Dance

The meaning of dance

What is dance?

Dance is a purposeful form of human movement that has some symbolic, societal or aesthetic value. Although many people dance at social gatherings or on their own at home, it is a form of performance art that has been around for centuries. In fact, some anthropologists think that dancing was one of the earliest forms of human communication and may even pre-date spoken language. When it is performed well, dance can be an uplifting experience that transcends other forms of art. As well as classical dance in the form of ballet and contemporary styles, there are numerous sub-genres that include folk, tap, hip hop, rock and roll, Latin and ballroom, among others.

 How did dance develop?

 As mentioned, dance may have been one of the first ways that early people expressed themselves, perhaps dancing through the events of the day by some prehistoric fire in the evening. If so, then it seems that dance may be fundamental to social cohesion and one of the earliest examples of culture we have as a species. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that people have danced for at least 9,000 years and probably more. In written testimony, dancing was mentioned as far back as the times of Ancient Greek writers like Plato and Aristotle. As theatre began to take off, so movements became more formalised, leading to the classical forms of dance we are more familiar with today. Folk dancing appears to have developed entirely separately within communities, however.

Can dance be a sport?

Some people compete when dancing in a sport-like manner. There are numerous Latin and ballroom competitions around the world, for example. That said, dancing is not regulated in the same way as most sports. The closest true sports that use elements of dance and expressive movement are rhythmic gymnastics, synchronised swimming and figure skating.

How does dance affect the brain?

Like all forms of physical exercise, dancing will impact on brain function. Taking part in dancing activities will typically release endorphins in the brain, which make people feel good and help them to maintain a positive mood. Because dance steps need to be remembered, engaging in it will help to promote better memory function, particularly spatial memory. Some studies suggest that dancing can help people to stave off brain disorders in later life, such as Alzheimer's disease, for example.

How can you get into dancing?

Anyone can dance even if they have physical conditions that limit their movement. Simply put some music on and get moving to begin with. Dance classes are staged in nearly every town and city in the western world. Many of them will offer free taster sessions to see how you get on with certain styles. Remember that most novices face a steep learning curve so you must not think that you cannot dance if you are starting out and making errors. It happens to everyone, including professional dancers so don't give up!

Members who are looking for Dance

Similar interests to Dance

There are various definitions of music. Eastern and Western musical traditions are very different from one another, and it is hard to define a genre like jazz with the same meaning as, say, military music. That said, most musicologists accept that there are three essential aspects to music. These are rhythm, pitch, and harmony. On top of this, you could easily add other common elements such as timbre, the way a particular sound is perceived. To some people, music also has a visual element, and you can literally dance rather than simply move to its sound. From ancient times, both voices and musical instruments have been used to produce music and, these days, it is a folk art form as well as being a multi-billion dollar global industry.
Typically, festivals involve people coming together in the act of celebration. In ancient times, people would gather together to bring harvests in, often working cooperatively to ensure there was enough food to see them through the winter. In many cultures, harvest festivals hark back to such a time before harvesting was largely mechanised. As more people were gathered than was usual and more time was available for people to mix, so such festivals started to take on a greater cultural significance, perhaps with the addition of music and dance. This is the ancestor of the modern arts festival. In addition, modern festival events include ones devoted to food and drink, perhaps to promote a certain food-producing region or product. The other major form of festivals is devoted to religion. Often, religious festivals coincide with public holidays.
Happiness is one of those traits which is described as both a mental and emotional state. For example, you can mentally be happy at an event or for someone else while your overarching mood is sad. However, being happy is also an emotional state where we feel genuine joy coursing through us. It is often hard to capture happiness and to bottle it. However, the state can lead to higher levels of contentment, which is something that is more sustainable in the longer term. Of course, it is an entirely subjective matter, and what makes one person happy may be very different from how someone else might think about it.
By continuing to browse, you accept the use of Cookies to enhance and personalise your experience.