While historically ballroom dance may refer to any form of formal social dancing as recreation, with the eminence of dancesport in modern times the term has become much narrower in scope, usually referring specifically to the International Standard and International Latin style dances (see dance groupings below). In the United States, two additional variations—"American Smooth" and "American Rhythm"—have also been popularized and are commonly recognized as styles of "ballroom dance".
The term "ballroom dancing" is derived from the word ball, which in turn originates from the Latin word ballare which means "to dance". In times past, ballroom dancing was "social dancing" for the privileged, leaving "folk dancing" for the lower classes. These boundaries have since become blurred, and it should be noted even in times long gone, many "ballroom" dances were really elevated folk dances.
The term "folk dance" is reserved for dances which are to a significant degree bound by tradition and originated in the times when the distinction existed between the dances of "common folk" and the dances of the "high society". Nowadays the role of folk dances has changed and it isn't uncommon to find folk dancers on the stage of concert halls. University of Tartu Folk Art Ensemble performing dance named "Kodukotus" in theatre Vanemuine.