Dance Tidbits – Paso Doble

I don’t know about you, but when I watch the dancers on Dancing With The Stars dance the Paso Doble, I’m always transfixed at how magnificent the movements, costumes and steps are. In my opinion, the Paso Doble is the most entertaining of all the Latin dances.

Paso Doble originated in southern France. It became popular in the 1930’s. Even though Paso and Doble are French words, the Latin countries have embraced this lively dance more than France. Paso Doble in Spanish means double-step. In other words, the Paso Doble dance step is the two-step with a march-like flair.

Now for the reason I love this dance so much! The Paso Doble is actually a portrayal of the sound, drama and movement of the Spanish and Portuguese bullfight. A male dancer can be the matador, while the female dancer can be the cape. This makes it a lot of fun to watch, as it is very dramatic and full of passion. Here’s the fun part, at any time during the dance, the male and female dancer can switch and/or trade places and even switch back! It’s kind of like a mini adventure.

The Paso Doble is also based on Flamenco dancing. I think that’s where some of the steps and flair come from. The dance steps must be sharp and quick with the chest kept very straight representing strength and dignity. You will always see very creative hand movements incorporated in the dance but the feet must always be directly underneath the body.

Paso Doble is the traditional dance of Spain danced by a couple. In Venezuela the Paso Doble is the custom wedding and big party dance and can be combined with Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba and even Jive.

If you’ve never heard of Paso Doble before watching DWTS, it is because it is usually danced competitively and not socially. If you are competing in competitions, you will undoubtedly be learning and perfecting this dance. What other dance will allow you to be a matador, a cape, and a bullfigher all in one. Not even Superman can do that!

Happy dancing,

Thought Of The Week:

“Without music, life is a journey through a desert.” Pat Conroy



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website