Image source: TVアニメ「ボールルームへようこそ」 on Twitter

Welcome to the Ballroom gives us a little tease into the world of ballroom dance through rigorous practice. But, when show time comes, the series also shows how sultry ballroom dance can be.

Our protagonist, Tatara Fujita, has started his path towards becoming a professional ballroom dancer. Just as he’s finally become accustomed to the basic steps of the waltz, Tatara soon gets his first taste of ballroom dance competition. But, instead of seeing regal competitors at an armature dance competition Tatara sees and experiences some very sensual dances.

Ballroom dance in the eyes of some people is prim and proper, left for formal social occasions. Think of the United States Presidential Inaugural Ball when the first couple dances or a formal wedding dance between the bride and groom. Even the Standard Dances at a dance competitions favor men wearing tuxedos and women wearing flowing dresses. It’s actually a very nice thought to imagine ballroom dance in this very formal way because it elevates it to a plane of high social status and refinement. Yet in actuality, as seen through Welcome to the Ballroom, the sport is in fact quite erotic. And it’s not just the Latin Dances with their alluring outfits and sexy swaying hips, but also the regal Standard Dances with their dance moves and poses.

Image source: WDSF DanceSport on Facebook

When Tatara first sees the dances at the Mikasa Miya dance competition, he’s witnessing the Latin Dance—the Samba, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive. What’s striking about the Latin Dances are certainly the outfits—we’re shown Tatara’s classmate Shizuku Hanoka in a very slinky dress and her partner Kiyoharu Hyōdō in an outfit with flair—but, when we actually see the dances through Tatara’s eyes, they take on an erotic life. For instance, one of the first things we see when the Samba music starts is Kiyoharu moving his hips in a very sexually explicit way. Yet, the dances go much further than that by giving us shots of Shizuku arching her back to a close up of Shizuku and Kiyoharu “passionately” staring at each other. These are quick shots, but they emphasize how erogenous Latin Dances can be for Tatara and the viewers.

But, the Standard Dances—the Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, and Quickstep—aren’t erotic like the Latin Dances, right? Well, in actuality, the series shows us is they may actually be even more sensual than the Latin Dances. This isn’t necessarily from the movements, swaying hips, or outfits, but from the posture and poses the dances take. For instance, when Tatara is dancing the Waltz with Shizuku there’s a moment when he holds a High Hover for a good amount of times. It’s explained to us the purpose of the Hover is to show the posture and balance of the dancers, yet the expression we see on Shizuku during the pose is exhausted pleasure. Couple that with how the Tarata and Shizuku are pressed up against each other. From afar the Waltz appears very refined, but from Tatara’s perspective it’s a very exciting experience.

Ballroom dance, especially the Standard Dances, has an aura of formality about it for some people. Welcome to the Ballroom shows us this isn’t always the case—Latin Dances are very much about passion and sensuality and even the Waltz has moments of sheer ecstasy.

Welcome to the Ballroom is streaming on Amazon Anime Strike.

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