For anyone who can't dance at all and is unsure about music there is social dancing. It is easy and works with any beat & tempo. Otherwise beginners generally start with Waltz, Quickstep and Cha-Cha.
Links from the table below are to step instructions and music samples. The beat (strong beats per bar) and tempo (bars per minute, BPM) describe the music used.
|Ballroom||Viennese Waltz||3||60 (50-64)||SSS|
|Slow Waltz||3||30 (28-34)||SSS, SQQS, QQSS|
|Quickstep||4||50 (40-54)||½bar S, QQ|
|Foxtrot||4||30 (26-36)||½bar S, QQ|
|Tango||4 / 2||33 (28-34)||½bar S, QQ|
|Latin||Samba||2||50 (45-65)||SS, SaS, SQQ|
|Jive||4 / 12||44 (30-50)||½bar QQ, QaQ|
|Cha-Cha||4||32 (30-40)||½bar SS, QQS|
|Paso Doble||2 / 4||62 (58-66)||SS|
|Bossa Nova||2||35 (30-42)||SaS, SQQ|
|West Coast Swing||4 / 12||35 (30-40)||½bar QQ, S, QaQ|
|Rock 'n' Roll||4||40 (30-50)||½bar S, QQ, QaQ|
|Salsa||4||48 (42-56)||QQQQ, QQS|
|Lambada||4||60 (58-62)||QQS, QQQQ|
|Argentine Tango||4 / 2||33 (28-34)||½bar S, QQ|
|Old-Time||Old-Time Waltz||3||42 (38-48)||S-, SQ, QQQ, QS|
|Two-Step||2 / 6||48 (43-50)||SS, SaS|
Rag-Time / Swing
|4 / 2||60 (54-66)||½bar S, QQ|
Stroll / Glide
|4 / 12||28 (24-30)||½bar S, QQ|
|Gavotte||4 / 12||24 (23-26)||½bar S, QQ|
Note that the difference between 4 and 2 is not always clear. Tango is often described as being 2-beat but I think Tango music is typically 4 not 2 (except for some with no rhythm at all!).
Otherwise the beat may be halved or doubled in some cases, but this affects the listed tempo. Non-sequence Quickstep and Jive work on half bars of 4-beat, so they can work with 2-beat music (at 100 and 88 BPM respectively). Paso Doble is often described as 4 at 31 BPM rather than 2 at 62 BPM. Although Waltzes are all 3-beat, Viennese and Old-Time may be danced to 6-beat (at 30 and 21 BPM respectively).
The beat may be tripled without affecting the tempo - just the style. 12 and 6 are triplet substitutes for 4 and 2 respectively. Jive is usually described as 4-beat but Jive music is more often 12 than 4. Similarly, the Saunter may be 12 not 4 and the Two-Step may be 6 not 2.