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European and American social dancing performed by couples. It includes standard dances such as the fox-trot, waltz, polka, tango, Charleston, jitterbug, and merengue. Ballroom dance was popularized by Vernon and Irene Castle and Fred Astaire and, later, by Arthur Murray (1895–1991), who established ballroom dance studios throughout the U.S. Ballroom dance contests, especially popular in Europe, feature both amateur and professional dancers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ballroom dance, visit Britannica.com.