By means of historical past we've seen many evolutions of dance. A few of these ancient dances and rituals are nonetheless practices immediately by those who honor their spiritual or cultural histories whereas many have sadly been lost all through the ages.

One thing nonetheless stays constant. Dance has all the time played an important function in the societies, great and small, of the world. Dating back to the start of recorded history dancing has been an important part of society. Dance was involved in celebrations and preparations for war. Dance was a part of rituals and ceremonies of worship.

Dance was a part of life and we dwell in a society at the moment that seems to more and more label dance as a type of leisure greater than a means of life. Maybe that is a part of the rationale we have a rising awareness when it comes to depression as a result of fewer people are experiencing the joy of dance. Do you know that the Spartan warriors used dance of their preparations for battle? They incorporated a 'weapons dance' that was designed not solely to familiarize themselves with their weaponry but also to assist them be more agile when utilizing them.

Imagine me after I say that only a few ever dared question the masculinity of Spartans on the battlefield. These soldiers had been prepared for conflict and a big degree of that is the result of their weapon dances as psychological and bodily preparation for the art of waging war. With the Spartans war was most definitely an artwork form.


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The 20th century has been an important and vital era in the history of Western Dance and the most significant occurrence was the emergence of what came to be called Modern Dance. It began to happen with the advent of Isadora Duncan, born 100 years ago this month, who revolutionized the dance of her time and is now considered to be the “mother” of 20th century dance.

The “natural” and “interpretive” dance which evolved in the second and third decades were her direct descendants and the “modern dance” of the ’30s and beyond was undoubtedly related to Duncan’s freedom of expression and movement.



Generally, a ballroom dance is any form of social dancing by a couple or set of partners, either for recreation or competitive purposes. The word "ball" in ballroom dancing originated from ballare, Latin for dancing. At its broadest definition, a ballroom dance may simply refer to any type of social dance. However, with the emergence of dance sport in modern times, ballroom dance has become narrower in scope. There are currently two categories referred to when people speak of ballroom dancing.

The first one refers to the international style, further divided into International Standard and International Latin dances. In the United States, American Smooth and American Rhythm are two additional variations. While both share a number of dances, the techniques used are similar too.

International Standard allows only closed dance positions, whereas American Smooth dances allow closed, open, and separate dance movements. American Smooth is the equivalent of International Standard while American Rhythm corresponds to International Latin. American Style dances are danced to mid-20th century music, while International Styles are danced to European and Latin American music.

The International Styles originated and were developed in England, and are now regulated by the World Dance Council. Moreover, International Latin and American Rhythm styles are governed by somewhat different dance syllabi and mechanics. As such, both styles, although similar to International Standard and American Smooth respectively, have distinct patterns and styles.

Furthermore, in both (International) Standard and (American) Smooth dances, the set of dance partners follow the line of dance moving or gliding in a counter-clockwise direction in a rectangular floor, as seen in Swing dancing Indianapolis dancers practice. In the United Kingdom, sequence dancing in pairs or formation is also regarded as a type of ballroom dancing.

Also, there are additional dances considered ballroom in some parts of Europe. These include the Mambo, Argentine Tango, Swing Boogie, and Disco Fox, all of which are in the Latin Swing dances category. Some nightclub dances such as the Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Nightclub Two Step, Merengue, and Salsa dancing Indianapolis residents love to dance are also considered ballroom dances.

What is classified as a ballroom dance also depends on the period. Historically, ballroom dancing was really just social dancing reserved for the nobility and the privileged. On the other hand, folk dancing was for the commoners. The boundaries have since become blurred. Balls once featured the Minuet, Quadrille, Polonaise, Polka, and Mazurka.


Belly Dancing


Oriental Dance was frequent during what has change into often called Biblical occasions and stays right this moment a really noteworthy type of dance. In actual fact, Oriental Dances, also known as Belly Dancing, seems to be experiencing a rebirth of sorts as its popularity has unfold across the globe in recent years.

This model of dance has been used as a part of spiritual ceremonies in addition to to entice lovers and incite lust and in some circumstances to signify fertility. Oriental Dance has a long and intriguing historical past that is well value additional research if you are of the thoughts to do so. In Medieval instances dance was a social requirement by these of means or holding status.

Actually, what we all know as ballroom dancing right this moment began during this period and has advanced somewhat through the years whereas holding true to its original kind to some degree. The church at the time nevertheless frowned on dancing although many members of the church not only tolerated dancing but in addition participated in these dances.

After a substantial amount of pressure from the populace the church did finally accept and embrace dance. The actions for the medieval dance steps were said to be moderately simple and repetitive.

While some of the dances of the day had been carried out by couples there have been many processional or line dances that had been well-liked during this era as well. Who knew the line dancing had such a protracted and distinguished history? As times have developed so has dance.

In right this moment's society dance is usually restricted to competitions, festivals, and events quite than the prominence it once held in society. The good news in all that is that dance is no longer for some in society an activity that is solely reserved for the wealthiest among us.

Though access to dance lessons, courses, videos, etc. is on no account solid proof that they are going to be utilized the very fact stays that only a few cities in the United States don't supply dance classes which can be at the very least marginally reasonably priced for individuals who participate.

Competitive dance is another matter all collectively however and can carry a major price ticket to those that are unaware or caught off guard. Leisure dance nevertheless, often prices little more than the music required with which to bounce and the will to bounce deep inside. We reside in a nation of alternative, don't squander the chance we've got to incorporate the simple pleasure of dancing into our day by day lives. By: Larry Bland.


In the ’20s the influential college teachers of dance were Gertrude Colby of Columbia University Teachers College, who taught what was called “natural dancing” and was my teacher, and Margaret H’Doubler, who taught ‘‘interpretive dancing” at the University of Wisconsin and established the first dance major there in 1926.

The most popular of the very few American dance companies was the Denishawn Company, an eclectic group, headed by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, three of whose members were to leave the company and inaugurate the modern dance movement during the latter half of this decade.


Modern dance 1900


Modern dance is a direct physical attack against the restrictions of this kind of dance. It became more extensively known in the early 1900s perhaps as a reaction to the turmoil's that the earth was facing. It takes the elegance of ballet and adds the liberty of emotion. This is meant to permit the audience to connect and the emotion of the part with much more effortlessness than the traditional dance. There are three principal women that have been credited with the success of contemporary dance as we recognize it today. These women are: • Mary Wingman.

Born in Germany, Mary trained schools throughout the Second World War, famous for her use of masks and broken her career education in the United States. • Ruth St. Denis, who founded one of the primary dance departments in an American institution of higher education. Heavily influenced by religion she brought the 'solo' to the front position of dance. • Most highly, Isadora Duncan considered the founder of the contemporary dance movement

. Born in the USA she matrimonial a Russian man with worked all over the earth. Rejecting conventional dance steps in favor of managing, Isadora enthused artists throughout the near the beginning 20th century. Indifferent in the profitable use of dance she dedicated herself to educating youthful girls in the art of dance, beginning schools in Germany, Russia. Killed in a freak misfortune related to her feel affection for of flamboyant, flowing scarves, Isadora Duncan's payment to modern dance cannot be overvalued. These women were in the middle of the masses of dancers who were exhausted of being so a lot restricted from side to side the traditional dance.

This art shape has turn out to be increasingly accepted as it offers never-ending possibilities. Modern dance has infiltrated the Movie Theater and Broadway the majority notably from the 1950s. The cause why modern dance has thrived is because of power and vitality it can express. In just about any melodic produced, whether on a monitor or stage, it is likely to have a hard core of modern dance to get the communication. Modern dance is an act of revolt against ballet, but in spite of this, much of the shape and positioning still look like that of ballet.


The Bennington College Summer School of Dance


Against some opposition, dance education established its own section in the American Physical Education Association in 1932 with Mary O’Donnell as the first elected chairperson.

The first book on Dancing in the Elementary Schools, edited by Dorothy LaSalle, was published in the Research Quarterly of that organization. And then by A.S. Barnes in 1933.



In the first half of the ‘40s, World War II took precedence over everything and many dancers and teachers went into service. In the second half of the decade, The Connecticut College Summer School of Dance was established following the pattern of Bennington, (which was discontinued during the War), and it is still an important center for summer study.

José Limón returned from service, formed his own company, and under the artistic direction of Doris Humphrey, (who, because of an arthritic hip could no longer dance).


dance 1950


The 1950s marked the beginning of the second generation of modern dancers. Many left their early teachers to strike out on their own and to use their dance heritage in different ways. While the first generation of modem dance choreographers was mostly women. The second was mostly men. Some departing widely from the style and method of their former teachers.

Black and Oriental faces appear in dance companies, with the moderns leading the way; dance majors and minors begin to be established in some of the larger universities: and the trend toward moving dance out of the Women’s Physical Education Department begins. In the 1960s.

