Dance Tempi

The tempi (or tempos) tool can be found by clicking the “Tempi (tempos)” item in the “Tools” menu at the top of the home page.  lt provides a view on how tempi, meter and dance styles are related.  It is an active table of dance styles with their associated meters and tempi according to various dance teaching and competition organizations (*) as well as more informal social dancing tempi.

This table can be sorted and filtered in a number of interesting ways to help visualize things like which dance style is faster than another or what the specific tempo restrictions any individual organization defines for a particular dance.

In addition, this table can be used to navigate to a list of songs that match a particular dance style and fall into the specific tempo range for a dance organization’s rules for that dance style (although please note that we haven’t vetted all of the songs for being ‘strict’ tempo by competition rules, so use these lists as a source of ideas rather than a definitive guide).


The default view shows all of the dances (E) that we’ve cataloged along with the meter (F) and tempo in both beats per minute (G) and measures (or bars) per minute (H). We’re also showing a couple of different categorizations:  ‘Type’ (I) is the somewhat arbitrary classification system that we’re grouping styles of dance into and ‘Style’ (J) is the competition category that the style of dance falls into if it is one of the ballroom competition dance styles or social otherwise.

Each column can be sorted by clicking on the column name and sorted in the other direction by clicking on the name again.

All of the dance names in the ‘Name’ (E) column and the dance types in the ‘Type’ (I) column are active links that will take you to the descriptions page for the dance or type. The competition categories listed in the ‘Style’ (J) column are also linked to description pages for the competition style.

All of the tempo ranges in the ‘Measure Per Minute’ (H) and ‘Beat Per Minute’ (G) columns are active links that will take you to a list of songs that can be danced to the style of dance represented by the row at the tempo shown in the column.


Style Filter (A)

  • (Un)Select All: Selects or clears all styles
  • International Standard: Shows the dances categorized as International Standard (Quickstep, Foxtrot, Waltz Tango and Viennese Waltz).
  • International Standard: Shows the dances categorized as International Standard (Quickstep, Foxtrot, Waltz Tango and Viennese Waltz).
  • American Smooth: Shows the dances categorized as American Smooth (Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Peabody)
  • American Rhythm: Shows the dances categorized as American Rhythm (Bolero, Cha Cha, Rumba, Mambo, East Coast Swing, Hustle, Merengue, Paso Doble, Polka, Samba and West Coast Swing)
  • Social: This is a grab bag for dances style where we haven’t identified organizations that dictate tempo for the dance style.

Selecting specific styles also filters the tempos for dances down to the tempos recommended for the dance in that style.

Type Filter

The type filter (B) reflects the same categorization that we use on the main dances page.  Choosing any of the options in this drop-down will show the dance styles associated with that type.

Meter Filter

The meter filter (C) shows the dances styles danced to music of a specific meter (2/4, 3/4, 4/4) or  choose All Meters to clear the filter.

Organization Filter

The organization filter (D) will show the tempi for organization and the classification of dancer – this will change the tempo numbers in the ‘MPM’ and ‘BPM’ columns to reflect the rules of the organization. (*)

*Dance Organizations

Currently we’re showing DanceSport and National Dance Council of America information but we hope to add other organizations to the list in the future.  If you would like to see other organizations integrated into our system or have a specific organization that you would like to see, please leave us feedback and we’ll take a look.

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