image of a dancer

Dance

With the current boom in dance troops featured on shows such as Britain's Got Talent and the trend of shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Pineapple Dance Studios, Dance is enjoyed a revival in popularity

A great workout as proved by the fantastic bodies of stars such as Shakira, Beyonce and Kylie Minogue, as well as being a fun skill and sport that can be used in everyday life, dance is perhaps on of the best forms of exercise you can participate in.

What is Dance

Dance itself is considered to be an art form rather than a simple exercise regime. It concerns itself with the movement of the body, which is usually rhythmic, often mildly gymnastic and to music.

Dance has long been used as a form of expression, social interaction and bases itself around performance. Certain definitions of what constitutes dance depends on social, cultural, artistic and aesthetic constraints. Dance can range from functional movement as seen in folk dancing, to virtuoso techniques as seen in ballet.

Dance is used in a variety of settings, including performance, ceremony, competitions, eroticism and social, with many dance movements having a vocabulary or symbolic meaning, or perhaps just telling a story or conveying emotion.

There are many evolved styles of dance and each has a common factor amongst them. They involve flexibility, body movement and even physics, which ensures lack of injury. Choreography is the practice by which people create dances, with the choreographer standing at the forefront that will take the responsibility to create these dances.

Traditional and Folk Dance

Folk and traditional dances describes the dances that are performed at social functions by individuals with little to no professional training, most often to traditional/folk music. The execution of folk dance is dominated by an inherited tradition as opposed to innovation, with new dancers learning by observation on an informal basis.

Folk and traditional dance encompasses a variety of dance styles, varying from country to country as folk often does. Typical types of folk dance include clogging, English country dance, Morris dance, international folk dance, Irish dance, Maypole dance, Nordic polska dance, square dance, sword dance, contra dance, Israeli folk dance, Scottish country dance and Ball de bastons, amongst others.

Certain tribal dances found in Africa, South America and New Zealand can also be interpreted as folk and traditional dance styles. Basically any native or region specific dance can be considered to be a folk or traditional dance form.

Those who are familiar with folk dances can determine where a dance has originated even on their first time viewing it, as some countries' dances have features unique to that particular country. Those who participate in folk dance are usually those common people of the local culture, however this is subject to change as folk is enjoying a revival in popularity.

Several forms of Latin dance have been included in the folk bracket, including chacarera, gato, escondido, zamba and Bolivian folk dances. A hugely popular form of traditional dance is belly dance, which is a traditional Arabic dance made mainstream by artists such as Shakira incorporating it into their dance routines.

Latin Dance

Amongst the many styles of dance you can appreciate is Latin dance. Latin dance incorporates a wide range of dance that originate in Latin America and Cuba.

Styles of Latin dance include the Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, Samba, Salsa, Mambo, Danza, Merengue, Tumba, Bachata, Cumbia, Bolero and the Argentine Tango, amongst others.

Latin dance is popular amongst people who want to learn a form of dance, particularly as they are often vibrant, passionate dances that require a great deal of stamina.

Vernacular Dance

Vernacular dance is an umbrella term that is used to describe styles of dance that evolved away from dance studios in public everyday spaces such as streets, schools and nightclubs. The majority of these dances are improvisational and social, encouraging interaction and contact with spectators as well as other dancers.

Often considered to be street dance, vernacular dance includes a wide variety of dances. Hip hop culture dance styles such as breaking, popping and locking are considered to be the most popular styles in Western and African American dance culture, and as a result are the most practiced of the street dances.

These dances are so popular that commercialised versions have been created and choreographed for dance routines in music videos. Amongst the first vernacular dances was the jazz dance, which is considered to be an Afro-American vernacular dance.

There are other forms of street dance that evolved away from hip hop styles, one of which is house dance. House dance is performed to house, disco or trance music and was born in Chicago to evolve in New York clubs. The contemporary mainstream popularity of clubs has determined that many street dances are created in indoor spaces such as nightclubs but practices in outdoor spaces.

Dance styles that are considered to be street/vernacular dances include African-American dance, Dancehall dance, Baltimore club dance, Skanking, Experimental, Boogie, Hip-hop & Funk dance, Breaking, Boppin', Bounce, Crip Walk (C-Walk), Detroit Jit, Dougie, Electric boogaloo, Floating, Jiggin', Jookin' , Memphis Jookin', Krumping, Locking, Robot dance, Popping, Liquiding, Waving, Tutting, Strobing, Turfing, House dance, Footwork, Hustle, Jacking, Tecktonik, Lofting, Vogue, Waacking, Punk dance, Hardcore dancing, Pogo, Rave dance, Candy Walk, Hardcore, Hakken, Jumpstyle, Melbourne Shuffle, Hardstyle, X-Outing and Street Jazz.

Ballroom Dance

Ballroom dance refers to partner dances in both a social and competitive field across the world. Due to its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is popular in stage, film and television, including Strictly Come Dancing and Astaire and Rogers films.

It is one of the most popular dances to be used competitively. Forms of ballroom dance include Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Slow Foxtrot and the Viennese Waltz, amongst others.

Swing Dance

Swing dance is a term used to describe a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music through the twenties, thirties and forties.

Swing jazz features syncopated timing that is associated with the Afro-American and West African music and dance, with combinations of crotchets and quavers that are considered amongst swing dancers to be “triple steps” and “steps”.

Swing dances include Modern Jive, Leroc, Lindy Hop, Blues dance, Balboa, Deneme, Jitterbug, Jitting (evolved from Jitterbug), Jive, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Collegiate Shag, Carolina Shag, Hand Jive, Charleston and Western dance.

Performance Dance

Performance dance is used to describe dances that are professionally choreographed and performed by professional dancers. Considered to be the most artistic of dance styles, performance dance includes Acro dance , Ballet , Contemporary/Lyrical , Concert dance , Performance dance and Tap dance, amongst others.