Types of Ballroom Dances – Paso Doble
The Paso Doble or (Pasodoble) originated in southern France and began gaining popularity in the United States in the 1930s. Because the dance developed in France, the steps of the Spanish Paso Doble actually have French names, which is interesting considering its Spanish roots. In France, it was known as the " Paso Redoble." The Paso Doble is a lively dance modeled after the drama of the Spanish bullfight. In Spanish, "Paso Doble" means "two-step" and refers to the marching nature of the steps.
This theatrical dance has an interesting background that involves role-playing of sorts. At its core, the Paso Doble is a dramatic Spanish dance. Traditionally, the man is characterized as the matador (bullfighter) and the lady as his cape in the drama of a Spanish bullfight. The dancers may choose to enact the role of the torero, picador, banderillero, bull, or Spanish dancer. They can also change roles throughout the dance. Based on Flamenco dancing, the Paso Doble is both arrogant and passionate in its portrayal.
One of the most dramatic of all the Latin dances, the Paso Doble is also a progressive dance. In the Paso Doble, dancers take strong steps forward with the heels and incorporate artistic hand movements. The forward steps, or walks, should be strong and proud. The man should also incorporate apel, a move in which he strongly stamps his foot, much like a matador strikes the ground in order to capture the attention of the bull. All moves of the Paso Doble should be sharp and quick, with the chest and head held high to represent arrogance and dignity -- again, much like a traditional bullfight.