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Here at the ETH Zurich we are starting up an exciting new Tanzsport group which anyone can join! The class will teach the extremely popular Standard and Latin American dances so if you've ever wanted to learn the Waltz, Quickstep, Slow Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Cha cha, Samba, Rumba, Jive or even the Paso Doble then now is your chance! The class is suited to any level, and you do not even have to bring a partner.


Sign up for more information here:




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Class times here:

- calendar view -
10 Chf per class

60 Chf - private lesson
ETH Honggerberg

Alexander Hobbs

Caroline Sauter



The Samba is an all-out party dance with origins from Brazil's Rio Carnival. It is made up of many different South American dances incorporated into one. It is very rhythmical with lots of hip action. Walking Samba steps and side steps are the basic components of this dance. The major characteristic of the Samba is the vertical bounce action. Steps are taken using the ball of the foot. The accomplished dancer is made to look effortless and carefree with knee action, body sway and "pendulum motion."

The Cha cha is a cheeky, lively and flirtatious dance. It has a catch-me-if-you-can atmosphere, and is light and bubbly. It has a distinctive syncopation where 5 steps are danced to four beats hence the 'Two, three, cha cha cha' description. The dance is originally from Cuba.

A dance that tells the story of love and eroticism between a man and a woman. The Rumba relies on the age-old premise of the lady trying to conquer the gentleman by means of her womanly charms. Incorporating all the elements of teasing and withdrawal, it is considered the most sensual of the Latin dances.

The Paso Doble on the competition floor should create a Spanish Bull Fighting atmosphere. The Paso Doble is the dance for the man, which allows him to fill the "space" with strong three-dimensional shapes and movements danced with "pride and dignity." The woman's role varies depending on the interpretation of the dance. The woman can take the role of the matador's cape, the bull or even the matador at different times within the dance. Characteristics of the Paso Doble are the "marching" flavour given to the steps and the cape movements creating the required tension between both dancers. It is one of the only dances that is danced only in the ballroom world and is one of the most dramatic of the dances.

Jive is a rhythmical and swinging dance which was influenced by the Boogie, Rock & Roll, African/American Swing and the Lindyhop. The roots of the Jive are in New York's Harlem. It is one of the fastest dances and should show lots of kicks and flicks and twirling of the woman. Although on first impression it might look like the feet are all over the place in every direction, the feet/legs should actually be under the body and the knees should always be close together. Jive doesn't move around the dance floor like some of the other dances.

Considered the mother of present day dances, the Waltz began in southern Germany in the 17th Century. The popularity of the Waltz dance grew with the music of Johann Strauss and eventually blossomed in the 20th Century. It is the basis for many dances and is popular today all over the world. The basic components of Waltz are walking steps and side steps. "Rise and Fall" and "Body Sway" are some of the styling characteristics which make the simplest Waltz steps and patterns elegant and beautiful. A sentimental and romantic dance, it is characterized by soft and round movements and its swing and flow.

The gauchos of Argentina wore chaps that hardened from the foam and sweat of the horse's body, causing them to walk with flexed knees. Of a night they would go to crowded night clubs and ask ladies of the night to dance but since the gaucho hadn't showered, the lady would dance in the crook of the man's right arm, holding her head back. Her right hand was held low on his left hip, close to his pocket, looking for a payment for dancing with him. No rise and fall in the steps. This should be a very level, flat dance. The legs are therefore always slightly flexed (i.e. the knees should be slightly bent at all times).

The Viennese Waltz developed in Central Europe from the Austrian dance known as the Landler. The fast whirling of partners held as if in an embrace shocked polite society. The music of Johann Strauss and the famous ballrooms of Vienna popularized the faster version known as the Viennese Waltz.

During the summer of 1914, actor Harry Fox was appearing in shows in New York with Yansci Dolly, in an act of Hammerstein's. Soon people at the Jardin de Danse on the roof of the New York Theatre began copying the act that Harry was putting on downstairs, leading them to refer to the dance as "Fox's trot". The foxtrot is a very smooth dance and there should be no jerkiness. It is a dance with many continuously forward or backward moving patterns which are straight and well aligned on the competition floor. It is called the Rolls Royce of the standard dancing styles because the smoothness that is required.

During the 1920s, many bands played the Foxtrot too fast and some couples couldn't keep up. Over time, a faster version was born, absorbing extra elements of ragtime such as the Charleston. This led to the creation of what we today call the Quickstep. This is a light, bright, and happy dance with tricky footwork that is quite sporty in its delivery as it is very fast paced. The basic feel is slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick. The majority of the slows should be taken on the heel; the majority of the quicks should be taken on the toe.



We started dancing together in February 2013 as amateur A class. Currently we live and train in Zurich and dance for Germany through Tanzclub Konstanz. Since September 2013 we have been training couples at the ETH.


Caroline Sauter
Caroline has lived in Zurich since January 2013 and studies for a MA at the University of Arts in Zurich. Before that she worked and danced in Hamburg.
Alexander Hobbs
Alex was born in London, UK, and works as a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich in astrophysics. He has lived in Zurich since 2010.




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