Dance does not leave behind clearly identifiable physical artifacts such as stone tools, hunting implements or cave paintings. It is not possible to say when dance became part of human culture. Dance has certainly been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Archeology delivers traces of dance from prehistoric times such as the 9,000 year old Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from circa 3300 BC.
One of the earliest structured uses of dances may have been in the performance and in the telling of myths. It was also sometimes used to show feelings for one of the opposite gender. It is also linked to the origin of “love making. ” Before the production of written languages, dance was one of the methods of passing these stories down from generation to generation.  Another early use of dance may have been as a precursor to ecstatic trance states in healing rituals. Dance is still used for this purpose by many cultures from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert.
 Sri Lankan dances goes back to the mythological times of aboriginal yingyang twins and “yakkas” (devils). According to a Sinhalese legend, Kandyan dances originate, 250 years ago, from a magic ritual that broke the spell on a bewitched king. Many contemporary dance forms can be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial, and ethnic dance. Partner Dancing in Art Dance at Bougival by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1882–83) Eadweard Muybridge’s phenakistoscope “A Couple Waltzing” (c. 1893) Dance classification and genres.
Main articles: List of basic dance topics and List of dances Dance categories by number of interacting dancers are mainly solo dance, partner dance and group dance. Dance is performed for various purposes like ceremonial dance, erotic dance, performance dance, social dance etc. Dancing and music See also: Category:Music genres Many early forms of music and dance were created and performed together. This paired development has continued through the ages with dance/music forms such as: jig, waltz, tango, disco, salsa, electronica and hip-hop.
Some musical genres also have a parallel dance form such as baroque music and baroque dance whereas others developed separately: classical music and classical ballet. Although dance is often accompanied by music, it can also be presented independently or provide its own accompaniment (tap dance). Dance presented with music may or may not be performed in time to the music depending on the style of dance. Dance performed without music is said to be danced to its own rhythm. Ballroom dancing is an art although it may incorporates many fitness components using an artistic state of mind.
Saman Dance from Gayo people of Sumatra, Indonesia Morris dancing in the grounds of Wells Cathedral, Wells, England An amateur dancesport competition at MIT Professional dancers at the Tropicana Club, Havana, Cuba, in 2008 Dance studies and techniques See also: Dance theory, Choreography, and Dance moves In the early 1920s, dance studies (dance practice, critical theory, Musical analysis and history) began to be considered an academic discipline. Today these studies are an integral part of many universities’ arts and humanities programs.
By the late 20th century the recognition of practical knowledge as equal to academic knowledge lead to the emergence of practice research and practice as research. A large range of dance courses are available including: Professional practice: performance and technical skills Practice research: choreography and performance Ethnochoreology, encompassing the dance-related aspects of anthropology, cultural studies, gender studies, area studies, postcolonial theory, ethnography, etc.
Dance therapy or dance-movement therapy. Dance and technology: new media and performance technologies. Laban Movement Analysis and somatic studies Academic degrees are available from BA (Hons) to PhD and other postdoctoral fellowships, with some dance scholars taking up their studies as mature students after a professional dance career. Dance competitions A dance competition is an organized event in which contestants perform dances before a judge or judges for awards and, in some cases, monetary prizes.
There are several major types of dance competitions, distinguished primarily by the style or styles of dances performed. Major types of dance competitions include: Competitive dance, in which a variety of theater dance styles—such as acro, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and tap—are permitted. Open competitions, which permit a wide variety of dance styles. A popular example of this is the TV program So You Think You Can Dance. Dancesport, which is focused exclusively on ballroom and latin dance. Popular examples of this are TV programs Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.
Single-style competitions, such as highland dance, dance team, and Irish dance, which only permit a single dance style. Today, there are various dances and dance show competitions on Television and the Internet. Dance occupations There are different careers connected with dancing: Dancer, dance teacher, dance sport coach, dance therapist and choreographer. Dancer Dance training differs depending on the dance form. There are university programs and schools associated with professional dance companies for specialised training in classical dance (e. g.Ballet) and modern dance.
There are also smaller, privately owned dance studios where students may train in a variety of dance forms including competitive dance forms (e. g. Latin dance, ballroom dance, etc. ) as well as ethnic/traditional dance forms. Professional dancers are usually employed on contract or for particular performances/productions. The professional life of a dancer is generally one of constantly changing work situations, strong competition pressure and low pay.
Professional dancers often need to supplement their income, either in dance related roles (e.g. , dance teaching, dance sport coaches, yoga) or Pilates instruction to achieve financial stability. In the U. S. many professional dancers are members of unions such as the American Guild of Musical Artists, the Screen Actors Guild and Actors’ Equity Association. The unions help determine working conditions and minimum salaries for their members. Dance teachers Dance teacher and operators of dance schools rely on reputation and marketing. For dance forms without an association structure such as Salsa or Tango Argentino they may not have formal training.
Most dance teachers are self employed. Dancesport coaches Dancesport coaches are tournament dancers or former dancesports people, and may be recognised by a dance sport federation. Choreographer Choreographers are generally university trained and are typically employed for particular projects or, more rarely may work on contract as the resident choreographer for a specific dance company. A choreographic work is protected intellectual property. Dancers may undertake their own choreography.