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Dance

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Dance is movement with no purpose aside from the communication of an aesthetic idea, participation with music, and/or the achievement of spiritual-mystical mind-body states. Dance is thus contrasted to objectively purposeful, practical, and mundane movement such as walking, hammering, typing, lifting weights, etc. Dance movement is often, though not always, rhythmic. Dance is often, though not always, accompanied by music.

Dancing can be done for one's own pleasure or as a possibly commercial performance. Sometimes clothing is limited and/or sexy, or gradually decreased (striptease). A male dancer with little clothes, e.g. only briefs, is sometimes called "macho dancer".

Dance is found in every human culture. Dance scholar Alfred Gell has defined dance as "a stylized deformation of nondance mobility, just as poetry is a deformation or modulation of language, a deviation from the norm of expression that enhances expressiveness (Gell, Alfred. 'Style and Meaning in Umeda Dance' in: Spencer, Paul, ed. Society and the Dance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985)."

A continuum of dance can be posited that stretches from the most extreme and solitary forms of non-technical, ritual dance (endurance/trance dancing) through a broad middle of folk dance (including everything from modern club dances to a medieval minuet), to extreme forms of performance dance such as neoclassical ballet or postmodern works employing decontextualized pedestrian movement.

There are many categorizations of western dances. Street dances evolved from the community of dancers and evolve continually. They include Swing, Salsa, and Argentine Tango. Standard and Latin American dances have rules with regard to steps and style. The five Modern or Standard (often called ballroom) dances are Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep and Viennese Waltz. The five Latin American dances are Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Jive and Paso Doble. These dances have generally evolved and been stylised from street dances.

The act of planning a dance so a dancer will move in a certain way is called choreography.

Fight scenes such as in martial arts films are essentially complex dances in which participants simulate hand to hand combat[?] and need careful choreography to avoid injury.

Some dance styles include:

Ballroom Dance -- Belly Dance -- Breakdancing -- Classical Dance -- Country Dance -- Disco -- Lindy hop -- Square Dance -- Swing -- Jazz -- Tap -- Modern dance -- Folk dance -- Ballet

Popular dances: Bharata Natyam (from India) -- Flamenco (from Andalusia) -- Salsa

Historical dance forms: Medieval dance -- Renaissance dance -- Baroque dance -- 18th century dance[?] -- Regency dance -- Vintage dance

See also: Dance music -- Dance move -- Cheerleading


What are our priorities for writing in this area? To help develop a list of the most basic topics in Dance, please see Dance basic topics.



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