The Full Wiki

Rock and Roll (dance): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rock ’n’ Roll
Types: Pairs, Formation; competition, show
Music: pop music, rock and roll
Rhythm: 4/4 measure
Speed: 176–208 bpm
Origin: USA
Creation time: ~1955
The double somersault, one of the most demanding acrobatic moves (Daniela Bechtold and Bernd Diel, World Games 2005 in Oberhausen, Germany)

Acrobatic Rock'n'Roll is a very athletic, competitive form of dance that originated from lindy hop. Unlike lindy hop, however, it is a choreographed dance designed for performance. It is danced by both couples and groups, either all-female or 4-8 couples together. This is normally a very fast and physically demanding dance.



During the development of the musical genre rock and roll, dances to go with the music were also created. From swing, which came into being around 1920, Lindy Hop emerged, the first partner dance ever to feature acrobatic elements. Lindy Hop was modified around 1940 to suit faster music, creating the style known as boogie woogie. With rock and roll music coming into fashion around 1955, its adherents converted boogie woogie to the even more athletic rock and roll dance.

A 1959 dance book describes "ROCK-AND-ROLL" as "performed without undue tension, the body and legs being flexible, so that there may be a physical rhythmic expression of co-ordination with the beats of music." "...a dance which leaves much scope for personal expression and interpretation in style, movement, rhythm, and even in the manner in which the figures are constructed." The basic rhythm is Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick. The Slow steps "will be taken first on to the ball of the foot, the heel then lowering".[1]

Technique and basics

The most obvious feature of rock and roll dance are its kicks (into thin air) and its acrobatic elements like lifts, jumps, throws and flips. Today's rock and roll is focused on show and competition dance and - with the exception of its name - has nearly nothing in common with the former rock and roll movement. It is danced in pairs or in formation. Over the years rock and roll dancing has experienced several important changes: the former 6-basic step was converted into the modern tournament's 9-basic step with its typical kick ball change. Other characteristics are techniques such as the man's body wave movement, that he uses to fling his partner from a sitting position upwards, and the throwing basic movement, where she steps onto his hands and is catapulted upwards into neck breaking jumps. Because of its demanding technique, high speed, and acrobatics, rock and roll is a straining high-performance dance and is most often performed by young dancers.

The name of the basic comes from the number of separate actions. With the 6-basic one counts (1)step (2)step (3)kick (4)settle (5)kick (6)settle or (1)kick (2)settle (3)kick (4)settle (5)kick (6)settle, with the 9-basic it is (1)kick (2)ball (3)change (4)kick (5)settle (6)settle (7)kick (8)settle (9)settle. This means that a correct rock and roll kick will have the supporting foot settling on the floor a tiny moment before the kicking foot settles.

Dance categories

The "swan", a popular acrobatic move in the Junior class.

The World Rock'n'Roll Confederation recognizes the following dance categories for international competitions: [2]

  • Youth: No acrobatics allowed. Couples are 14 years old or younger.
  • Juniors: A maximum of four acrobatic moves are allowed under the category's safety regulations. Couples are between 12 and 17 years of age.
  • B-Class: Two dances per couple and round. One is a dance program with no acrobatics allowed (footwork, or foot technique), the other an acrobatic program (acrobatic) requiring six acrobatic moves. The male may throw the female into the air, but no flips are allowed. Minimum age is 14 years.
  • Main Class: Two dances, like in B-Class. Only difference to B-Class is that almost all acrobatics (e.g. lifts, jumps, throws and flips) are allowed. Minimum age is 15 years.

National associations usually have additional classes (e.g. a C class for beginning competitive dancers). However, all have the four classes listed above (though some rules may differ).

Rhythm and music

Rock and roll dance works on the 4/4 measure. One basic comprises six beats and therefore one and a half measures. Differently than the offbeat of rock and roll music, the dance puts stress on the first and third beats of each measure. The music is very fast, between 176 to 208 bpm. Due to non-offbeat stressing and speed traditional rock and roll music has been replaced by modern disco and pop music.


Currently advanced tournament rock and roll dancers don't wear petticoats and jeans - as the original rock and roll dancers did - but rather multi-colored costumes that are made of elastic artificial fibre and can only be purchased as individual pieces by special tailors. One reason for that is that acrobatic elements have grown more and more dangerous, requiring both freedom of movement and enough durability to avoid tearing.

The shoes worn is one of the most important elements in Rock & Roll dancing. Their soles need to possess both "slip" & "grip" characteristics. The most common footwear are light jazz shoes for the dance programs, while the acrobatic programs require more support for the female so sneakers made for aerobics dancers are usually chosen.[citation needed]


The World Rock’n’Roll Confederation is the organization that takes care of national and international rules and guidelines for tournaments. They organize the World Cups, European championships and World championships that occur every year for couples and formations. All international competitors are ranked according to points acquired during competitions.

Famous dancers

  • Roman Kolb: The most successful Rock'n'Roll dancer in the history of WRRC, from the Czech Republic. He holds five World Champion titles (1994-1996; 2001-2002) together with former partners Michaela Vecerova and Katerina Fialova. He has retired from his career as an active dancer and now works as a trainer. During his time as a dancer Kolb combined excellent dancing with groundbreaking acrobatic routines.
  • Miguel Angueira: One of the best Rock'n'Roll dancers of all time from France. Angueira holds three World Champion titles (1990-1992) together with his former partner Dorothée Blanpain. He has set the standard for aesthetics of Rock'n'Roll for over a decade and still excels due to his elegant dancing and impeccable acrobatic routines. His current partner is Natasha Quoy.


  1. ^ The Girl's Book of Ballroom Dancing. Vera Wilson. Roy Publishers. 1959. pages 117. 118. LoC# 59-12926
  2. ^ WRRC - Rules - Rock'n'Roll retrieved 2010-03-10

External links

  • – World Rock’n’Roll Confederation
  • – Victorian Rock'n'Roll Dance Association (Australia). Rock'n'Roll competition dancing in Australia is more "traditional" and more closely related to social Rock'n'Roll dancing.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address