What is Dance?
Dance is an art type that involves the movement of the body, often to music in a rhythmic way and is performed as a form of social interaction, exercise, or emotional expression. At the same time, dance can be conducted in spiritual or performance settings, and is sometimes executed to tell a story or express an idea. Dance is entertaining. It is universal. For some people, it is a passion; while for others it is a passion. When it comes to dancing, everyone does it – be it you know how to or you don’t. As long as you can move your body in a rhythmic way (even when you are out rhythm), you are dancing.
Dance has been around since man existed and is one of the most powerful forms of expression. Over the years, this art form has evolved and many dance styles have been birthed – some have withstood the test of time while others simply got lost in the annals of time. At the same time, as time has passed by, new styles and forms have been birthed owing to cultural influences. But when all’s said and done, the fact still remains that dance has always been there, and will always be a part of our culture as human beings. In this article, we will be looking at some of the most popular and powerful dance forms in existence today.
Famous Dance Categories and Forms
Ballroom dances first started to appear in Italy during the early Renaissance years. This dance form became popular quite fast and its popularity quickly spread to the United States, Europe and the rest of the world within a very short time. While many simpler and easily performed dance types lead to ballroom dances losing most of their influence, modern worldwide dance lovers have started reviving these immortal dances. Some of them include:
Waltz – The Waltz is a graceful and rather slow two person dance first introduced mid-19th century. The dance was popularized by Johann Strauss’ music and is the gold standard of dance today.
Tango – Originally from Argentina, the tango is one of today’s most celebrated ballroom dance variations. The dance itself has many variations and is loved by many because of its fascinating, energetic and sensual style.
Samba – This is another dance form that is categorized under ballroom dances. Samba originated from the coasts of Africa and is quite famous in Brazil.
Other famous ballroom dances include:
• Viennese Waltz
• Bolero amongst others.
Salsa – Salsa is a Latin dance form and is one of the most popular forms of dance in Latin America. Salsa is an extremely sensual, energetic and innovative dance style. Most of its moves are influenced by Rumba, Mambo, and Changuyi.
Flamenco – Flamenco is another famous dance with Spanish origins. It is a passionate, energetic, and magical dance that if often performed with the accompaniment of music, hand clapping and different instruments including guitars.
Other dances under these categories include:
• East Coast Swing
• Folk Dances
• Western Dances
• East Coast Swing amongst others.
Hip Hop and Funk Dances
Hip-hop/funk dances evolved from music styles first introduced in the 70’s. Powered by media exposure, great popularity, television programs and movies, hip-hop and funk dances have found a foothold in the United States and other nations. Dances falling under this category are generally energetic and very expressive. They include:
• Break dance
• Street jazz
Professional Performance Dances
Professional dance, and its variations, was first introduced during the early years of Renaissance when dance, poetry, art and music were becoming very popular in Italy. Some of the dances that fall under this dance category are far from the original dance forms and have considerably been refined to make some of them some of the most complicated, most revered, and most prestigious forms of dance in the world today. A majority of these dances are so respected that most people who perform them train very hard for years to execute them on a professional and competitive basis. Some of the dance forms falling under professional performance dances include:
• Modern Dance
• Concert dance
• Contemporary dance
• Tap dance
It is important to note that the above are just part of a very long list of dance forms and types known to man. The reason why they are highlighted here is because they are some of the most commonly practiced dances. However, if we were to list each and every dance form here, then this article would go on for a couple of pages.