Which is harder: Latin or Standard?

I've danced both in the past and the difficulty, to me, depends on the dance, not the style. I prefer Latin over Standard, but that's not based on the difficulty of either, just a personal choice.


Active Member
They're different and the easy things and difficult things are different. Which is the most difficult? For me it changes from day to day depending on what I'm doing and what I'm working on. Today it was Viennese Waltz that was difficult - so few steps and so few ways to make them look sublime! Fleckerls, fleckerls and more fleckerls! Next week we're working on Rumba so Latin will be harder next week (Rumba walks - it'll be more like Rumba marathons, I bet).
For me personally, I have heard that Standard is harder, yet I feel I am picking up Standard with much more speed than I ever did with Latin.

However, like an early poster said, I feel the more I learn in Standard the less I know! Recently I've been just practicing a Natural Turn. I always thought 'no biggie, no difficulty in just doing a little box with some rotation.' Pft! What a fool I am! I thought I knew how to do a NT, turns out, I still got a lot of work to do! :)

With Latin though, I feel like I continually look like a goon when I do it! On the other hand, I do spend a lot more time practicing St than I do Latin....

I guess my opinion then is something like this: both disciplines are difficult for their own respective reasons.

One thing they both have in common though: beautiful women and handsome men! :)


Site Moderator
Staff member
well I guess if you know a host of both and have inquired to their practice habits, then we will have to take you at your word on it but I am dubious
I think standard is more difficult. This is why top standard dancers still need to work on their basics, where top latin dancers generally have solid basics and can build up from there.

Really good dancers in either style may be able to do the other style, but not as well as they do their own style. Among other things, the optimal muscle development seems to be different.
Whether Standard dancers have to work on basics and Latin dancers either do not need to...or work on
something else has nothing to do with whether one is
harder than the other

Warren J. Dew

Well-Known Member
Examples being? I'm not saying it never happens, but I wouldn't say commonplace. How do you define basics in this context?
Well, last time I was going to Blackpool, they included Timothy Howson and Joanne Bolton, who won that dance, and Alan and Donna Shingler.

"Basics" is generally defined as "syllabus figures for the dance". My own definition in this case is slightly stricter in that I wouldn't include syllabus foxtrot figures with syncopated timings; without that additional restriction, there might have been one or two more couples in the final doing only basics.
A better question would be:
Which interests you more, standard or latin?
You will tend to excel in the one you like the most, or the one for which you have a great mentor to help you find that spark.


Site Moderator
Staff member
not exactly my situtation...i always liked standard, but I cannot say that I have ever loved it, except for waltz...and the occasional tango or QS....

in actuality, I enjoy all four styles, but I love open smooth, foxtrot notwithstanding

but I have not noticed alot of correlation btwn what I find hard or easy, or what I am good at or what my mentor/instructor excels at
I have had a lot of discussion with various professionals & students and still do not have a straight answer. Is there one? or is it just personal preference? I am looking in terms of technique, characterisation and rhythm here.


Well-Known Member
Welcome, CameronH746.
I think that question needs more context. If you are talking about competition, the style with the most competitors will be the hardest to win. Because if one is easier to learn at the beginning, the competition will raise the level of technique to the limits of what people can do, anyway.


Well-Known Member
Ballroom is harder because there's always this partner in my way. Latin is harder because I have to do things with less (or sometimes no) physical connection with my partner. Ballroom is harder because I have to move smoothly across my feet. Latin is harder because I have to be centered over my feet. Ballroom is harder because it's so structured, it's hard to let go and be expressive. Latin is harder because I feel silly performing sensuality.

You haven't gotten a straight answer, because there isn't one that's true for everyone. Though there may be one for a particular individual, depending on their body type, previous experience, and personality.

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