Dance finally achieves status as a major art, and is now listed as one of the five divisions of art expression with drama. Literature. Music. And the visual arts. Another example of this change in status is that quality magazines now have permanent dance critics.


black dancer 1950


Professional dance companies. directed by Blacks make their appearance during this time and add their rich heritage to American Dance. And after several decades of mutual antagonism. ballet and modern dance grow closer together. each borrowing from the other’s elaborate technique. and ballet companies borrowing notable modern dances to extend their repertories. This is made possible by the advent of dance notation. which begins to have extensive use.

Lastly. new fields. related to dance open up. just in time to take care of the alarming number of majors emerging from our universities. the large majority of whom expect to join a New York company immediately upon graduation. Besides teaching. the areas of dance therapy, production. criticism. management. lighting design. may absorb some of these dancers after the stars in their eyes have been somewhat dimmed.


The Rumba Dance


The Rumba Dance is one of the oldest Latin American dances. It is a popular ballroom dance in the United States and in other countries as well. But where did the dance originate? And how did it all began? Rumba is believed to be invented by Black African slaves who were imported to Cuba, some Caribbean Islands and Latin America.

This same dynamic dance can still be seen in parts of Africa, but the Rumba we now see in the United States has been changed, modified by influence of other races and/or cultures. They say the modern Rumba Dance is a combination of different dances which includes the Cuban "Son" (a slower version of the traditional rumba), guaracha, the rural rumba, and bolero.


Rumba 1950


The American Rumba is an altered version of the "Son." It is now known as the "Latin-Ballroom" couple's dance and is properly labelled the "Dance of Romance." A lot of the sensual movements of the modern Rumba Dance or Ballroom Rumba developed from the original Cuban dancers doing daily tasks such as "climbing a rope," shoeing a mare," or the "courtship of farmyard fowls." The costumes that the performers traditionally wore represent symbolism.

Like the woman's ruffled train of skirt which signifies a hen's feathers. And the man's ruffled neckline or chest and/ or shirt sleeves signifies a cock's hackle feathers. Now, the modern Latin costumes are more like lingerie. The Ballroom Rumba is a pleasant dance for dancers to demonstrate their technique, skill and ability, which also shows a polite sensuousness or romantic flair on the dance floor.

While the Cuban Rumba is more like a rhythmic street dance which can give the impression to be a cool, yet frenzied and at times the dancers could wild abandon with the technique, rather than a popularized pretty dance form.


bunion derbies


Dance marathons were known as "bunion derbies," and "corn and callus carnivals." Promoters called them "walkathons." Social dancing had only recently acquired a veneer of respectability through the efforts of wholesome married dance teams like Vernon and Irene Castle. At a time when many churches still considered dancing sinful, "walkathon" was a less threatening term. But today we remember these endurance contests of the Great Depression as "dance marathons." Dance marathons were both genuine endurance contests and staged performance events.

Professional marathoners (often pretending to be amateurs) mixed with authentic hopeful amateurs under the direction of floor judges, an emcee, and the merciless movement of the clock to shape participatory theater. Both grim spectacle and vaudeville-based amusement, dance marathons offered an inexpensive chance for audiences “to be entertained and while away time” .

They also offered audiences the Depression-era novelty of feeling superior (and feeling pity) toward someone else. Contestants were expected to dance full-out during the heavily attended evening hours. A live band played at night, whereas a phonograph often sufficed during the day.

The longer the marathon wore on, the more endurance events the contestants found themselves subjected to. Sprint races, long periods without medical care, removal of rest periods, along with the more common shin splints, bunions, blisters, and fallen arches soon whittled down the number of participants.


Charleston


Written by Lori Heikkila

The history of swing dates back to the 1920's, where the black community, while dancing to contemporary Jazz music, discovered the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. On March 26, 1926, the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors in New York. The Savoy was an immediate success with its block-long dance floor and a raised double bandstand.

Nightly dancing attracted most of the best dancers in the New York area. Stimulated by the presence of great dancers and the best black bands, music at the Savoy was largely Swinging Jazz. One evening in 1927, following Lindbergh's flight to Paris, a local dance enthusiast named "Shorty George" Snowden was watching some of the dancing couples.

A newspaper reporter asked him what dance they were doing, and it just so happened that there was a newspaper with an article about Lindbergh's flight sitting on the bench next to them. The title of the article read, "Lindy Hops The Atlantic," and George just sort of read that and said, "Lindy Hop" and the name stuck. In the mid 1930's, a bouncy six beat variant was named the Jitterbug by the band leader Cab Calloway when he introduced a tune in 1934 entitled "Jitterbug". With the discovery of the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug, the communities began dancing to the contemporary Jazz and Swing music as it was evolving at the time, with Benny Goodman leading the action.

Dancers soon incorporated tap and jazz steps into their dancing. In the mid 1930's, Herbert White, head bouncer in the New York City Savoy Ballroom, formed a Lindy Hop dance troupe called Whitey's Lindy Hoppers. One of the most important members of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers was Frankie Manning. The "Hoppers" were showcased in the following films: "A Day at the Races" (1937), "Hellzapoppin" (1941), "Sugar Hill Masquerade" (1942), and "Killer Diller" (1948).

In 1938, the Harvest Moon Ball included Lindy Hop and Jitterbug competition for the first time. It was captured on film and presented for everyone to see in the Paramount, Pathe, and Universal movie newsreels between 1938 and 1951.

In early 1938, Dean Collins arrived in Hollywood. He learned to dance the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy and Swing in New York City and spent a lot of time in Harlem and the Savoy Ballroom. Between 1941 and 1960, Collins danced in, or helped choreograph over 100 movies which provided at least a 30 second clip of some of the best California white dancers performing Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy and Swing.

In the late 1930's and through the 1940's, the terms Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing were used interchangeably by the news media to describe the same style of dancing taking place on the streets, in the night clubs, in contests, and in the movies.


The Lindy hop


By the end of 1936, the Lindy was sweeping the United States. As might be expected, the first reaction of most dancing teachers to the Lindy was a chilly negative. In 1936 Philip Nutl, president of the American Society of Teachers of Dancing, expressed the opinion that swing would not last beyond the winter.

In 1938 Donald Grant, president of the Dance Teachers' Business Association, said that swing music "is a degenerated form of jazz, whose devotees are the unfortunate victims of economic instability." In 1942 members of the New York Society of Teachers of Dancing were told that the jitterbug (a direct descendent of the Lindy Hop), could no longer be ignored. Its "cavortings" could be refined to suit a crowded dance floor.


Arthur Murray


The dance schools such as The New York Society of Teachers and Arthur Murray, did not formally begin documenting or teaching the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing until the early 1940's. The ballroom dance community was more interested in teaching the foreign dances such as the Argentine Tango, Spanish Paso Doblé, Brazilian Samba, Puerto Rican Merengue, Cuban Mambo and Cha Cha, English Quickstep, Austrian Waltz, with an occasional American Fox-trot and Peabody.

In the early 1940's the Arthur Murray studios looked at what was being done on the dance floors in each city and directed their teachers to teach what was being danced in their respective cities.

As a result, the Arthur Murray Studios taught different styles of undocumented Swing in each city. In the early 1940's, Lauré Haile, as a swing dancer and competitor, documented what she saw being danced by the white community.

At that time, Dean Collins was leading the action with Lenny Smith and Lou Southern in the night clubs and competitions in Southern California. Lauré Haile gave it the name of "Western Swing". She began teaching for Arthur Murray in 1945. Dean Collins taught Arthur Murray teachers in Hollywood and San Francisco in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

After the late 1940's, the soldiers and sailors returned from overseas and continued to dance in and around their military bases. Jitterbug was danced to Country-Western music in Country Western bars, and popularized in the 1980's. As the music changed between the 1920's and 1990's, (Jazz, Swing, Bop, Rock 'n' Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Disco, Country), the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing evolved across the U.S. with many regional styles.

The late 1940's brought forth many dances that evolved from Rhythm & Blues music: the Houston Push and Dallas whip (Texas), the Imperial Swing (St. Louis), the D.C. Hand Dancing (Washington), and the Carolina Shag (Carolinas and Norfolk) were just a few.

In 1951 Lauré Haile first published her dance notes as a syllabus, which included Western Swing for the Santa Monica Arthur Murray Dance Studio. In the 50's she presented her syllabus in workshops across the U.S. for the Arthur Murray Studios. The original Lauré Haile Arthur Murray Western Swing Syllabus has been taught by Arthur Murray studios with only minor revisions for the past 44 years.


American Bandstand


In the late 1950's, television brought "American Bandstand", "The Buddy Dean Show" and other programs to the teenage audiences. The teenagers were rocking with Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry leading the fray.

In 1959, some of the California dance organizations, with Skippy Blair setting the pace, changed the name of Western Swing to West Coast Swing so it would not be confused with country and western dancing. In the 1990's, dancers over 60 years of age still moving their Lindy Hoppin', Jitterbuggin', Swingin', and Shaggin' feet.

It was one of the biggest dance hits of the modern era, and is often credited with inspiring a whole generation of stodgy adults to let loose. (Previously, we imagine, they stood arms crossed, motionless except for an occasional nod or toe tap.) It was so big, in fact, that it’s still played at wedding receptions and high school dances, where it inspires even grandmas to boogie down. (And no, we are not talking about the Cha-Cha Slide.)


