Music is the only art that can the moment when we hear it make us shiver, wake up our emotions and cause some sort of a reaction, from positive or negative feelings to relaxation. From the past dance was a response to music, people used dance to show their emotions, fears, strength or just to enjoy music. From the past until today, dance is still very popular and it has developed in many types of dances. It is part of every culture, every city and every person. We use dance when we are celebrating something, when we want to have fun, to expel our negative energy. But, every person does it in her own way and due to that there are numerous styles of dance.
We have extracted most popular dance types there are all around the world:
Ballet is very graceful type of dancing in which both male and female dancers move slowly in the rhythm of the music. It is very challenging and serious dance. Professional ballet dancer needs to be in perfect shape because ballet can be very difficult and requires strength as much as flexibility. Dancers must be able to do complex movements, but they need to look easy and natural. Their movement is like they are floating on air on the tips of their toes. For a ballet dancer it is essential to be proper body type with wanted physical characteristic. Ballet is a product of Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century by Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II of France.
Ballroom dance is a dance made for celebrating, enjoying and celebration. It is danced on events, in dance clubs where all dancers dance the same in the rhythm that match the character of that song. Ballroom dances doesn’t require any special skill or experience in dancing, it consists of simple steps that can be taught easily. There are 12 ballroom dances in the world with many varieties of each and every one. Those ballroom dances are: Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Jive, Lindy Hop, Mambo, Paso Doble, Quickstep, Rumba, Samba, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Waltz. Every of this dances has special steps and type of music to which you can dance it. Music used in ballroom dances is from lively for Cha Cha or Jive, passionate for Tango or Paso Doble, to slow and romantic for Waltz and Rumba.
Belly dance is type of dance that is considered as one of the oldest form of dance. It originates from ancient cultures of India and the mid-East. This dance was for preparations of young women for marriage and usually men weren’t allowed to participate, even though many people think this dance was for entertaining men during celebrations. Today, it is usually danced for entertainment and hobby. It is very interesting dance because women don’t use whole body for dance. When dancing women usually move their torso rather than legs. It is sensual dance in which every woman does movements that are natural for woman’s body and it is dance by women only. Belly dance is danced barefoot because it is representing connection between the dancer and Mother Earth.
Breakdancing is also called breaking, b-boying and b-girling. It is a style of dancing developed from hip hop dancing in the USA. This dance is testing limits of human body and dancers needs to have perfect physical form and strength. Music for break-dancing doesn’t include hip hop only, it can be also jazz, soul and funk. They aren’t afraid of mixing many different music styles to get unique music for their dance moves. Breakdancing is a lifestyle, dancers are behaving, wearing, listening and socializing with other breakdancers. Main theme of this dance is improvisation. There are few basic steps you need to learn and after that is testing your own limits and creativity. It is a dance from the streets, where breakers would get together and show their moves tho the others.
Country western dance
Country western dance is dance for cowboys who were sitting in the saddle all day long and after a hard day they needed some relaxation. What is better for relaxing than dancing? All you need to have for country western dancing is cowboy hat, boots and love for country music. Country dance is also called ”kicker dancing” in Texas. As you can see by the name, kicking is one of the main moves in country western dancing. This dance has two categories: partner and group dances. In partner dances you have a partner to dance with, one of you leads, the other follows. Group dance, on the other hand, is danced in group. This dances are line dances and square dances. Both of the country western dance styles are danced in bars, ballrooms and club, for entertainment.
Folk dance is dance developed by group of people in community and it reflects ceremony and tradition of some city, region or state. Since dancers aren’t professionals and often don’t have any experience in dancing steps are simple and repeated. Every member of a community can participate no matter the age or social status. People usually danced folk dance on some holiday, celebration or any other public event that one region can have. Almost every folk dance has rich history and it is passed down through many generations. Folk dance is a group dance but there are some solo parts which are performed by persons who have a status in their community, like winner of some competition, the best hunter, the richest family etc.
Flamenco dance originates from southern Spain and it is dancing by the guitar music. It has Latin American, Cuban and Jewish traditional influence. In the beginning, flamenco was danced to the song and clapping hands, so called ”toque de palmas”, without any musical instruments. Flamenco dance doesn’t have special steps you have to learn but it has strict framework and rhythmic patterns one must obey. Flamenco dance is serious and passionate, so is the dancer. When dancing, dancer uses does a lot of hand clapping and footwork. In the beginning of the dance, dancer is calm and as the song passes he becomes more and more passionate. From time to time, in stead of hand clapping dancer can use castanets.
Hip hop is a music genre which was born in 1960s. It has many types of dance like uprock, breaking, locking, roboting, boogaloo, popping and many more. The main difference between hip hop dances and breaking is that in breaking dancers are usually on the ground and hip hop are usually standing up. Today, hip hop is usually seen in music videos, but besides that it is usually danced on the streets. For hip hop you have to be in great shape because it is high energetic dance which includes jumping, running, complex body movements and needs a lot of practice. Hip hop lifestyle includes baggy clothes, graffiti, DJ and high energy dancing as well as breaking. Breaking is the most famous hip hop dance.
Jazz dance is modern dance influenced by jazz music. Jazz music is individual, so is jazz dance. Person who is a professional in jazz dancing will show their expertise, brag about it and using improvisation make their own moves. Jazz dancers often begin with basic ballet. In ballet they learn to control and grace and they can use ballet to get in shape for jazz dancing. It is very common dance in shows, movies, Broadway production, musicals etc. It is high discipline dance where person has to be in great shape because moves in jazz dancing are everything but simple and easy. They need to look easy and that is where the expertise for jazz dance lies.
Latin dances consists of two group of dances, social Latin dancing and ballroom Latin dancing. Social Latin dances are: samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, cumbia, rumba, bolera and many more. On the other hand, ballroom Latin dances are: cha cha cha, jive, paso doble, rumba and samba. Even though cha cha cha and jive aren’t Latin dances, they are part of ballroom Latin dances group. Social Latin dances are more passionate, faster and have more rhythmic expression than ballroom Latin dances. It is danced with a partner, where one leads and another follows. Partners are usually close one to another, to show the passion the music is playing about. Depending on the music, Latin dances can be slow and fast.
Contemporary dance is dance form 20th century which has developed from different dance techniques form 20th century types of dance. Contemporary dance can be very difficult and unlike ballet, it doesn’t have one strict form, it is very fluid dance. Dancers in this particular dance try to explore natural energy and their bodies are usually carried by their emotions, which makes it very personal dance. Contemporary dancers can be someone who has trained ballet, Latin dances, it doesn’t matter. They use common body techniques like yoga and Pilates to make dance moves contemporary dance asks. This dance makes one bond between dancer, his moves, his mind and makes it all work in a harmony. The best music for this dance style doesn’t include human voice, it is instrumental.
You can say if you spot a couple with the biggest smile, having so much fun, they are dancing swing. Swing is a high energy dance in which one dancer lifts, spins or even flips their partner. It has started in 1930s and 40s in New York but still is very popular. The mother of swing is dance called Lindy hop. All you need for swing is great music like jazz, hip hop, blues, rock and roll, funk or pop and you can go dancing. If you don’t have a clue how to swing, you can learn the basic steps and other is improvisation. You can swing and dance the way you like it.
Tap dance is developed in United States in 19th century. It is unusual dance because most of the moves and dance in general you do with your feet. Every tap dancer can’t dance without special shoes with metal plates on them. When you make some move, you make a characteristic tapping sound with that plate and that is why we are calling it a tap dance. Dancer makes sound by jumping, stepping, gliding with his shoes on the floor, while other parts of the body aren’t that important and usually aren’t included in choreography.