Competitive Dancing in Scotland 


Dancesport is an evolved name. Previously it was known as Ballroom Dancing derived of course from dancing in the many ballrooms throughout the World. Over the years most of the ballrooms disappeared and ‘ballroom dancing' became more and more competitive throughout the world evolving in to a highly organised internationally accepted ‘sport'.

In 1997 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognised the International Dansport Federation (IDSF), of which SD is a member, as the world Governing Body and eventually granted The IDSF full membership of the IOC which could eventually lead to Dancesport being included in the Olympic Games.  In the late nineties it was decided world-wide to drop the name ‘Ballroom' as it did not tie in with Olympic Sport.

Basically now DANCESPORT falls into two categories:

There is social dancing. This is for non competitive dancers and medallists who wish to dance in dance schools, clubs or halls. They are able to combine exercise with socialising and avoid the pressures of the open competition scene.

Then there is competitive ballroom and Latin dancing (Dancesport). This is for couples who wish to progress further in Dancesport and take part in competitions which include sections for beginners, novice, intermediate, pre championship, championship and international status.

Dancesport consists of Standard (Modern) (sometimes still referred to as Ballroom) and Latin American (mostly referred to as Latin).

Standard Modern:

A slow dance in three/four time which first came to the UK in the 19th Century. At first not well received , being the first dance where the man clasped his hands round the woman's waist.


A staccato and dramatic dance originating from Buenos Aires. Became popular in Britain in the thirties

Probably the most technically difficult dance requiring perfect balance and control. Its name originates from an American vaudeville dancer called Harry Fox.

Like the names suggests it is fast. It sprung up in the twenties when bands played the foxtrot too quickly and the quickstep became a dance in its own right.

Originating in Bavaria and formerly a court dance in Austria.


Originates from Cuba and is a combination of Mambo and Rumba

This Brazilian carnival dance is a progressive dance which takes many of its characteristics from the percussion beating out the samba rhythm

Originates from Cuba and is the most sensual of dances where partners express their love and emotion to each other.

Spanish for ‘two step' based on the Spanish bullfight. The man represents the matador and the woman his cape.;

The fastest dance in the latin section but not a true Latin dance. It is an adaptation of African /American swing - fifties style.