Paso Doble – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Styles Glossary

I. What is Paso Doble?

Paso Doble is a lively and dramatic dance that originated in Spain. It is a type of ballroom dance that is characterized by its strong, bold movements and its resemblance to a bullfight. The name “Paso Doble” translates to “double step” in Spanish, referring to the quick and precise footwork that is a key element of the dance. Paso Doble is often performed in competitions and showcases, where dancers showcase their skill, passion, and precision.

II. History of Paso Doble

Paso Doble has its roots in Spain, where it was inspired by the traditional bullfighting music and dance. The dance was popularized in the early 20th century and quickly spread to other countries, becoming a staple in ballroom dance competitions. Paso Doble is known for its dramatic flair and its portrayal of the matador and the cape-wielding bullfighter. The dance has evolved over the years, incorporating elements of other dance styles and music genres to create a unique and dynamic performance.

III. Characteristics of Paso Doble

Paso Doble is characterized by its strong, staccato movements and its quick tempo. The dance is performed in a closed hold, with the man taking on the role of the matador and the woman as the cape-wielding bullfighter. The dancers move in sync with the music, creating a dynamic and powerful performance that captivates the audience. Paso Doble is known for its dramatic flair, with dancers using their arms, legs, and body movements to convey the intensity and passion of a bullfight.

IV. Costumes and Music in Paso Doble

Costumes play a crucial role in Paso Doble, with dancers typically wearing traditional Spanish attire such as matador suits and flamenco dresses. The costumes are designed to enhance the dramatic and theatrical nature of the dance, with bold colors and intricate details that add to the overall performance. The music in Paso Doble is typically fast-paced and energetic, with a strong beat that drives the dancers’ movements. The music is often inspired by traditional Spanish bullfighting music, with elements of flamenco and Latin rhythms.

V. Steps and Techniques in Paso Doble

Paso Doble is a technically challenging dance that requires precision and skill from both partners. The dance is characterized by its quick, sharp movements and its intricate footwork. Some of the key steps in Paso Doble include the “capes,” where the woman twirls her skirt like a cape, and the “circular walks,” where the dancers move in a circular pattern around the dance floor. Techniques such as posture, frame, and timing are crucial in Paso Doble, as they help the dancers maintain control and connection throughout the dance.

VI. Popular Paso Doble Variations

Over the years, Paso Doble has evolved to include a variety of variations and styles. Some popular variations of Paso Doble include the Flamenco Paso Doble, which incorporates elements of traditional flamenco dance, and the Spanish Gypsy Paso Doble, which combines elements of Spanish folk dance with the traditional Paso Doble steps. Other variations include the Hollywood Paso Doble, which incorporates elements of Hollywood glamour and style, and the Modern Paso Doble, which incorporates contemporary music and choreography. These variations add depth and diversity to the Paso Doble repertoire, allowing dancers to showcase their creativity and skill in new and exciting ways.