Who Created Ballroom Dancing?

“Life is the dancer and you are the dance.” – Eckhart Tolle

Ballroom dancing gets its name from its roots.

Who Created Ballroom Dancing? A Quick Summary

Hundreds of years ago, ballroom dancing took place at balls, and it was mostly an event for the wealthy.

Back in those days, ordinary people would get together and enjoy folk dancing.

Today, ballroom dancing is for everyone.

Whether you want to have a fun evening out, attend a wedding, or become a competitive dancer, there are many options for pursuing ballroom dancing.

Take a look at how ballroom dance has evolved to the present day.

Who Created Ballroom Dancing? A Quick Summary

The very first recorded authority of early ballroom dancing is Jehan Thoinot’Arbeau’s Orchesographie (1588) that talked about 16th-century French social dance.

In 1650, Jean-Baptiste Lully presented the Minuet to Paris – a dance that would control ballroom till the end of the 18th century.

It began as a social event or celebration for the upper class.

In the beginning, ballroom dances were different in different countries and regions.

You can’t talk about who created ballroom dancing without mentioning that it developed from folk dances that were popular in various areas.

The first popular ballroom dances were the Minuet, the Quadrille, the Polka, and others of that kind.

Dances that use the “close hold” position originated in Western Europe in the sixteenth century.

The reason that ladies take their position on the right side of the men is that the men carried their swords on their left side.

These dances move in a counter-clockwise fashion because the men stayed to the inside to make sure their swords didn’t hit the audience.

Also, the ladies needed to move forward so as not to step on the hem of their dresses. 

The 1800s

In the 1800s, Ballroom dance became very popular in England.

The Waltz was a dance that the English developed to what it has become today.

There were still other popular dances, such as the polka and the mazurka.

During this time, more attention was paid to etiquette and rituals, and ballroom dance fit in well with this.

Children in the upper classes were educated on how to ask a partner to dance.

They also learned the appropriate conversation to have while dancing. 

In addition, ballroom dance spread to the United States.

As the Industrial Era created a wealthy upper class, social engagements featuring ballroom dance became popular.

Etiquette was important, and ballroom dance was taught as a part of the protocol.

The upper classes are those who created ballroom dancing.


Today, ballroom dance is much more than a social event.

With dance studios offering lessons in almost every city, anyone can learn and enjoy ballroom dance.

It is not limited to social events, as competitions have become widespread.

Ballroom dance has become an excellent activity for anyone who wishes to give it a try.


This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License.

Click here to see the full list of images and attributions:


You cannot copy content of this page