Different styles of dance
By: Rachel Bowermaster
There are many kinds of dance. Certain dances are associated with particular ethnic groups or cultures. They are often deeply woven into everyday life.
* For instance, in many societies in Africa dances are an important part of community life.
People perform social dances for their own entertainment. Social dances include ballroom dances such as the waltz and tango as well as newer forms such as hip-hop. On the other hand, trained dancers perform theatrical dances. They dance to entertain an audience or to provide an audience with an artistic experience. Some styles of theatrical dance are ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and classical Indian dances.
Tap is an exciting form of dance in which dancers were special shoes equipped with metal taps. Tap dancers use their feet like drums to create rhythmic patterns and timely beats. The term "tap dancing" is derived from the tapping sound produced when the small metal plates on the dancer's shoes touch a hard floor or surface.
Tappers and Hoofers:
A common style of tap dancing is called "classical tap." Classical tappers use their arms and upper bodies to blend movements of ballet or jazz into their tap routines. "Hoofers" try to use every part of their shoes to make their feet sound like drums.
You use your arms and legs in tap to make up a fun and enjoyable routine.
As a beginner in ballet, you are probably wondering what it takes to become a ballet dancer. Whether your goal is to actually dance ballet or just learn all about it, here you will find detailed information about one of the most beautiful and graceful of all dance styles. If you've ever seen a live ballet on stage, you are aware of a ballerina's amazing ability to transport an entire audience into another world. Ballet dancers must be highly trained and disciplined, but their hard work and dedication is evident in their ability to glide effortlessly across a stage. Learn all about the fascinating dance genre of ballet.
Jazz has become one of the most popular dance styles in recent years, mainly due to its popularity on television shows, movies, music videos and commercials. People enjoy watching jazz dancers, as the dancing is fun and energetic.
Jazz dancing is a form of dance that showcases a dancer's individual style and originality. Every jazz dancer interprets and executes moves and steps in their own way. This type of dancing is energetic and fun, consisting of unique moves, fancy footwork, big leaps and quick turns. To excel in jazz, dancers need a strong background in ballet, as it encourages grace and balance.
Jazz is all about stretching
Though "toe dancing" was popular in London as early as the 1820s, it is believed that the first ballet dancer to dance en pointe with modified shoes was Marie Taglioni in the ballet La Sylphide in 1832. The first pointe shoes were little more than soft slippers, heavily darned at the toes. Today, pointe shoes are made of multiple layers of burlap, paper and glue. The hardened glue gives pointe shoes their stiffness.
Are dancers athletes?
Yes. Dancers are elite athletes as well as artists. They follow a rigorous training regime and must stay in top condition, just like professional athletes such as basketball or hockey players. Dancers have extraordinary flexibility, muscular strength and both physical and mental endurance. Professional dancers train and practice every day for an average of six hours. Many also cross-train with cardio, weight lifting, yoga and/or Pilates to improve their physical fitness and technique.
Why aren't there more men and boys in dance?
Many people say that this is because western culture traditionally views dance, and especially ballet, as primarily "feminine" pursuits. Some parents discourage their sons from taking dance classes even when they show potential and aptitude. Yet some of the world's great dancers have been and are men. Male dancers, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, are admired for their strength, grace, agility and musicality, as well as their masculinity. No one would say that being the only boy in a dance class is easy, but following one's passion, regardless of what other people say or think, is important in developing a rich and satisfying life.