Chubby Checker 1960's


We refer, of course, to Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”—a song (and dance) performed by a Philly native and made famous at 46th and Market on American Bandstand—which hit number one on the Billboard charts Sept. 19, 1960. Though Checker popularized “The Twist,” it was actually written by early rock group Hank Ballard And The Midnighters.



Let’s Twist Again Lyrics

Come on everybody clap your hands Now you’re looking good I’m gonna sing my song and you won’t take long We gotta do the twist and it goes like this Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer Yea, let’s twist again like we did last year Do you remember when things were really hummin’ Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here Yeah round ‘n around ‘n up ‘n down we go again Oh baby make me know you love me so then Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer Yea, let’s twist again like we did last year Do you remember when things were really hummin’ Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here Yeah round ‘n around ‘n up ‘n down we go again Oh baby make me know you love me so then Come on let’s twist again like we did last summer Yea, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here


Saturday Night Fever


Dance pictures were revived in the late 1970s by director John Badham's classic urban drama/dance film Saturday Night Fever (1977) that starred John Travolta (with the film's sole nomination for Best Actor) as a vulgar, blue-collar Brooklyn paint-store clerk - transformed into a pulsating, white-suited disco king Tony Manero who struts across a dance floor of rainbow-colored squares.

The famous disco film featured a popular Bee Gees soundtrack (un-nominated by AMPAS!). Dance champion Denny Terrio and choreographer Lester Wilson trained Travolta, who was a teen idol and starring on TV's Welcome Back, Kotter (as Vinnie Barbarino), to swivel his hips on the dance floor. The film, costing about $3.5 million, made almost $300 million for Paramount Studios. [The film's lesser sequel was Sylvester Stallone's Staying Alive (1983).


Grease


The next year, Travolta co-starred with Australian singer Olivia Newton-John in Randal Kleiser's popular, spirited, nostalgic 50s film Grease (1978) with smutty dialogue - it was a former 1972 hit Broadway musical that brought two big hit songs: "Summer Nights" and "You're The One That I Want", to the charts. (The film's only nomination was Best Song for "Hopelessly Devoted to You.")

It was about two lovers, Australian transfer student Sandy (Newton-John) and American greaser Danny Zucko (Travolta), who enjoyed a summertime romance but had to adapt to new roles back in their high school cliques, the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies. Its popularity made it one of the highest grossing movie musicals ever.

Patricia Birch's lesser sequel, Grease 2 (1982), her debut film as director (she had choreographed the original film) maintained the same locale, Rydell High School, but brought a new cast including Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield. Olivia Newton-John's follow-up film to Grease was a disaster -- the musical roller disco fantasy Xanadu (1980), in which she starred as a Greek muse in Los Angeles alongside co-star Gene Kelly (in an attempted comeback).


In response to Grease, independent film producer Roger Corman provided the low-budget Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) with a soundtrack by The Ramones. A Western-style Saturday Night Fever film, James Bridges' Urban Cowboy (1980), with popular young stars John Travolta and Debra Winger, featured Houston honky-tonks, mechanical bull-riding in bars, blue-collar cowboys, and country music dancing (including the Cotton-Eyed Joe).

Alan Parker succeeded with the dance musical Fame (1980), a story of eight struggling young dancers in New York High School for the Performing Arts - so popular that it helped launch a television show - and it received six Academy Award nominations and two wins (Best Score and Best Song).


 Flashdance


Adrian Lyne's slick Flashdance (1983) was the immensely popular, highly kinetic, music-video style film - with an Oscar-winning title song by Irene Cara. It featured 19 year-old Jennifer Beals in her first starring role as Alex - a day welder in Pittsburgh and night dancer in a men's club who aspired to successfully audition for ballet school. Herbert Ross' energetic rock/dance film Footloose (1984) was also a culturally-significant film with a pounding, hit soundtrack (that featured Kenny Loggins' Oscar-nominated hit single of the title song, and a second nominated Best Song "Let's Hear It For the Boy").

It starred John Lithgow as a strict minister and Kevin Bacon as the illegal and defiant dancer in town. Singer Prince (in his first starring film) played "The Kid" in the feature-length music video Purple Rain (1984), and succeeded in having the #1 movie, album, and single simultaneously.

The sleeper hit, feel-good teen-oriented dance/romance film Dirty Dancing (1987) with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze provided nostalgia, great dance routines, sexy young stars, and a coming-of-age story set in the Catskills in 1963.

The film sparked a short-lived revival of the sexy Latin dance - the lambada - with such exploitative films as Joel Silberg's Lambada (1989), and The Forbidden Dance (1990), starring Laura Elena (Martinez) Herring (the first Latina to win Miss USA - in 1985).

These are also called "dance crazes". Dancing style fads have for some centuries been a part of social dancing, sometimes gliding smoothly into tradition after their "newness" has faded, and sometimes simply fading away into oblivion.


Cannibal and the Headhunters


Since the Renaissance, the courts of European monarchs and nobles played host to a long succession of dance fads, many of which became social 'crazes' that spread into general society. They include the minuet, the allemande, the schottische, the mazurka and the waltz. Many of these European Renaissance dance crazes—such as the allemande—have long since faded into obscurity, but their rhythms were preserved in European classical music.

By the time of Bach, the tempi of these dances had evolved into standardized rhythmical frameworks that formed the basis for the various movements of Baroque and early Classical instrumental works In modern times new dances ("fads") arise and disappear much more frequently. This is certainly spurred by modern communication improvements (printed media, radio, movies, television, internet).

In the early 1920s a string of dance crazes swept the world, including jitterbug and the Charleston. Perhaps the most significant of all these early 20th century crazes originated in Argentina in the early 1900s. The tango swept the world in the late 1910s and early 1920s, sparking a worldwide craze that was fanned by its use in Hollywood movies, and the style was soon appropriated to become part of the standard dance repertoire.

The tango was the first in a series of 20th century Latin music dance crazes that included the merengue, the samba, the mambo, the rumba, the cha-cha-cha and, in the early 1960s, the bossa nova. Each new Latin style enjoyed massive popularity, and many transcended their fad status to become standardized styles in the repertoire of western popular dance tradition.

Latin dance styles also exerted a huge influence on the direction of western popular music; this was especially true of jazz, which was profoundly altered by the advent of the first wave of Latin music in the 1940s and then by the bossa nova craze of the 1960s, which also had a massive influence on American pop music.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, new dance fads appeared almost every week. Many were popularized (or commercialized) versions of new styles or steps created by African-American dancers who frequented the clubs and discothèques in major U.S. cities like New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. Among the dozens of crazes that swept the world during this fertile period were the Madison, "The Swim", the "Mashed Potato", "The Twist", "The Frug" (pronounced 'froog') and "The Watusi", "The Shake" and "The Hitchhike"; several '60s dance crazes had animal names, including "The Pony", "The Dog" and "The Chicken" (not to be confused with the later Chicken Dance).

In 1962, the Mexican-American group Cannibal and the Headhunters had a hit with the Chris Kenner song Land of a Thousand Dances which included the names of sixteen of these dances.

One list of Fad Dances compiled in 1971 named over ninety dances. As the pop music market exploded in the late 1950s, successive dance fads were commercialized and exploited. Standardized versions were printed in dance and teen magazines, often choreographed to popular songs. Many pop hits of the Sixties were purpose-written to exploit emerging new dance crazes—notable examples include "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp and this appropriation continued into the 1990s. Other songs such as "The Loco-Motion"--composed by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and first recorded by Little Eva -- were specifically written with the intention of creating a new dance style.

In the early 1970s new dance styles fueled the emergence of the disco phenomenon, which spawned a succession of dance fads including the Bump, The Hustle, and the YMCA. This continued in the 1980s with the popular song "Walk like an Egyptian", in the 1990s with the "Macarena", and in the 2000s with "The Ketchup Song" dance. Contemporary sources for dance crazes include music videos and movies. There are fad dances which are meant to be danced individually as solo, others are partner dances, and yet others are danced in groups.

Some of them were of freestyle type, i.e., there were no particular step patterns and they were distinguished by the style of the dance movement (Twist, Shake, Swim, Pony, Hitchhike). Only some of them survived until now, sometimes only as the name of a step (Suzie Q, Shimmy) or of a style (Mashed Potato) in a recognized dance. Fad dances are in fashion at the time of their popularity. They are associated with a specific time period, and evoke a nostalgia when danced nowadays.


Disco King of Sacramento


In the 70s, I was very much involved in disco dancing. So much involved, that I became an Arthur Murray's Dance Instructor and danced professionally with Jeff Kutache's Dancing Machine in casinos located in Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. By winning several dance contests and dancing disco dance marathons, one for 79 hours which generated a new record for disco marathon dancing and finally dancing 205 hours of disco dancing, allowing me to have the Guinness Book of World Records for a period of one month, I became the 3rd and 5th (the last) Disco King of Sacramento, California. Whoever has the record when Guinness Book of World Records is published, gets into their book.

