"Ballroom dancing" refers most often to the ten dances of International Ballroom (Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot and Quickstep) and International Latin (Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive), though the term is also often used interchangeably with the five International Ballroom dances.


In the US and Canada, the American Style (American Smooth and American Rhythm) also exists. The dance technique used for both International and American styles is similar, but International Ballroom allows only closed dance positions, whereas American Smooth allows closed, open and separated dance movements.  In addition, different sets of dance figures are usually taught for the two styles.


International Latin and American Rhythm have different styling, and have different dance figures.  Other dances placed under the umbrella term "ballroom dancing" include Nightclub Dances such as Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Nightclub Two Step, Hustle, Salsa, and Merengue.