Traditionally, dance is defined as a set of movements that are paired with rhythmic music. While dance has continually evolved over the decades, this definition can still be said to be true today. Because of the long history of dance, there have been new forms of dance that have emerged from old ones each with its own set of characteristics, while also retaining a few distinguishable attributes from older forms of dance at the same time. However, the most important part of dancing is not the different types of dances, but the stories and feelings that dancers are able to express.
The earliest records of dance can be traced back to India, where evidence of dance was found in the form of cave paintings as early as 8000 BCE. It is worth noting that all the records of early dance found have been linked to religious rituals and not the recreational connotation that it has now. During the 1700s in India, dance was thought of as sinful, and thereafter constrained by British colonists. On the other hand, China is famous for its ceremonial and folk dances, which are to be traditionally performed at court. And since the rise of globalization, these dances and the various dances of other cultures have become known to the world, inspiring and teaching the new generations.
In comparison to the early forms of dance, dance today has shifted into a more personal journey of expression. Although ceremonial dances can still be found today, it is more common for people to say that they use dance as a creative outlet and a means to express themselves. Some types of dance even value a dancer’s creativity and artistry so much that forms such as expressionist dance, for example, have risen as a result. It is in these dances that the rigid form of more traditional dances is all stripped away and replaced instead with a display of all the passion and drive that a dancer has to offer.
Talking about the history of dance and the way dancers express themselves through this medium makes people wonder just why people dance. At first, there seems to be no rational expression, but it is a set of erratic moves put together to the rhythm of a song. In spite of this impression, dancing can help people loosen up and relax a little. At the same, it serves as an excellent way to stay active and even as a way to stay connected with others or meet new people, showing just how beneficial dancing can be for those who choose to participate in the activity.
Dance can be a freeing form of self-expression or even a representation of the rich tradition of a culture. Either way, it is undeniable that no matter what form of dance, there will always be a dancer who has trained long hours and worked hard to gain the skills that they have. And with all that hard work and dedication, it shows in their performances, almost as if they have put a part of themselves on full display in front of an audience to watch.
1st and featured image by https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-art-ballerina-ballet-209948/
2nd image by https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-wearing-blue-jeans-doing-pirouette-spin-1701202/