What is Dance?

What Does Dance Mean

Dance is an art that is based on corporal expression, generally accompanied by music . It is one of the most ancient forms of expression of the human being that can have artistic, entertainment or religious purposes.



It is also called "the language of the body " and uses a sequence of body movements that rhythmically accompany the music. It is also understood as an expression of emotions, since, in some cases, the intention of communicating feelings is pursued through movements.

There are many dances around the world and in different cultures , each one of them has its own rules and steps that must be respected for its execution and require training and the particular quality of each dancer. In addition, each dance is characterized by having its own clothing.

Also: Performing Arts

Origin of the dance

Pictorial records of dance were found at all times and on different continents , although its form, meaning and meaning changed over time .

In prehistoric times people danced to the beat of the sounds of nature , which were later accompanied by clapping hands, the clash of feet or sticks, which were later evolved into musical instruments. Finally, the voice came up. These primitive dances were passionate and spontaneous, seeking to express feelings and states of mind.

The great civilizations of antiquity , such as Rome, Egypt and Greece, used dance in rituals : deaths, weddings, receptions, dances to the divinities, among others.

See also: Theater

Dance characteristics

There are certain characteristics that identify the various types of dances. Some are:

  • Choreography. It involves joining different body movements to form a dance that can be performed by one or more dancers and is usually created by a choreographer. Some dances have pre-established steps and others allow improvisation and creation of new steps.
  • Clothing. It involves the use of a special wardrobe that is used by the dancers when performing the dance. The clothes and accessories that are used vary according to the type of dance, many dances are represented with their typical costumes, some are only used for representation in front of an audience.
  • Training. It involves the study and practice of each dance, training is a fundamental piece to achieve a better execution of the pieces.
  • Interpretation. It implies the particularities that each dancer contributes when dancing, although the choreography is the same, each individual will interpret it with their own nuances and styles.

Dance elements

The main elements of all dance are:

  • The body . The dancer uses his body to express himself through movements that he performs with a single part of the body or with several at the same time.
  • The space . It is the place where the dance takes place, the dancer interacts with the environment that surrounds him, can make small movements or move in various directions.
  • The time . It is the element that determines and guides the movements in dance. According to time, movements are identified according to their intensity, their speed or their duration.
  • The action. They are all the movements that the dancer performs and that are part of his dance. It can include movements of the whole body, translations, facial gestures, among others.
  • Energy. It is the element that determines the way in which the movement occurs, taking into account characteristics such as the use of force, tension or weight.

Types of dances

Classical dance comes from another era but is still performed today.

There are many types and genres of dances, they are generally classified as:

  • Popular or folk dances . They are those that are based on the transmission of the traditional culture of a place. They express the values of a culture and the characteristics of its environment : the climate, the fauna and the flora . Some examples are: flamenco, tango, Arab dance or ballroom dancing.
  • The classical dances. They are an inheritance from ancient times, mainly from the classical period of medieval antiquity, but which underwent changes through time until reaching our days. These dances are identified because those who perform the movements do so taking into account harmonious and coordinated steps. For example: ballet dance.
  • Modern dances. They are those that reflect a social identity that is manifested in movements or clothing. For example: popping, funky, break dance, jumpstyle, hip hop or rock and roll .
Go up