Teachable Dances and Choreographies

By "Teachable Dances" we mean dances that can be taught on the fly, right before dancing the dances.

Music for Dances

Most of these dances are associated with a particular piece of music. There is a reason these dances work, and the music is a part of it. We would encourage you to use the standard music. Or, if you have actually found a piece of music that is better, please let us know. Now, if it's a theme night, like Halloween, and you really want to play something custom, go ahead.


ChaCha slide pic

Cha Cha Slide

Official Video

Writeup of Cha Cha Slide on wikihow.

This is a well known dance, if you are under thirty! :-). Many people will already know this, and the dance gives instruction as it goes (like the Timewarp). It can just be played, and encourage people to join in. Play all the audio from the official video, it talks people through the dance.

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Chaos Mixer

Video of Chaos Mixer at Friday Night Waltz.

Write up of Chaos Mixer

The Chaos Mixer is a fun, silly mixer that can be quickly taught.

heel and toe mixer pic

Heel and Toe Polka Mixer

Video of Heel and Toer

Writeup of Heel and Toe mixer

Music for Heel and Toe Polka Mixer

High-energy and super fun, but tell folks not to clap their partners' hands too hard.

sextet mixer pic

Sextet Mixer

Also known as The Borrowdale Exchange

Video of Sextet mixer

Writeup of Sextet mixer

Sir Roger Photo

Sir Roger De Coverley

Video of Sir Roger de Coverley

Write up of Sir Roger

Sir Roger de Coverley, is a very old (1695) but still popular dance. It's even mentioned in Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol". This dance is usually taught by the top couple (nearest the DJ). The DJ announces the song, and people will run out to start a set. This is done by placing themselves in the positions of the top couple and raising their right hands.

The DJ usually announces this with "Please take four of five couple sets to learn and dance Sir Roger de Coverley. If you have more than that, the last dancers don't get to participate fully.

One Note: In the video, after "Bow, Right, Left, Both Hands", they do a step in a hammerlock position, where as we just pass around our partner, using no hands.

strip the willow

Strip the Willow Set Dance

Video of Strip the Willow


New, draft writeup of Strip the Willow

Strip the Willow, is an old English Country Dance, typically danced in sets of four or five couples.

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't Smidge

"t Smidge at Friday Night Waltz

't Smidge writeup

Last time we ran this, I believe it took 3 minutes, 40 seconds to teach, and 2:41 to run.

Make sure you know how many beats of intro you have in your music, so you can count people in, it's critical that everyone is on the same beat.


Veleta Mixer

Video of Veleta at Friday Night Waltz

Writeup of Veleta

Not Teachable on the Fly

Bohemian Photo

Bohemian National Polka

The Bohemian National Polka is choreographed by Franti?ek Bonu? and Richard Powers.

Video of BNP

Writeup of Bohemian National Polka

This is most definitely not teachable on the fly!

Congress Photo

Congress of Vienna

The Congress of Vienna is a choreographed waltz by John Hertz.

Video of Congress of Vienna

Write up Congress of Vienna

Note that this document is very terse, to make it fit on one page. Please contact Tom Hill for more details, or if you have any questions.

Of course, if you can reach John Hertz, you can get the answer from the source.

The original music can be found here, but you don't want to use that, as is. The original is eight minutes long. Usually we play a version that is about 4:30. Talk to us, if you need a copy.

cross-step mixer

Cross-step Mixer

Generally, the leaders will need to know the choreography, but the cross-step mixer can be followed by most people who can dance basic cross-step.

Video of Cross-step mixer

Writeup of Cross-step mixer

salsa rueda

Salsa Rueda

Salsa Rueda is a group dance where pairs of leaders and followers dance together in a rueda, or wheel. A designated caller (usually in the rueda itself) calls moves that dancers perform simultaneously, producing beautiful, synchronized patterns. But make no mistake--this is still partner dancing, and many of the moves learned in salsa rueda can be transferred to other dances like Swing and Nightclub Two-Step!

Salsa Rueda is based on Cuban-style salsa, where salsa originated! It has since evolved in many other dialects of salsa, like LA style (on 1) or New York style (on 2). Unlike other forms of salsa dance commonly danced in the US, Cuban-style does not focus on a single "slot" and instead uses a "circular" space around the dancers, resulting in patterns that are markedly different from slot-based dances.



tokyo polka

Tokyo Polka

This takes about 20 minutes to teach to newcomers, IIRC.

While it is totally fine to jump in and fake it, this is a bit too hard to encourage newcomers to come off the wall and fake it. That works fine for experienced dancers.



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