Unfortunately, my 205 hour disco dance marathon record was broken within one month by 329 hours. Ripley's Believe it or Not went ahead and published me in one of their comic strips, indicating that I danced for 205 hours. Ripley's Believe it or Not gave me a lifetime membership card in which I could use to visit any one of their museums for free. With big expectations, I went to Hollywood and was an extra in a few movies and did a couple of disco commercials.

That was the glory days I had in the 70s. In the pictures from those glory days, on the top right picture, you can see the sign behind me which says I danced 200 hours, I went for 205 hours altogether. What was so funny about dancing 205 hours, is that I had a 5 minute break on every hour, if I needed to utilize the restroom, it had to be during that 5 minutes, Guinness required witnesses to that effect. Also, I was transported by van from one location to another location and had to dance in the van. If I ate, I had to keep those feet moving.

Other dancers attempted to break the record with me and one girl Kathy Kleiber collapsed and her legs swelled up like a balloon. Another dancer collapsed and was hospitalized. During the time I was the Disco King of Sacramento, I had some interesting run-ins with celebrities. When dancing with Jeff Kutache's Dancing Machine in Reno, Nevada and Lake Tahoe (casinos), we were the first number to Cher. Cher just went solo in 1979 and was making her debut in the casinos.

I was honored to meet her. When I went to Hollywood to audition for Skatetown USA and Rollerboogie, I also auditioned for American Bandstand and The Gong Show. Instead I did a bit part for a movie called Grad Night and did a couple of disco commercials. In one of the disco dance contests I entered in Sacramento, Monterock III (disc jockey for Saturday Night Fever) was the judge.

We became personal friends after the contest and on the night he was judging the contest, I came in 2nd place. At Galactica 2000 in Sacramento, I was a dance instructor and during the evening when the nightclub was open, I always got to sit in the VIP section. One night, I was booted out of the VIP Section, because Chic came into the nightclub and the owner allowed Chic to sit in the VIP Section instead.

In 1979, I went back into the Army and was stationed in Seoul, Korea. Disco was just becoming popular in Korea and before I knew it, I was instructing dance classes in one of the nightclubs, entering dance contests and again working as a movie extra in various Korean disco dance movies - TV shows. As the Disco King of Sacramento, I had access to 3 Rolls Royce automobiles. One from a private owner, one from a owner of a popular disco nightclub and one from a exclusive club called Club Lido.

The chauffeured me in one of the Rolls Royces and as the Disco King waved at the crowd of onlookers at the Sacramento Parade. Of course, I was with the Disco Queen at the time - her name was Lia Waters. Other Sacramento Disco Queens were: Kathy Kleiber, Karen Jean Caruso/Walker.

What is amazing, a 12 year old girl by the name of Patricia Mary Mitchell was in the crowd and she asked her father who I was. Her father said, that's the Disco King. When Patricia was 29 and I was 39, we met and married. We are now divorced, but what a strange coincidence to have met later in our lives.The days of disco are gone, but I still have the memories of my former Disco King days.



Dance Floor Courtesy is a beneficial tool for dancing on any ballroom floor, however, Off the Floor Courtesy is also a welcome tool. If all dancers were to observe dance floor etiquette and technique, the dance floor would be able to accommodate up to its maximum capacity and still permit movement and more enjoyment.

When the dance floor is overcrowded, all dancers should refrain from "performing" and participate in "social" dance, or perhaps even choose to politely sit some numbers out to ease the situation. Social dances are classified as either progressive or spot dances. In progressive dances such as foxtrot, waltz, etc., the rule is to move around the floor only in a counter clockwise direction.

This also includes the patterns that take the man backwards. In spot dances, such as the swing, cha cha, rumba, etc., the couple should try to keep as much as possible in and around the small area where they began dancing. Other dancers' space should be respected. When the dance music is such that it permits more than one type of dance, such as a foxtrot or swing, the swing dancers should go towards the center of the dance floor thereby making it possible for the foxtrot dancers to move freely around the outside of the dance floor.

Dance patterns in which the forward movement is temporarily suspended should be executed in the centre or fringes of the dance floor, unless one is sure the dance flow will not be impeded. This courtesy also applies to newer dancers, moving towards the centre allows the experienced dancers to really move around the outside of the floor. Dancers getting on the dance floor should not interfere with those already dancing, simply because it is convenient to start in a particular spot.


Watch out, and move onto the floor with respect for the people moving towards you. Couples should not stop on the dance floor to make conversation, argue or discuss the working of a dance pattern in such a way that they block others from continuing to dance. If you are trying to get to the other side of the dance floor, walk around not thru the dancers.

The way one dances and the selection of dance patterns should be governed by the size of the dance floor and the traffic. It is incumbent upon all dancers to be alert and watch out for others when changing imaginary lanes or executing a maneuver that may put them in someone else's path.

Like in driving, dancers should use good judgment. Good manners dictate that you apologize when you accidentally bump or kick someone. It is quite annoying to be cut off, bumped, or hurt by overly enthusiastic or inconsiderate dancers who do not observe good dance floor etiquette and technique. Off the Floor etiquette consists of some basic human courtesies.

When asking others to dance, ensure you ask and do not guilt or force an individual into dancing with you. Be polite, careful not to interrupt conversations but to wait for a break in the conversation and indicate that you would like to ask the person to dance with you. If you attend a dance as a single, be careful not to over occupy another person's partner in asking them to dance more than twice in an evening.

Ladies, refrain from asking every man in sight to dance with you ... if you are polite, you may find that they will ask you. If you'd really like to dance with a particular person, ask them ONCE, then allow them to make the decision to ask you the second time.

Men, when you're asking a lady to dance be courteous, if she apologizes for saying no and requests that you ask her later in the evening -- do so! Often times there is a good reason for her answer. Also for you, men, don't over occupy another man's female partner unless he has decided to finish dancing for the evening and she wishes to continue.

Be conscious of another person's feelings -- this applies to both sexes! Also, men if you take a lady onto the floor to dance please escort her back to her seat at the end of your time together. This will ensure that you have been a gentleman, also that she returns to her seat without slipping and falling on the floor. Dance Floor Courtesy On or Off the Floor is really based on Common Sense Rules of everyday politeness! Let's practice this a little more!


line dancing


If you are someone who has always viewed line dance as an exciting and interesting way to dance but thought it was too complicated, you owe it to yourself to take a second look at this dance craze that many people get into for the sheer fun of it. Many people only associate line dancing with country or western music. Over the years, however, line dancing has expanded to include many other types of dance and many different age groups.

Children to seasoned seniors can get into the action with line dancing because there are dances created from songs that have a variety of tempos both fast and slow for anyone who likes to dance. Whether you are a beginner, a novice or consider yourself an expert, there is something you can learn from line dancing to spice up your style and the dances done with others at parties, clubs or just for your own enjoyment.

Learning line dance is not difficult because it has a little to do with watching what others around you are doing. Did you know that world records have been set for line dance? Well, it’s true. There is a record for the world’s longest line dance.

Of course, you don’t have to attempt to set or bet the world longest line dance to learn and enjoy line dancing. You can start with some basic steps that will give you the confidence to get into the more complex line dance steps that let you dance with the best.

There are even some songs that are specifically for line dance. These songs are great to start learning if you prefer that kind of music. There may even be videos that accompany these songs where you can watch people doing the steps you want to learn or master.

There are many different types of line dances. Some of the most popular go by the following names: Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, Soulja Boy, Tennessee Twister, Blue Boy, Cripple Creek, Booty Call, Mustang Sally, Achy Breaky Heart, Alley Cat, Chicken Dance, Charleston, Pensacola Slide, Power Jam, Good Time, Hoedown Throwdown, Wild Wild West, Tulsa Shuffle, Cleveland Shuffle, Play Something Country, Jose Cuervo ’97, Copperhead Road and more.

Once you discover how easy it is to get into line dancing, you may want to hook up with other people who do line dance regularly. Did you know that there are groups and associations who get together for fun, competitions and regular line dance activities? For some, it is a chance to have some wholesome fun with family and friends and get some natural exercise in as well.

The bottom line of any idea about dancing that you may have in the back of your mind is that you have to take that important first step, pun intended. Line dance may be one of the easy things you’ve decided to do in a very long time. Give yourself a chance to see just how much fun you can have getting into this easy form of dancing with others.


Fred Astaire


Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.

He is particularly associated with Ginger Rogers, with whom he made ten films. Gene Kelly, another major innovator in filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire". Beyond film and television, many classical dancers and choreographers, Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis, Jr., Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins among them, also acknowledged his importance and influence. Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Johanna "Ann" (née Geilus) and Frederic "Fritz" Austerlitz (born September 8, 1868, as Friedrich Emanuel Austerlitz).

