The Progression of Dance

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The Progression of Dance

The word ‘dance’ is an Old French Term,  meaning to move rhythmically usually to music using prescribed or improvised gestures and steps. progression of dance

Dancing is thought to have its beginnings in Australia, Asia and Africa.  Even though there isn’t a definite documentation of when dance originated, the most basic forms of dance can be traced back to an era before the dawn of the first civilizations. This can be seen in the various relics of human beings in postures believed to be a form of dance in some noted archaeological sites around the world.  The progression of dance can be marked by the various cultural influences and improvisations that have been contributed to each time period in history.

The Aborigines who visited the shores of Australia 53,000 years ago brought along with them their musical and holy traditions. Dance was a very important method of expression and the tribes took to dancing to convey their passion for nature and all the living things in it.

In ancient India, dance was seen as the main means of worship and was performed in temples which were places of communication between God and human beings. The relic of the dancing Girl from the ancient city of Mohenjodaro in modern day Pakistan dates back to 2500 BC.

Wall paintings, hieroglyphics and artifacts appearing within the Egyptian Pharaonic tombs and Pyramids depict images, postures and gestures that are still found in modern day Arabic dance.

Around the 16th and 17th century, Renaissance Europe welcomed Ballet and Ballroom dancing such as the Waltz. This period also saw African dance forms being introduced in the west by the African American population.

Between the 19th and 20th century, these African dance styles contributed to the development of the Salsa in Latin America.  Jazz dance forms, such as the Charleston, were clearly a favorite of both black and white people and the Swing was born in 1920.

The 1940’s witnessed the growing popularity of the Jitterbug, which was derived from the slang for alcoholics who had the ‘jitters’. This term, then became associated with swing dancers who danced neither with the knowledge of dance nor with control.  But as 1960 approached there was only Rock and Roll music to dance to.

It was in the 70’s that Disco, Funk, Locking and Popping and Robot dance gained favor world over.  From American Hollywood to Indian Bollywood,  Disco was everybody’s darling.

The Hip Hop culture started by young Hispanics and Afro Americans of New York city wasn’t recognized internationally till the 1980’s. But it was in this era that Street Jazz appeared on the scene thanks to the Jackson family.

The 21st century is the century of  Pop, Commercial, Modern Hip Hop and Krump styles of dance. These contemporary styles involve  a lot of free body movement  and form a part of the world today..

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