There are 6 categories in the ballroom/dancesport world; International Latin, International Ballroom, American Smooth, American Rhythm, Night Club and Theatrical
International Latin or “Latin” as it’s normally referred to, is a competitive dance form known for hip actions and sharp movements and. It includes the following 5 dances: Cha Cha (Cuba), Samba (Brazil), Rumba (Cuba), Paso Doble (Spain) and Jive (USA).
International Ballroom also known as Standard or simply Ballroom is a competitive dance form and most of the principles of partner dance come from this style of dance. Known for the tail suits and ball gowns, this formal dance category maintains it’s close hold throughout the entire dance and it includes the following 5 dances: Waltz (England), Tango (Argentina), Viennese Waltz (Austria), Slow Foxtrot (USA) and Quickstep (USA).
Also, known as Rhythm, it is the equivalent of the Latin style with its emphasis on body and hip actions. Originally a social style, now a major competitive style that includes the following 5 dances: Cha Cha (Cuba), American Rumba (Cuba/Dominican Republic), East Coast Swing (USA), Bolero (Spain/Cuban) and Mambo (Cuba/USA).
Smooth was originally a social style reminiscent of Fred Astaire and Ginger rogers. The basic form is comparable to Standard but with the option to separate and it is influenced by other forms of dance like Latin and Rhythm. Competitively, Smooth includes the following 4 dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz.
Competitive and Social category that includes the following dances: Salsa (on1 and on2), West Coast Swing, Hustle, Argentine Tango, Bachata, Cumbia, Merengue.
Theatrical (Cabaret/Theatre Arts)
This category is mostly about lifts (Adagio) and can incorporate any form of dance.