A highly stylised form of dance danced throughout western countries. Dating from the period 1730-1800.

The five ballroom dances: Modern Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, and Quickstep, are danced the world over both socially and in DanceSport competitions.

The word 'ballroom' denotes a room where balls may be held: that is: formal social dances. Balls were important social events in the days before radio and television (as in 'having a ball'). The word 'ball' derives from the Latin 'balare' meaning 'to dance'. This is also the origin of the related words : ballet, ballerina, ballad, etc. Note that this origin is quite different from that of a 'ball': a round object used for games. This derives from the Old Norse : 'bollr', meaning 'to inflate'.

The figures in the modern ballroom dances have now been standardised and categorised into various levels for teaching, with internationally agreed vocabularies, techniques, rhythms and tempos. But it was not always so.

These "Standard Ballroom" dances have diverse origins. rhythms, tempos, and aesthetics, but have one thing in common: they are all danced by a couple (usually a man and a lady) in "Closed Hold", maintaining five areas of contact between the partners while performing all the figures of the dances.

Ceroc, Lindy-Hop, Rock-n-Roll and Salsa are not ballroom dances