Dance, the art of precise, expressive, and graceful human movement, traditionally, but not necessarily, performed in accord with musical accompaniment. Dancing developed as a natural expression of united feeling and action. The Origins of Dance The earliest history of human dance is a continuing mystery. From the evidence of illustrated ceramic fragments, some archaeologists have speculated that dance originated some 5,000 to 9,000 years ago in early agricultural cultures located in a swath running from modern Pakistan to the Danube basin.
Others, however, have expressed caution regarding the reconstruction of social behavior from such sources. Speculation aside, specific knowledge of prehistoric dances is lacking, and thus many experts have extrapolated dance history from the preserved ritual dances of various preliterate societies. The Development of Dance in Europe In medieval Europe the repeated outbreaks of dance mania, a form of mass hysteria sometimes caused by religious frenzy and usually associated with epidemics of bubonic plague, are reflected in the allegory of the dance of death.
Dancing as a social activity and a form of entertainment is of relatively recent origin. During the Middle Ages, especially in France, dancing was a feature of the more enlightened and convivial courts. Some medieval dances, such as the volta, precursor of the waltz, became the sources of modern dance steps. In the 16th cent. two types of dance were popular, the solemn and stately dances performed at the court of Charles IX and the lively peasant dances.
The ballet first appeared in Italian courts in the 16th cent., and it became popular in France, especially during the reign of Louis XIV. Among the formal dances of the 17th cent. were the courante, saraband, pavan, minuet, gavotte, quadrille (or contredanse), and cotillion. Music, which had developed to accompany dancing, had, by this time, evolved many forms and rhythms no longer associated with the dance. French dances made their way to England in the 17th cent. where variations of the morris dance were frequently performed in villages and small towns.
Popular national dances include the mazurka and polonaise from Poland; the czardas from Hungary; the fandango, bolero, seguidilla, and flamenco from Spain; the tarantella and saltarello from Italy; the waltz and galop from Germany; the polka and schottische from Bohemia; the strathspey and Highland fling from Scotland; the hornpipe from England; and the jig from Ireland. Reasons Why People Dance When it comes to dance there are plenty of wonderful reasons that people elect to dance.
The fact remains that far too few of us manage to incorporate dance into our lives nearly as much as we should. There are many wonderful reasons to dance and they do not all require copious amounts of alcohol and someone with. Love There are few greater reasons to dance than to show your love for your partner. You do not have to limit your dancing to your wedding night or an evening out with friends. All you need to dance with the one you love is some good music and a little bit of floor space. Dance while you prepare dinner, wash dishes, or just because it’s raining outside.
But dance with the one you love and do it often to keep those flames burning. Joy We always hear people talking about dancing for joy but how often do we really see that happen? What a shame it is that we actually take so few opportunities to dance in our society. Dancing is an outward expression of joy that is almost always infectious. Share your joy with the world and you just might find they will dance along with you. Even if they do not, you should at least be secure in the fact that at this moment in time you are much happier than they are.
Fun When is the last time you’ve danced? Was it fun? I have found very few people (well other than young boys) who did not have any fun while dancing. The truth of the matter is that dancing is fun. Whether you are line dancing or trying the Tango it is great fun to dance. Flirting What a wonderful way to flirt dancing can be! If you haven’t tried it with the one you love, there is no time like the present to do so. Find some great fun and flirty music and dance for the one you love. If you’re really lucky, you might even convince them to join in.
To Make Your Children Laugh Really, there is no better reason on the earth than this to dance. My kids love to see me dance the moves that were popular back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and share their more modern moves with me. It’s a great way to enjoy your children before they decide your evil or during those rare moments when you may be on the verge of neutral in their opinions. Fitness While dancing does a lot to lighten the mood and raise your spirits it can also help your heart in other ways as well.
Dancing is a great way to get up and moving that doesn’t feel as though it is really exercise. This means that you can help your heart by dancing a little while every day. The longer you dance, the better you will feel and the healthier your heart will become. Meet New People If you decide to take lessons for dancing, you will find that you have the ability to meet a bunch of great new people. Dancing is a great way that many people are discovering to have fun and stay fit. This means that more and more people are joining local dance classes for these very reasons.
You might develop some lifelong friendships through your dance lessons that you would have missed out on otherwise. Of course there are many more reasons that different people take up dance. In fact, you may find an all-together different reason to take up dance for yourself. Whatever your reason you decide to dance, do it often and have fun in the process. IV. Kinds of Dance Ballet Ballet serves as a backbone for many other styles of dance, as many other dance genres are based on ballet. Ballet is based on techniques that have been developed over centuries.
Ballet uses music and dance to tell stories. Ballet dancers have the ability to transport an audience to another world. Jazz Jazz is a fun dance style that relies heavily on originality and improvisation. Many jazz dancers mix different styles into their dancing, incorporating their own expression. Jazz dancing often uses bold, dramatic body movements, including body isolations and contractions. Tap Tap dancing is an exciting form of dance in which dancers wear special shoes equipped with metal taps. Tap dancers use their feet like drums to create rhythmic patterns and timely beats.
Hip-Hop Hip-hop is a dance style, usually danced to hip-hop music, that evolved from the hip-hop culture. Hip-hop includes various moves such as breaking, popping, locking and krumping, and even house dance. Improvisation and personal interpretation are essential to hip-hop dancing. Modern Modern dance is a dance style that rejects many of the strict rules of classical ballet, focusing instead on the expression of inner feelings. Modern dance was created as a rebellion against classical ballet, emphasizing creativity in choreography and performance.
Swing Swing dance is a lively dance style in which couples swing, spin and jump together. Swing dancing is a general term that means dancing to swing music, or music that “swings. ” How can you tell if a song swings? Swing dancers know when a song swings because when they hear it, they can’t stand still. Contra Dance Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form two parallel lines and perform a sequence of dance movements with different partners down the length of the line.
Contra dances are relaxed with family-like atmospheres. The dancing is excellent exercise, and dancers can set their own pace. Contra dancers are usually friendly, active people with a love of dance. Country and Western Country and western dance includes several dance forms, usually danced to country-western music. If you’ve ever been to a country and western club or tavern, you’ve probably seen a few cowboy boot-wearing dancers twirling around the dance floor with big smiles on their faces.