Astaire's mother was born in the United States to Lutheran German immigrants from East Prussia and Alsace, while Astaire's father was born in Linz, Austria, to Jewish parents who had converted to Catholicism. After arriving in New York City at age 24 on October 26, 1892, and being inspected at Ellis Island, Astaire's father, hoping to find work in his brewing trade, moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and landed a job with the Storz Brewing Company. Astaire's mother dreamed of escaping Omaha by virtue of her children's talents, after Astaire's sister, Adele Astaire, early on revealed herself to be an instinctive dancer and singer.

She planned a "brother-and-sister act," which was common in vaudeville at the time. Although Astaire refused dance lessons at first, he easily mimicked his older sister's step and took up piano, accordion and clarinet. When their father suddenly lost his job, the family moved to New York City to launch the show business career of the children.

Despite Adele and Fred's teasing rivalry, they quickly acknowledged their individual strengths, his durability and her greater talent. Sister and brother took the name "Astaire" in 1905, as they were taught dance, speaking, and singing in preparation for developing an act. Family legend attributes the name to an uncle surnamed "L'Astaire". Their first act was called Juvenile Artists Presenting an Electric Musical Toe-Dancing Novelty.

Fred wore a top hat and tails in the first half and a lobster outfit in the second. The goofy act debuted in Keyport, New Jersey, in a "tryout theater." The local paper wrote, "the Astaires are the greatest child act in vaudeville. As a result of their father's salesmanship, Fred and Adele rapidly landed a major contract and played the famed Orpheum Circuit not only in Omaha, but throughout the United States.

Soon Adele grew to at least three inches taller than Fred and the pair began to look incongruous. The family decided to take a two-year break from show business to let time take its course and to avoid trouble from the Gerry Society and the child labor laws of the time.

In 1912, Fred became an Episcopalian. The career of the Astaire siblings resumed with mixed fortunes, though with increasing skill and polish, as they began to incorporate tap dancing into their routines. Astaire's dancing was inspired by Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and John "Bubbles" Sublett. From vaudeville dancer Aurelio Coccia, they learned the tango, waltz and other ballroom dances popularized by Vernon and Irene Castle.

Some sources state that the Astaire siblings appeared in a 1915 film entitled Fanchon, the Cricket, starring Mary Pickford, but the Astaires have consistently denied this. Fred Astaire first met George Gershwin, who was working as a song plugger in Jerome H. Remick's, in 1916.

Fred had already been hunting for new music and dance ideas. Their chance meeting was to deeply affect the careers of both artists. Astaire was always on the lookout for new steps on the circuit and was starting to demonstrate his ceaseless quest for novelty and perfection. The Astaires broke into Broadway in 1917 with Over the Top, a patriotic revue. The Astaires performed for U.S. and Allied troops at this time too.



Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer. Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen.

Although he is known today for his performances in Singin' in the Rain and An American in Paris, he was a dominant force in Hollywood musical films from the mid 1940s until this art form fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical film, and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.

Kelly was the recipient of an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors, and from the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute; in 1999, the American Film Institute also numbered him 15th in their Greatest Male Stars of All Time list. He was the third son of James Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and Harriet Curran, who were both children of Irish Roman Catholic immigrants.

He was born in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and, at the age of eight, was enrolled by his mother in dance classes, along with his elder brother James. They both rebelled, and, according to Kelly: "We didn't like it much and were continually involved in fistfights with the neighborhood boys who called us sissies...I didn't dance again until I was fifteen." He thought it would be a good way to get girls. Kelly returned to dance on his own initiative and by then was an accomplished sportsman and well able to take care of himself.

He attended St. Raphael Elementary School in the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Peabody High School in 1929 at the age of sixteen. He enrolled in Pennsylvania State College to study journalism but the economic crash obliged him to seek employment to help with the family's finances.

At this time, he worked up dance routines with his younger brother Fred in order to earn prize money in local talent contests, and they also performed in local nightclubs. In 1931, Kelly enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh to study economics where he joined the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.

While at Pitt, Kelly became involved in the university's Cap and Gown Club, which staged original, comedic musical productions. Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with his graduation from Pitt in 1933, he remained active with the Cap and Gown Club, serving as its director from 1934 to 1938, while at the same time enrolling in the University of Pittsburgh Law School.

Also during this period, the Kelly's family started a dance studio on Munhall Road in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh in 1930. In 1932, the dance studio was renamed The Gene Kelly Studio of the Dance. A second location was opened in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1933. Kelly served as a teacher at the dance studio during both his undergraduate and law student years at Pitt.

In 1931, he was approached by the Rodef Shalom synagogue in Pittsburgh to teach dance and stage the annual Kermess and was so successful that his services were retained for seven years until his departure for New York.

Eventually, though, he decided to pursue his career as a dance teacher and entertainer full-time and so dropped out of law school after two months. He began to focus increasingly on performing, later claiming: "With time I became disenchanted with teaching because the ratio of girls to boys was more than ten to one, and once the girls reached sixteen the dropout rate was very high." In 1937, having successfully managed and developed the family's dance school business, he moved to New York City in search of work as a choreographer.


1920s jazz bands


On the evening of the thirty-ninth annual Grammy Awards that was broadcast on national television on February 27, 1997, Colin Dunn and Savion Glover faced off in the fiercest tap dance challenge of their lives. Colin Dunn, the star of Riverdance—The Musical, was challenging Savion Glover, the choreographer and star of Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, to a battle of the feet that was staged to showcase and celebrate the two hottest musicals on Broadway.

But there was nothing festive about the challenge dance for these two stars. Not only was their reputation as dancers at stake but also the supremacy of the percussive dance forms that each show represented--Irish step dancing and African American jazz tap dancing. went on first. Standing tall and straight, his back to the audience and hands placed neatly at the waist of his slim black pants, he spun around quickly on his introduction, and with the stamp of his high-heeled shoe drew himself up onto the balls of the feet and clicked out neat sets of triplets and cross-backs in place.

The camera zoomed in on the dazzling speed and precision of Dunn’s footwork, zoomed out on the handsome symmetry of his form, and quickly panned right to reveal the hulking presence of Glover—who stood crouched over, peering at Dunn’s feet. Without an introduction, Glover slapped out a succession of flat-footed stomps that turned his black baggy pants, big baggy shirt, and mop of deadlocks into a stuttering spitfire of beats. Huinkering down into a deep knee bend, he repeated the slamming rhythms with the heels, toes, and insteps of his hard-soled tap shoes.

Dunn heard the challenge. Taking his hands off his hips and turning around to face Glover, he delivered a pair of swooping scissor-kicks that sliced the air within inches of Glover face; and continued to shuffle with an air of calm, the fluid monotone of his cross-back steps bringing the volume of noise down to a whisper. Glover interrupted Dunn’s meditation on the “ssssh” with short and jagged hee-haw steps that mocked Dunn’s beautiful line and forced the conversation back to the sound, not look.

They traded steps, spitting out shards of rhythmic phrases and daring each other to pick up and one-up. Dunn’s crisp heel-clicks were taken up by Glover with heel-and-toe clicks, which were turned by Dunn into airy flutters, which Glover then repeated from a crouched position.

When they tired of trading politely, they proceeded to tap over each other’s lines, interrupting each other wittily with biting sounds that made the audience scream, applaud, and stamp its feet. When Dunn broke his focus just for a moment to politely acknowledge the applause with a smile, Glover seized the moment and found his edge by perching on the tip of one toe and delivering a flick-kick with the dangling other that brushed within inches of Dunn’s face.

All movement came to a halt. And for one long moment, the dancers just stood there, flat-footed, glaring at each other. Though the clapping melted their stares, they slapped hands and turned away from each other and walked off the stage without smiling and never looking back.


Morris Dancing


As an Englishman with an interest in English History I thought it would be of interest to tell the History of Morris Dancing which has a long recorded history in England, By the early 16th century morris dancing had become a fixture of Church festivals. In mediaeval and Renaissance England, the churches brewed and sold ales, including wassail.

These ales were sold for many occasions, both seasonal and sacramental - there were christening ales, bride's ales, clerk, wake and Whitsun ales - and were an important means of fund-raising for churches. Later in the century the morris became attached to village fetes, and the May Day revels; Shakespeare says "as fit as a Morris for May Day" and "a Whitsun Morris Dance".

William Kemp danced a solo morris from London to Norwich in 1600. Morris Dancing was popular in Tudor times. However under Cromwell it fell out of favour and was actively discouraged by many Puritans. The ales were suppressed by the Puritan authorities in the seventeenth century and, when some reappeared in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, they usually had associated dancing.

By the mid 18th century in the South Midlands region, morris dancing was a fixture of the Whitsun ales. Morris Dancing was now in the hands of common folk who couldn't afford the fancy costumes of a couple centuries earlier, and they were resorting to ordinary clothing decorated with ribbons and flowers.

There was a separate variety of morris, called bedlam morris, being done in a swath from the Welsh border counties through Warwickshire and Northamptonshire down to Buckinghamshire; the bedlam morris seems to have been mainly or exclusively done with sticks. Whether this ‘bedlam' morris had an alternative origin we cannot say. During the nineteenth century Morris Dancing declined rapidly.

