Dancing is a self-liberating experience. It is when you let your body loose to the movements of a particular style and music that you are comfortable with, while letting your emotions flow with it. It is said to relax the body while also being one of best exercises around. Dancing has numerous styles that have evolved over centuries, much like our culture. Dancing is looked upon as a skill which requires utmost perfection in the professional, competitive world and at the same time as social activity with no age-restriction. So here’s a quick list of ten dance styles that have survived over the centuries and grabbed everybody’s attention!
Freestyle dancing is a style that involves no pre-decided physical moves. The dancer usually grooves to the music with or without a partner. The dance style is never the same in every performance, nor does it have fixed style of movements. It can be performed formally or informally, also it may sometimes be sparsely choreographed as a loose outline for the improvisation. It is easily liked by people, the reason being it’s fun and good exercise. It can be used as a form of dance to build –up confidence and boost self-expression in an amateur dancer. This form of dance has been around for thousands of years, but has been categorized and developed only since 1970s.
Jazz as a form of dance can be said to have been rooted in the mid 18th century from either African American dance styles or from the Carribean traditional dance style. The genre of jazz dance that we see around today is said to be the modern Jazz which included leather jazz shoes while executing the crazy turning moves. More often than not, it involves two people in a jazz dance, most likely a couple of girl with a flair-dress and the boy formally dressed with a vest. The dance requires the couple to be a little emotive and flexible with their movements.
8. Tap Dance
Tap dancing is an exciting form of dance evolved from Irish Stepdancing around in 1850s. As the name suggests, it is a form of dance which uses the sound of the tap shoes hitting the floor , like the drums, to create rhythmic patters and timely beats. The tap dancers wear special shoes equipped with metal taps or not, like in the cases of soft shoes. It evolved into two major types of tap dances : rhythm tap which is said to be more like jazz, it focuses on the type of music the tap moves make, and Broadway tap which focuses on the dance more than the music, hence seen to performed in musical theatre.
B-boying, also called as breakdancing, is a style of urban street dance. It originated the young African-Americans and Puerto Ricans in the city of New York, USA, during the 1970s. The style combines energetic footwork with tumbling and spins, hence requires enormous amount of stamina and strength. It is usually performed to a wide variety of music, most common being the funk, with different ranges of beat patterns and tempo. It gathered great media exposure and spread to different parts of the world. The dance typically consists of four kinds of movements : top rock, downrock, power moves and freezes.
Bollywood dance, as mostly classified into this name by the western culture, is the dance sequences showed in the Bollywood movies. More often than not, Bollywood dance numbers feature a large group of dancers in exotic locations, moving to some very Indian music and beats, in perfect co-ordination and ornate costumes. The dance often displays different colours, and colours in contrast to the location of the dance. Basically, Bollywood dance covers almost any style of dance featured in the movie, mostly a fusion of the various forms of dances. They are performed by the actors of the respective Bollywood movies. The culture of this dance form has inspired the many westerners, including celebrities who perform with Bollywood costumes. It is a dance form recognized by dance talent hunt shows like ‘Got talent’, ‘So you think you can dance’ and ‘Dancing with starts’.
Hip hop is a dance is a very energetic form of dancing. It can draw its association to break-dancing, the difference being it can be done only with hip hop music, and the fact that choreography of hip hop involves more moves done while standing up than those executed close to the ground. This form of dance requires great skill and perfection even to master teh basic moves. A hip hop dancer’s personality is reflected in the dance as it gives the dancer a lot of freedom of movement provided he/she has a good sense of rhythm. The hip hop culture is highly influenced by Graffiti, B-boying, rapping and disc jockeys, and hence often reflects the same to the audience in its dances.
Lyrical is a fairly new style of dancing that borrows the concept and style of both jazz and ballet. Lyrical is generally smoother and a bit faster than ballet, but not quite as fast as jazz. It is a dance choreographed to interpret the words of the song, hence the name. It is often said to be a narration of a story based on some form of emotion that can be traced from the song. The choreography banks extensively on facial expressions, acting techniques, while being able to move the body like a jazz and a ballet dancer. A lyrical dance is filled with grace and fluidity, with the dancer flowing from one move to another seamlessly, finishing steps slowly. Leaps are exceptionally high and soaring, and turns are fluid and continuous. The costume worn by the dancer should reflect the emotion displayed.
The Salsa dance movements are believed to have their origin from Cuba and Puerto Rico where people practiced the blending of African drums with the Spanish guitar, though it gained exposure in New York along 1970s and became a popular form of dance. This form of dance includes two people moving along the dance floor with 8-counts to the music, in ‘open’ and ‘close’ moves. Here open implies when the dancers bend and shift weights causing hip movements, and close is when they hold on to each other while moving to the music. It is gaining popularity as a form of exercise as well, because it is characterized by leg movements, arm work, body movements, lifts, turns and rolls, etc.
2. Belly Dancing
Belly dancing is one of the oldest and most beautiful social dances in the world that is still practiced and followed. It originated in the Middle-East and Africa. It is also considered to be a great form of exercise. As the name suggests, it involves extensive movement of your hip and abdomen, in the circular, rolling, angular or vibrating movements. Belly dancers wear long skirts of harem pants, and a shimmery, metallic belt around their waste to elaborate the hip movements. They leave their midriff uncovered allowing the defining movements of the abdominals to be visible.
Ballet dance is a very disciplined form of dance, performed formally. It is said to have been originated in the early 17th century in the French courts, and then moved to other parts of Europe and Russia, where it became a concert dance form. A ballet dancer is trained from her young days and practices for years together in a Ballet school to reach the grace and perfection demanded of the dance style. It is typically performed to classical music. It is performed also in colonial-style of performances in large theatres/halls with the audience seated at different tiers on all three sides of the stage. The style of dance is absolutely beautiful and fairytale like to watch as the dainty girls gracefully fly, spin and swing their arms and legs to the music.