For as long as book history goes back, people have been around with dancing. It’s an act that is securely ingrained into past and present nation that it’s impossible to fully study a civilization’s culture without looking into their specific styles of dance. In this article, I’ll talk about the lustrous history of dance, the different styles of dance that exist today, and the top ten benefits that you will enjoy from a dance filled life.
The History of Dancing
As amazing as it sounds, dancing can be traced back to times when civilization was in its cradle. Archeologists have discovered evidence of dancing in cave portraits and tombs that date back as far as 9000 years ago. Originally, the purpose of dance was a method of healing. Many considered it as a sort of medicine, and it was a precursor to trance state healing rituals.
Ironically enough, often times these dances led to the sick dying of exhaustion due to the lack of endurance.
Over the periods of time, dancing slowly evolved into a form of expression, used in the performance and telling of stories and myths. In Homer’s Iliad he described a system of dancing that the Greeks used to express their passions. Greek philosopher Aristotle said that dancing was like writing – it could be used to express a wide array of customs, emotions, and actions.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, dance began to progress into the ballets of European culture, and after this came the roots of the contemporary dance we see today.
Types of Dance that We Enjoy Today
As we’ve seen, dancing has taken a very long and intriguing road to arrive in the form as we see it today. But what exactly are the forms of dance we can see today? To answer this question, let’s take a look at a few of the most popular dances that exist in our culture.
- Latin Dance
This is the dance that brings to mind partners that are dressed in a sleek red dresses and matching suits – Latin is a fast-paced, sensual dance that is known for lots of hip motion.
- Country and Western
Picture a live band full of fiddles and banjos in some bar or dance house full of happy partners dressed in the western attire – with imagination you’ll be able to easily pinpoint Country and Western dances. From square dancing to two stepping, these dances are the most popular dances in the southwest portion of the USA.
In Swing dancing, partners will spin, swing, and jump in a very lively and upbeat dance. Basically, any dance that goes along with a fast paced “swing song” is considered swing dancing.
While you may think that the term “Modern dance” applies to any dance that is prevalent today, it actually is a form of dance that emphasizes creativity and choreographed expression.
Stemming from its very own culture, hip-hop dance involves a variety of moves such as breaking, popping and locking and strongly emphasizes improvisation and personalization.
Tap dancing requires the dancers to wear a special type of shoe with metal “taps” attached to the bottom of them. The dancers then use miniature like cymbals to create the beat they are dancing to it.
Obviously, besides these, there are many more types of dance that are prevalent today that extend across a wide range of cultures. This brings up the question of “Why people dance?” To answer that, let’s take a look at the top ten benefits of dancing.
Top Ten Benefits of Dancing
- Dancing is Excellent Exercise
Moving to a rhythm is a great way to keep both your mind and body in shape. The athleticism required will keep you physically fit, and the rhythm and music is great for your mental health as well.
- Dancing is a Great Social Activity
The great thing about dancing is that it involves multiple people, or even robots, in a fun, laid-back environment. By choosing the type of dance you want to participate in, you are also able to find people who share your tastes and interests.
- Dancing Allows You to Express Yourself
We all know that it’s no good keeping your emotions built up inside, sometimes there are no good, safe outlets to express them. The expressive qualities of dancing allow you to express your emotions and personality with a group of people who are all doing the same thing.
- Dancing Can Build Self-Esteem
Anytime you learn and master a new skill, it is an incredible boost to your confidence and self-esteem. Learning dancing is no different, and is actually one of the better skills to build confidence, since you are able to show it off to the people.
- Dancing Opens You Up to New Possibilities
Maybe you’ll meet the love of your life on the dance floor. Or maybe you will discover your calling in life. Whatever the reasons, dancing allows you to explore possibilities you may not have otherwise enjoyed.
- Dancing Can Boost Your Career
Even if you don’t become a professional dancer, dancing can build connections and communication skills that will prove to be highly valuable in advancing your career.
- Dancing Improves Your Flexibility
Let’s face it, dancing requires you to perform some pretty drastic stretches and moves sometimes. The good thing about these moves is that they are great for keeping your joints healthy and flexible.
- Dance Offers Insight Into Various Cultures
You can read about Western or rich Eastern culture, or you can immerse yourself in it through participating in their various forms of dance. For certain, dancing offers a firsthand experience into the culture that created it.
- Dancing Improves Your Posture and Balance
Like with all the other aspects of your physical health that benefit from dancing, the smooth, rhythmic movements of dancing are great to improve your posture and your balance.
10. Dancing Reduces Stress
Whether it’s the joy of the music, being around other people, or the great exercise, dancing has been proven to be one of the most effective hobbies for eliminating stress.
With a rich history, a lively and influential presence in modern society, and a host of benefits that it offers, it’s easy to see why dancing has always been, and continues to be, such a popular thing to participate in. Whether you do it to learn a culture, exercise your body and mind, or to just have a fun, I have only one thing to say: Keep On Dancing.