an important event happened which has had as great an influence on ballroom dancing as did the founding of the “Académie Royale” by Louis XIV of France on the ballet: This was the formation of the Ballroom branch of the “Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing” (ISTD) in 1924. But the five teachers who formed the first ballroom “Committee of the Imperial” were the first people in the world to analyse the change in ballroom dancing. They pointed out that the old ballet technique had been passed by and that the modern technique was based entirely upon natural movements. As a result of their efforts and their experience , they were able to codify that technique and to set out the laws which governed such subtleties as body sway, contrary body movement, and the rise and fall. It is undoubtedly owing to the work of these teachers in the ISTD and others in the IDTA “International Dance TeachersAssociation” that the “English Style” known as the “International Style” has made such great headway and is so much in demand all over the world today. Since then, the work has been constantly going on, where the techniques of Ballroom Dancing are as precise as that of the ballet.