Friday, August 10, 2012

Top 10 Dance Styles

Dance is the synchronization between the body, mind and the music. The body moves in rhythm to the music being played and it can be used as an expression, exercise or social interaction. Interestingly, dances are performed by different animals to attract the opposite gender as well. Over the period of time, dance has evolved and many different types have taken form. This particular list will discuss ten of the most popular dance styles from all around the world. Dancing is no easy thing; it is a profession, a profession that is fairly hard to master. I am sure you will be familiar with some of the styles, but this list discusses some dances from different cultures that are probably new to you. Enjoy the read.

I am sure you know how this work. Special shoes are made for dancing the tap. What you do is that you use the sound of your shoe hitting the floor as a musical instrument. You can say that it is more like creating music with your feet and dancing to it at the same time. It is very interestingly, yet I figure it is really hard to learn. Rapid feet and leg movement is an absolute requirement. The roots of tap dance go deep into the African American dancing.

Adumu is one dance style I was absolutely oblivious to. It is a Maasai dance that has originated from Africa. Interestingly, this dance is mostly performed to human voice since the Maasai did not encourage the use of drums during their festivals and other rituals. All the body parts are used in this particular dance and even during a ritual the dance is participatory. You can join if you want to or otherwise just look at people doing an amazing job.

I am sure you probably never heard of this particular dance. It originated from China and happens to be a popular part of their culture. It involves swaying of the body to certain rhythms. The waist and the hip are used to drive feet in order to sync with the music. The dance has a one thousand year history in China and is usually performed in the Lantern Festival. You can see a lot of videos on YouTube concerning the dance. Yangko has changed since its inception and the one that we see now happens to come from the late 1940s.

This happens to be one of the eight forms of classical dances in India. It originated in Utar Pradesh and can be traced back to the ancient people living in northern India. They were called Kathaks. After the sixteenth century, Kathak was influenced by Persian Dance. The name of the dance is derived from Sanskrit which means story. The classical dances can be compared to the ballet dances that I am sure you are familiar with. These dances are very complicated and usually have a meaning to them. Just like the name, they are supposed to tell some sort of a story.

Bhangra refers to a dance coming from the Punjabis in the sub-continent. It was performed to celebrate the harvest but that practice ended when the sub-continent was divided into Pakistan and India. It is originally developed in India and it took its current form somewhere in the 1990s. Bhangra is danced to a very specific kind of music specifically tailored for Bhangra. It is mostly very random with some very common dance moves. This form of dance has travelled to the western cultures as well because of a lot of movement from the sub-continent to the western countries.

This particular form of dancing originated from the Middle East, in an Arabic country. Every single part of the body is involved in this dance style but the most dominant of those parts is the hip. There are many different forms to this dance and it differs from country to country. The modern belly dance evolved in the western countries and it is popular globally. Belly dancing was popularized during the Romantic Movement that took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The dance requires a great deal of flexibility and is not at all easy.

This is a performance dance and it originated in Italy during the fifteenth century. The dance developed in France and Russia and evolved from performance dance to concert dance. It is a very complicated form of dancing and is taught in different ballet schools all over the world. The dance is usually choreographed with vocal or orchestral music. It involves pointe work, flow and very precise acrobatic movements. The ballet went from romantic, to expressionist and neoclassical ballet. The word originally translates into ‘to dance’.

This form of dance is formally known as vernacular dance. It involves a lot of improvisation and these dances originated outside of dance studios wherever there was space available; streets, parks, school yards and nightclubs. Break dance is also included in street dancing and it is said it originated in the New York City. Another form is Melbourne Shuffle that originated in Australia and Electro Dance which has its root in Paris, France. It involves impossible body movements as you might have seen in the movie series ‘Step Up’. It is very difficult to master.

As the name suggests, the style originated from Ireland. It is a group and is a part of a broader social activity. There are many different forms of this dance; of course I will not be getting into details. Although you should know that it was popularized in 1994 with Riverdance; you can find the clips on YouTube. It involves very fast leg and foot movements while your arms mostly stay stationary. It is very difficult to master especially the solo dances. The dance is performed with traditional Irish music.

This particular dance style comes from Cuba and it originated in the 1920s. Salsa is usually danced to the salsa music although most people perform the steps with Latin American music as well. Salsa requires a couple, although you can choreograph it as a form of line dance in which a partner might not be necessary. You can perform salsa as an improvisation but generally it is choreographed. This dance style is very popular throughout the Latin America and over time it spread through North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

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