New forms of entertainment, rapid social change and its association with an older unfashionable culture were all contributing factors. For various reasons, church ales and Whitsun ales survived quite late in the south-west Midlands.

Most of the Cotswold Morris tradition comes from this region and many of the Cotswold Morris sides gave dances to Cecil Sharp and other collectors which formed the basis for the dance revival in the early twentieth century. As well as the Cotswold dances other regional versions of the the morris also survived long enough to be collected.

These included ‘Border Morris' from the Welsh border counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, North West from Lancashire and Cheshire, and Molly dancing from East Anglia. In the north of England long sword dancing was collected from Yorkshire and Rapper sword from the North East. It was widely believed that other regional varieties of the dance had been forgotten and lost. New evidence has recently been unearthed of ‘lost morris' in other areas of the country and that is what Rattlejag are all about!

Paul Hussey.

Acrobatic dance


Acrobatic dance emerged in the United States and Canada in the early 1900s as one of the types of acts performed in vaudeville. Although individual dance and acrobatic acts had been performed in vaudeville for several decades prior to 1900, it was not until the early 1900s that it became popular to perform acts that combined dance and acrobatic movements. Related Articles Pressure measurement Acrobatic dance did not suddenly appear in vaudeville; rather, it appeared gradually over time in a variety of forms, and consequently no individual performer has been cited as its originator.

Sherman Coates, who performed with the Watermelon Trust from 1900 to 1914, was recalled by fellow dancers as the first acrobatic dancer they had ever seen. Another of the earliest documented acrobatic dance performers was Tommy Woods, who became well known for his slow-motion acrobatic dance in Shuffle Along, in which he would execute acrobatic movements precisely in time with the music. In 1914, acrobat Lulu Coates formed the Crackerjacks, a popular vaudeville troupe that included acrobatic dance in their performance repertoire up until the group disbanded in 1952.

Many other popular vaudeville companies combined acrobatics and dance in their shows, including the Gaines Brothers. Since the decline of the vaudeville era, acrobatic dance has undergone a multi-faceted evolution to arrive at its present-day form.

The most significant aspect of this evolution is the integration of ballet technique as the foundation for dance movements, thus bringing into acro dance a precision of form and movement that was absent in vaudeville acrobatic dance. Also, vaudeville acrobatic dances were often little more than acrobatics set to music, whereas modern acro dance is fundamentally dance, with its acrobatic movements performed in a dance context.

Characteristics A defining characteristic of acro is the smooth, graceful transitions between dance and acrobatic movements. Also, a dance must have a significant percentage of dance movement, with respect to its acrobatic content, in order for it to be categorized as acro.

For example, a gymnastics floor exercise is not considered to be acro because it has little or no dance movement compared to its acrobatic content, and also because it lacks smooth transitions between dance and gymnastic movements.

Dance technique The dance movements in acro are founded in ballet, jazz, lyrical and modern dance styles. Acro dance movements are not restricted to these dance styles, but the complete absence of these styles will typically cause a dance to be categorized as something other than acro (e.g., breakdance).

Acrobatic elements The acrobatic movements performed in an acro dance are referred to as tricks. Numerous tricks are commonly performed in acro dances, varying widely in complexity and the skills required to perform them. Aside from the obvious requirement that dancers possess the requisite skills to perform tricks, the types of tricks that can be performed in an acro dance depends on the number of dancers.

Solo tricks can be performed by independent dancers in solo or group dances. Examples of this are: Back layout Back tuck Back walkover Cartwheel Chest stand (chin stand) Elbow stand Front aerial Handspring Handstand Hand walking Kip up Roundoff Side aerial Valdez Front aerial Hand walking Valdez Double trickslso known as partnering tricksan only be performed by a pair of dancers.


An example of this is the pitch tuck, in which one dancer forms a "saddle" with his hands. The second dancer steps onto the saddle and then the first dancer thrusts the saddle upward. The second dancer, who is propelled upward with back rotation, lands on her feet after a complete revolution in the air. Acro partners will sometimes execute lifts and adagio in addition to single and double tricks.

Double back walkover Double cartwheel Double plange Lawnmower Pitch tuck Swizzle Vault somersault Lawnmower Pitch tuck Swizzle Group tricks generally require three or more dancers. Examples of this are: Bridge pyramid Triple cartwheel Apparel Footwear A pair of acro shoes. A foot thong, as viewed from the bottom. Acro dances are typically performed on hard stages with widely varying surfaces.

Such floors differ substantially from a gymnastics floor, which is constructed by layering a standard surface over cushioning foam and spring floor. Whereas gymnasts perform barefoot and rely on the standard gymnastics floor for traction and cushioning, acro dancers seldom dance barefoot, instead depending on footwear such as acro shoes or foot thongs to provide the necessary traction and cushioning.

All of the most common types of acro footwear provide both traction and cushioning. In addition, acro performance surfaces are frequently rough, so acro footwear must protect the bottom of the foot from skin abrasion.

Abrasion protection is particularly important on the ball of the foot, which is subjected to a great deal of friction during dance leaps and turns. Traction is essential to prevent lateral slipping that could result in dangerous falls to the hard floor. Cushioning serves to soften the impact when performing tricks such as tucks and layouts, in which a dancer's feet may strike the floor at high velocity.

Cushioning is especially important when a Marley floor is unavailable, because uncovered performance surfaces have no cushioning whatsoever and thus may be extremely hard and unyielding. Acro shoes Acro dancers most often wear jazz dance shoes, which are commonly referred to as acro shoes by acro dancers. Acro shoes are called jazz boots, jazz ankle boots, jazz booties and other names, by their various manufacturers.

They are typically laceless, slip-on shoes, with tight-fitting leather uppers that are designed to prevent the dancer's feet from shifting inside the shoes. Because of their thin, pliable leather uppers and split soles, acro shoes have excellent flexibility, thus enabling dancers to attain both good dance form and acrobatic control.

The sole is made of soft, composite rubber so as to provide both high traction and cushioning, and it provides excellent protection from skin abrasion as it covers the entire bottom of the foot. Foot thongs Less commonly, acro dancers may wear foot thongs, which are variously called Dance Paws and FootUndeez, depending on the manufacturer.

Foot thongs which are slip-on, partial foot covers that protect only the ball of the foot sometimes preferred over acro shoes for aesthetic reasons. In particular, flesh colored foot thongs endow the wearer with the appearance of having bare feet, while retaining some degree of the traction, cushioning, and abrasion protection provided by acro shoes. Clothing The skirt of this acro costume is short so it will not contact the headpiece when the dancer is inverted. Acro dancers commonly wear flexible, form-fitting clothing for both safety and aesthetic reasons.

Form-fitting clothing is preferred over loose clothing because the latter does not move synchronously with the body and thus may interfere with a dancer's ability to maintain control. This is especially important when a dancer is performing tricks, as loss of control can lead to serious injury. Aside from the safety aspect, form-fitting clothing also helps to expose a dancer's body lines, which can add significantly to the visual impact of an acro dance performance.

Competitive acro dancers frequently wear costumes when performing at dance competitions. Acro costumes often have loose fabric pieces such as short skirts, but the sizes and locations of these pieces are carefully calculated to ensure that they pose no safety risks.

As an extra safety measure, skirts are sometimes pinned or stitched at the back below the waistline so that they will not hang at full length when the dancer is inverted, as in hand walking; this prevents the skirthich might otherwise become entangled in the dancer's hair or costume headpiecerom contacting the dancer's head.

Competitive acro Acro dance is not uniformly defined within the competitive dance industry. Some dance competition companies require an acro routine to have a minimum of four or five tricks with at most fifty percent acrobatic content. Other companies require an acro routine to have exactly, or more than, fifty percent acrobatic content.

Also, at some competitions an acro dance may fit into an explicitly defined "acro dance" performance category, while at others it may fall into a similar category such as "acro/gym," or an alternative category such as "open." Because of these differences, it may be necessary to enter a specific acro routine into different performance categories at different competitions.


Boogie Woogie


Jazz dancing has a very unique history and has been influenced by many other dance styles and techniques. Like jazz music, its roots can be found in African and slave traditions. It then took inspiration from tap, Minstrel shows, vaudeville, swing and Broadway. The result is that the styles associated with jazz dancing constantly change.

When African slaves in the 1800s were travelling to America, they were allowed to dance in order to maintain their fitness. Such dances continued when they arrived at the plantations on which they worked in South America. During the early 1900s, this contributed to black Americans to lead the jazz movement. The movement quickly spread to the audience and public, and the result was that dances like the Charleston, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie and Swing began to develop.

One of the greatest individual influencers of jazz dance as we know it today was Jack Cole. He was a choreographer and theatre director born in 1911, and is sometimes referred to as "the father of jazz dance". He developed some of the ballet-based movements and theatrical expression which have become cornerstones in contemporary jazz dance.

A great name influenced by the work of Cole included Bob Fosse. He went on to have significant influence over the development of jazz dance in the second half of the twentieth century.

