What do you get when you mix the dance steps of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers with the beat of Motown and contemporary R&B? Urban ballroom! This dance, which came out of Detroit in the 1970s, combines the elegance of ballroom and Latin partner dances like cha cha with seriously soulful music ranging from the Temptations and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly to modern-day crooners Ne-Yo and Queen Latifah.
In Los Angeles, the dance is popular with a tight-knit group of baby boomers who come together to strut their stuff (both their smooth dance moves and their sharp outfits) every second and forth Friday in Inglewood at the Los Angeles Steppers Connection. Read more about Urban Ballroom Fridays in my article in the Los Angeles Times. There’s also a companion article I wrote about the West Coast Urban Ballroom Gents, a group of gallant gentlemen who make sure every lady has a partner. (Kind of puts young R&B thugs like Chris Brown to shame, no?)