specialty dances classes and adult instruction by arthur murray in the portland OR metro areaSpecialty Dance Styles

Not looking for a standard ballroom dance class? Our offering of specialty dances could be just what you are looking for! Available at our Portland, OR, Beaverton and Vancouver, WA dance studios, check out our selection of unique and exciting dances that are off the beaten track!

West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing is characterized by a laid-back and slotted style of movement, and is a smoother version of Swing. West coast dancers combined lindy-hop patterns with some new syncopations and a sleek “in the slot” style. The slower more blues oriented music favored by the dancers give the dance a more sultry down and dirty look than the lindy or jitter-bug style of Swing.


Jitterbug is also known as single-time swing. It is usually done to faster Swing music and is a highly energetic and expressive dance. It could also be referred to as a toned down Lindy Hop. It is also a spot dance and highly useful on crowed dance floors.

Lindy Hop

Popular musical groups of today have revived interest in the musical styles from the original Lindy Hop Era and have fired the imagination and enthusiasm of a whole new generation of Lindy Hop dancers. However, the acrobatic style used for exhibitions is not the same as the quietly rhythmic Lindy enjoyed by most dancers on the ballroom floor.


Hustle is a fast, smooth, slotted dance noted for its elaborate spins and turns, especially for the lady. In Hustle, the lady spins almost constantly, while her partner catches her and redirects her movement. Hustle is a club style dance that can be adapted to crowded nightclub dance floors. Hustle teaches turns and position changes with an emphasis on fingertip lead & follow, and arm control.

Argentine Tango

Argentine tango dancing consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras. Argentine tango is danced in an embrace that can vary from open, in which leader and follower connect at arm’s length, to closed, in which the connection is chest-to-chest, or anywhere in between. Argentine tango dancing relies heavily on improvisation; although certain patterns of movement have been developed by instructors over the years as a device to instruct dancers, there is no “basic step.” One of the few constants across all Argentine tango dance styles is that the follower will usually be led to alternate feet. Another is that the follower rarely has her weight on both feet at the same time.


This dance was introduced to society in 1844. Every now and then it is revived because of its boisterous charm. It is supposed to have been originally created by a Bohemian girl. The basic step consists of a preparatory hop followed by a chasse done first to the left and then to the right. Curiously enough, it reappeared again in the 1940’s in the Cha-Cha as one of the more popular steps. The Polka is still danced quite often throughout the country.

Night Club 2 Step

This dance is an easy playful dance that can be done to many pop songs. It is done to 4/4 time music and has similar patterns to those found in Salsa, although the style of this dance is much slower and smoother. This is a popular dance among wedding couples as it is usually a good tempo for the slower romantic ballads.

Foxy (slow dance)

This dance is related to Fox Trot but is done with even timing and on smaller crowded nightclub floors. This is a great dance for couples who want to get out on the dance floor immediately. It is useful in jazzy nightclubs or lounges.


Merengue develops Cuban Motion and is the simplest dance to learn. It has an uncomplicated timing which makes it easy to feel the music and adapt to any partner. It is the only Latin dance that combines one-step timing with Cuban Motion and therefore helps all other Latin dances. The march type beat sharpens timing & coordination.


The Salsa is a popular Latin nightclub dance that evolved as a modified form of Mambo. Salsa works on the basis of Mambo – a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music–and came about when dancers started mixing up Mambo with Hustle steps. Young people worldwide jam Latin clubs pulsating to today’s hot Salsa rhythms. Salsa dancing is characterized by fancy footwork, intricate arm styling, and exciting turns and spins.

Brazilian Zouk aka “The Dance of Love”

Characterized by strong, flowing upper-body movements, this exotic dance has a dramatic sensuality that creates an intimate partner connection sure to add fire to any dance floor.

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