His influence was born from Fosse's inability to conform to the rigid positions of ballet as a young dancer. This led him to incorporate inward turned knees, hunched shoulders and burlesque-inspired sensuality into his choreography. His distinctive style is often characterised by his use of bowler hats, canes and chairs. Contemporary jazz styles are as far reaching as ever.

They continue to develop and range from elegant Broadway-inspired movements, ballet styles and even include hip-hop. However, the root of jazz technique remains in the mastery of leaps, turns, kicks and fluid style. If you're looking to purchase a jazz dance costume it doesn't need to be expensive.

There are a large number of reputable dance wear companies such as Roch Valley who make a wide range of crop tops, cycle shorts and hot pants which are ideal for jazz dancing. Some companies also make-to-order which means you can select to have your garment made from a wide range of different printed, coloured and glistening fabrics.


Dance was part of rituals and ceremonies of worship.


Through history we have seen many evolutions of dance. Some of these ancient dances and rituals are still practices today by those who honor their religious or cultural histories while many have sadly been lost throughout the ages. One thing however remains constant. Dance has always played an important role in the societies, great and small, of the world. Dating back to the beginning of recorded history dancing has been a vital part of society. Dance was involved in celebrations and preparations for war. Dance was part of rituals and ceremonies of worship.

Dance was part of life and we live in a society today that seems to increasingly label dance as a form of entertainment more than a way of life. Perhaps that is part of the reason we have a growing awareness when it comes to depression because fewer people are experiencing the joy of dance. Did you know that the Spartan warriors used dance in their preparations for battle? They incorporated a 'weapons dance' that was designed not only to familiarize themselves with their weaponry but also to help them be more agile when using them.

Believe me when I say that very few ever dared question the masculinity of Spartans on the battlefield. These soldiers were prepared for war and a large degree of that is the result of their weapon dances as mental and physical preparation for the art of waging war. With the Spartans war was most definitely an art form. Oriental Dance was common during what has become known as Biblical times and remains today a very noteworthy form of dance.

In fact, Oriental Dances, also referred to as Belly Dancing, seems to be experiencing a rebirth of sorts as its popularity has spread around the globe in recent years. This style of dance has been used as part of religious ceremonies as well as to entice lovers and incite lust and in some cases to represent fertility.

Oriental Dance has a long and intriguing history that is well worth further study if you are of the mind to do so. In Medieval times dance was a social requirement by those of means or holding status. In fact, what we know as ballroom dancing today began during this period and has evolved a little over the years while holding true to its original form to some degree.


The church at the time however frowned on dancing though many members of the church not only tolerated dancing but also participated in these dances. After a great deal of pressure from the populace the church did eventually accept and embrace dance.

The movements for the medieval dance steps were said to be rather simple and repetitive. While some of the dances of the day were performed by couples there were many processional or line dances that were popular during this period as well.

Who knew the line dancing had such a long and distinguished history? As times have evolved so has dance. In today's society dance is often limited to competitions, festivals, and parties rather than the prominence it once held in society. The good news in all this is that dance is no longer for some in society an activity that is solely reserved for the wealthiest among us.

Though access to dance lessons, classes, videos, etc. is by no means solid proof that they will be utilized the fact remains that very few cities in the United States do not offer dance classes that are at least marginally affordable for those who participate.

Competitive dance is another matter all together however and can bring a significant price tag to those who are unaware or caught off guard. Recreational dance however, often costs little more than the music required with which to dance and the will to dance deep inside. We live in a nation of opportunity, do not squander the opportunity we have to incorporate the simple pleasure of dancing into our daily lives.


Salsa


Salsa is a internationally popular dance style that has it's roots in Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and North America. The Word Salsa translates as the world for sauce and also can-notes a spicy flavor hence the sensual aesthetic of the dance. The origins of salsa start in cuba when African rhythms came to the new world through slave trade in the form of the rumba. The sounds of these ancient times were used to call forth various Gods. Slaves were forced to convert to Christianity but managed to preserve their heritage by using code words to refer to their own Gods.

In Cuba, African drum rhythms blended with the cuban official music and dance of Danzon. A style known as the Cuban son emerged and we now start to hear the claves play a central part of afro-cuban music. Radio Broadcasting came to Cuba in 1922 along with Americans seeking to escape prohibition laws. This exposed a large population of westerners to cuban son and for the first time, afro-carribean music became popular in america. Renamed the Rumba, the music and dancing begin to appear in American salons in the 1930s and is still a popular style today among ballroom dancers.

The rumba in many ways looks like a slower version of salsa. It's got some of the footwork elements, the cuban hip motion, and arm styling. Even with the Danzon (which has its origins in English social dancing), you can see the beginnings of the basic back and forward break of the basic time step. In the early 1900s a cuban composer named Orestes Lopez wrote a Danzon piece called Mambo. In 1943, a famous band leader and a friend of Lopez named Perez Prado began to call his own brand of music "Mambo" meaning "conversation with the Gods".

The African influence is clear from the name. Perez's Mambo was a more upbeat version of the Cuban music that contained big brass and drum sound to it. The story goes that he came up with a dance to go with his Mambo music and introduced the Mambo dance at La Tropicana night-club in Havana in the year 1943. Prado Perez took tour in the United states in 1951 and Mambo became a craze and Perez became known as the famed Mambo King.

The mambo dance first appeared in the United States in New York's Park Plaza Ballroom - a favorite hangout of enthusiastic dancers from Spanish Harlem. However, the real breakthrough for the Mambo came when it gained its excitement in 1947 at the Palladium which was located in downtown Manhattan. The Palladium opened its doors as a club for whites only. However business was poor and so a Spanish music promoter named Federico Purgani was able to persuade the club owner to book latin music.

He agreed but for Sunday matinees only. It opened its doors to Puerto Ricans and Cubans and became a rare spot where whites, blacks, and latinos could come together. From the doors of the palladium, the music and dance style known as the Mambo took America by storm. The palladium era were the glory days of Mambo and the nights were filled with the rhythms of the three Mambo Kings Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puete and Machito.

Both of the Tito's brought a Puerto Rican influence to mambo music and also their fusion of jazz into the Afro-Cuban sound added another wonderful layer of complexity paving the way for a new flavor of latin music that would be later called "Salsa". Palladium Mambo and cha-cha was the progenitor of Salsa but is still quite different. It had a lot more open work and the dancers dance on all different beats. There was no dancing on1 or on2 and there was no formalized technique.

Dancers of different backgrounds such as ballroom, tap, jazz and swing all danced the mambo a their own way. May 1966 marked the end of the palladium era as the nightclub closed its doors and the big 3 found their new home inside The Corso.

Mambo music was played almost every night of week and it was here that a young Puerto Rican man named Eddie Torres learned how to dance the mambo by watching the dancers in the club. By this time, The mambo had already evolved into a slot dance and the cross body lead was there. The 1970s gave rise to merengae, early forms of hip hop, disco and the hustle. Which was cool, okay kind of, well, i guess it's not as bad as boy bands.


Among other aficionados, Eddie Torres kept mambo alive by teaching the dance and standardizing the break step on the 2 and the 6. Torres began to dance on 2 when June Laberta explained music theory to him. Tito Puente Also confirmed to Torres that dancing on 2 was a marriage with the music because the break step synchronizes with the accented slap of the conga drum. 1973 A Puerto Rican named Izzy Sanabria launched a TV show called "Salsa" along with Latin NY Magazine and in 1975, Latin NY Magazine hosted it's first ever Salsa Awards.

Coverage of this event by the N.Y. Times, News-week and Time magazine generated worldwide interest in what seemed to be a new form of music. Some musicians protested the term "salsa" complaining that Izzy was merely putting a new label on Cuban music but in many ways, it was new and had evolved to something unique in its own right. What was originally of African Cuban origin had found a home in America and adopted by the Latino community of New York.

Innovations made by Puerto Rican musicians such as Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe transformed Afro-Cuban based music to a unique New York Latin Music. Modern salsa is something that was evolved here through the fusion of different cultural influences making what some might consider a home grown American phenomenon. In the 1980s Eddie Torres began to formalize mambo 0n2 and made it something professional dancers could learn by standardizing the basic time step and teaching a repertoire of moves that had names to them.

We now call the dance salsa since the term salsa has become internationally accepted to refer to music of African-Cuban origin as well as New York's Latin music and their dances. Moving salsa education out of the street and into the studio made it much easier for students of the dance to learn spins and as result, the salsa today emphasizes more partner-work and closed position dancing.

This is also attributed to the popularity of the hustle in the latino community during and their incorporation the partner-work into salsa, so I guess some good did come out of the disco days after all. Formalizing salsa made the dance much more marketable because it meant it could be taught in a class.

Now Studios all around the world offer salsa classes and has become one the most popular social dance styles. There are people dancing salsa in London, Taiwan, Korea, India, even japan. So in a nutshell, africans were brought over to cuba as a result of the slave trade. Their music blended with that of the cubans and a marriage between the clave and african drums was now formed.

