• Ballroom Dance School MHK

The 5 Elements of Dance


To make dancing easier to understand, instructors Tim and Masie like to simplify movements into basic building blocks. These are the 5 elements of dance. Every single dance step can fall under these categories, whether we’re talking about country swing or rumba. If you’ve taken any private lessons or group classes with us, you’ll easily recognize these.


  • Walking Step - walking forward or backward

  • Side Step - stepping to either side

  • Rock Step - changing and replacing weight

  • Triple Step - putting three steps into the time it normally takes for two beats (like in Cha Cha or East Coast Swing)

  • Tap Step - moving your foot without changing weight


In partnership dancing, these elements come together in what are called patterns. Once you know these basic elements, you can better understand the different steps that make up a pattern. For example, the waltz basic (also known as a waltz box) is simply walking steps and side steps with a change of weight.


Keep these elements in mind, and you’ll feel more confident with every new pattern you encounter.


See you on the dance floor!

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