The Art of Dance

Who doesn’t like to dance other than the shuffling guy with two left feet who whose too self conscious to let himself go with the flow? I’ve always been a bit of a free-styler myself, but don’t ask me to waltz, its not my thing! Dance is an art form that is about the movement of the body. It’s usually rhythmic and performed to music. Dance is used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.

Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication between humans, and is also performed by other animals like the bee has its own dance with patterns of behaviour such as a mating dance. Gymnastics, figure skating and synchronised swimming are sports that incorporate dance, while martial arts like Karate have katas which are often compared to dances.

Dance definitions are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement like in folk dance to virtuoso techniques such as ballet. There can have ceremonial, competitive or erotic reasoning. Dance is also used to embody or express ideas, emotions or tell a story.

There are so many styles its hard to know where to start or where to end for that matter. There’s Break-dancing and Krumping which are related to the hip hop culture. African dance is interpretive. Ballet, Ballroom, Waltz, and Tango are classical styles of dance while Square dancing and the Electric Slide are forms of step dances. Ceroc, Salsa and Latin, and lets not forget dear old Zumba, the exercise dance craze!

Every dance, no matter what style, has something in common. It not only involves flexibility and body movement, but also physics. If the proper physics is not taken into consideration, injuries can occur.

Many early forms of music and dance were created and performed together. This paired development has continued through the ages with dance and music forms such as the jig, the waltz, tango, disco, salsa and hip-hop. Some musical genres also have a parallel dance form such as baroque music and baroque dance whereas others developed separately like classical music and classical ballet.

Although dance is often accompanied by music, it can also be presented independently or provide its own accompaniment like with tap dancing. Dance presented with music may or may not be performed in time to the music depending on the style of dance.

Posted: Friday 14 May 2010


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