Mambo came along much thanks to Perez Parado who took it to america, he introduced the big band sound by adding brass instruments and Americans loved it and so began the glory days of mambo, innovation by New York's puerto rican musicians added a element of jazz and the sound of the pianos.

The music was transformed into what Izzy Sanabria labeled as salsa. Pereze Parado spiced up Danzon and taught a new more energetic dance called the mambo. The mambo came to the U.S. and incorporated elements of ballroom, swing, jazz, and tap while preserving it's latin steps.

In the 70s, the influence of the partner-work aspect of the hustle left it's mark on the mambo and was brought off the street and into the studio in the 1980s by Eddie Torres and was now called the salsa.

The history tells a story of a style of dance that is really a fusion of many different cultures and the dance continues to evolve this way today, with the newer generation mixing in components of hip-hop, belly dancing, and adding lifts and aerial moves from ballroom and swing.

So now that you know the awesome rich kick ass history of salsa dancing, you'll be able to go out and dance as a informed individual but more than just filling your head with knowledge and turning you into a salsa brainiac, I hope that this short article has help you gain a new appreciation of our awesome spicy saucy dance known as salsa! Thanks for reading.


Hawaiian Dances


Hawaiian Dances have been part of Hawaiian culture since ancient times, perhaps even before there were people living on the islands. We do know that Hula is the oral history handed down from family to family and today Hawaii is known as the big island because it is like a kaleidoscope always growing, changing and never the same image or memory twice. Many of the islands like to claim the birthright of the dance but truthfully we do not know where it originated from.

It's universally agreed on that the original hula dance was performed by a god or goddess, which has sacred roots to the people of Hawaii. Initially the dances were performed by men but as we have progressed over time women today play an important role in the execution of dance. Hula dramatizes or portrays the words of the song in a visual dance form. As the dance is performed you actually can see the many emotions that go into their performances.

Hula comes from the heart and soul of the Hawaiian culture. The Hawaiian culture today still has a strong oral tradition, and is carrying on their history as the dance has been seen around the world today. It is performed at most special occasions on the Islands including birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals, special celebrations or in honor of someone.

What makes the Hawaiian dance special and ever changing is the detail that goes into every aspect from start to finish of the event. Locations of these one of a kind festivities is extremely important in keeping with the ambiance and culture of the dance. Hours of ritual and practice are required before each event to give that one of a kind showmanship that this dance had become known for.

Choreography is critical to keep the traditional values where each motion has a significant meaning for the dance. Costumes are the building blocks necessary to help create the illusion of the dance. We often see many natural items from plants to sharks teeth to leis used along with unique handmade earthly items to create this wow expression that helps this legend live on.

Dancers and musicians continue to perform with the utmost respect, love, and compassion which the Hawaiian people call "Aloha Spirit"Hawaiian Dances brings all of these unique and interesting ingredients together with movements, of elegance, grace and tranquillity.


Dancing with rap music


Now it is very popular to dance modern dances. But a lot of people don't know all the kinds of dances, which young people dance in night clubs and other places. This article should correct it and tell you what one or other dance mean and how to dance it. House The main dance of clubs – "house dance".

Young blood just move their bodies randomly, just feeling the dance and music. And sometimes it seems really cool, especially if person has inborn talent. But somebody has another opinion, they consider that house first has appeared in Chicago and New York. Base of technique was got from hip-hop and added some new elements: footwork, jacking and sometimes even lofting.

You also can add here moves from latina, dance hall or a break dance. It's real interesting to mix different types of dances. What would you get if you mix classical and modern dances? So, it's interesting. RnB This kind of dance is especially suitable for girls. While dancers dance, they show to spectators all flex of their bodies. So it's not bad way for girls to train their flex and inborn beauty. Hip-hop So, hip-hop is almost first modern all-known dance.

Dancing with rap music and promotes absolute freedom not only in moves while dancing but in cloths of dancers too. Very bright difference edge of hip-hop: very many jumping and sharp lunges. You just put on your dance sneakers and go to the club or in the street and dance.

Also interesting that hip-hop is separated for two parts: newschool and oldschool. Oldschool is a classical hip-hop from America and has got a very clear base of techique. And newschool is everything which European have brought in hip-hop. Difference of newschool: not very clear base of technique, so there is more space for your improvisation.

GoGo Dance of girl, you can call GoGo mix with RnB and some strip. Often girl is on high heels and with club music. But for music it's not a rule, you can use any type of music, fortunately it's not a problem. GoGo like a RnB is very sexy, flex, and hot. Locking Very positive style of dancing is locking. It's also fun-style, and in some moments it seems really funny. The name is going from one move element by locking you hands. And now I hope that you began understand kinds of dances more and now you are ready to choose your favorite one. Dance!



Frederick Ashton, the legendary choreographer and dancer, was born on September 17 1904. Ashton left an extensive body of work behind when he died in 1988 and is widely regarded as one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th Century. Later knighted, Sir Frederick was the founding choreographer of the Sadler's Wells ballet that later became known as The Royal Ballet.

His career lasted for over 50 years. The first full-length ballet that Sir Frederick choreographed for The Royal Ballet was his 1948 version of Cinderella. Set to the music of Prokofiev Ashton drew on the choreography of renowned Russian choreographer Marius Pepita for the inspiration for his version of Cinderella.

Ashton's interpretation features ‘dreams' and dreamlike qualities as an ongoing theme throughout the ballet. Sir Frederick's interpretation of Cinderella was well received, achieving great success and often being cited to this day as a masterpiece in choreography.

Cinderella was followed by Sylvia in 1952, a piece of work that had fallen out of favor with ballet goers for some number of years. Ashton recreated Sylvia with new choreography and legend has it that he was inspired to rework the piece after the ballet's musical composer, Leo Delibes, appeared to him in a dream asking Ashton to rework the under-appreciated ballet.

Sir Frederick choreographed the entire ballet as tribute to the great Margo Fonteyn. Another vehicle for Margot Fonteyn came in the form of Ondine, Ashton's last three-act ballet created for the Royal Ballet in 1958. The recurring theme in Ashton's version is the imagery of water, and imagery of the sea in particular. It has been reported that Ashton did not find the music for Ondine inspiring but choreography for the heroine is generally considered to be outstanding. La La fille mal gardée is believed to be perhaps the most notable of Sir Frederick Ashton's works.

His version premiered in London in January 1960 and is now widely considered to be the definitive version, overtaking even the version choreographed by the legendary Marius Pepita. Ashton chose the 1928 score by Ferdinand Hérold for his version although other choreographers had used different music. It is said that this score greatly inspired Ashton's choreography and was behind the success of this masterpiece.

Frederick Ashton left The Royal Ballet in 1970 as their director but continued to choreograph for the company for many years. It is believed some dispute made him resign but this has never been clarified. He a continued to choreograph various stage musical and films and worked with other dance companies too. He died at his Suffolk home in August 1988.


 jazz dance


Dance is the inevitable part of every culture. There is a different story behind origin of various dance forms. Dance are the physical form of your feelings, it is the medium to express your different moods. Some dances are calm, some shows the aggression, some are based on body strength and some are totally based on facial expression. Whatever it expresses but the truth is every dance has its different value and attraction and they all are meant to celebrate, to entertain. Some dances are inspired or we can say initiated by music. One such dance is jazz dance.

There is no border for this dance, you can learn jazz in Dubai, India, Pakistan, China or anywhere in the world. Jazz is basically a music that was originated within African- American community in near 20th century. It is supposed to be created with the combination of some European music elements with that time existing African music. Jazz dance is developed in parallel to jazz music.

Some says that it is originated from tap dance and with the time it becomes a fully individual style. Jazz dance becoming so popular in recent years and many dance and music schools are showing interest in teaching this energetic style.

Both the dance and music have some things in common the individuality and improvisation. The performers of this amazing music are very skilled and interpret a tune in such a unique way and will never play the tune in exactly the same way again. Some of the famous jazz music artists are Coleman Hawkins, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Art Tatum, Charles Mingus.

The same individuality we can see in dance that is why it is called an unpredictable style, you never know what is going to happen next. The second common element is improvisation. It is a continuously improving style and the dancer and musicians are always engaged in experimenting and always ready to surprise and amuse you.

They are like magician, no one can predict what is going to come out from his magic box. Jazz dance is a kind of modern dance which is basically influenced by sounds and rhythms. it is far ahead of its music companion in terms of popularity.

Jazz is a different kind of dance and a little typical to learn. Most of the dancers starts from ballet to learn the basic elements such as body tone, control and most important the grace. Then they actually move to jazz where they start moving with the beat, foot work and the other specification of this dance.

There are different styles of different dancers, some emphasize on isolations, rapid directional changes, angled placement and long knee slides other have their own techniques.

This is not any hard and fast rules and regulation in this style. There can be some dances that are heavily structured while there are also the performances that allow an enough scope for improvement. A perfect jazz dancer is one who can bring variation and twists in his performance. It is a fast emerging dance style mainly due to its involvement in TV dance shows, music video.


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