How old is dance
dance - Kids | Britannica Kids
Ancient Dance and Traditions
Paintings made in caves more than 10,000 years ago suggest that even the earliest peoples danced. The first written records of dance date back some 4,000 years to the ancient Egyptians. Dance was a crucial element in festivals for their gods. The ancient Egyptians also brought skilled dancers from central Africa to Egypt to provide entertainment.
Many cultures in Asia have a long history of formal, theatrical dance. In India the earliest book discussing dance is more than 1,500 years old. Bharata-natya is a classical dance form based on this book. The dances of the Japanese royal court are called bugaku. They were adapted from traditional dances of China, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia. Dance is also an important feature of traditional forms of Japanese drama.
For the ancient Greeks dance was an important part of religious ceremonies as well as everyday life. Dances at festivals to honor a god developed into Greek drama in the 400s bce. Later in ancient Rome religious festivals also featured dances.
In the Middle Ages (500–1500 ce) in Europe traveling acrobats danced to entertain crowds. Some festivals on Christian feast days also featured dancing. But some Christian leaders of the time thought dancing was sinful.
Social dancing became important to the nobles of the Middle Ages. The upper classes learned to move gracefully in formal dances for couples. The peasants had their own dances. They usually sang and danced in large lively groups.
During a period in Europe called the Renaissance (mid-1300s to 1500s) dancing became an art, not just an entertainment. The royal courts began to stage festive pageants that combined dance, music, and drama. Professional dancers began performing ballet in theaters in the 1660s. From then on ballet was a form of theatrical dancing separate from social dancing.
Professional dancers and teachers developed a formal ballet technique. It was based on basic poses and steps. Ballet became extremely popular in France in the 1700s. In the 1800s the French dancer Marius Petipa went to Russia. He helped make that country the center of the ballet world. In the early 1900s the Russian arts promoter Sergey Diaghilev helped spread ballet through Europe and the Americas.
At the end of the 1800s the American dancer Isadora Duncan started what is now called modern dance. She felt that the set steps and poses of ballet limited her ability to express herself. She created a new form of dance that was free-spirited and highly personal. Many other dancers developed their own styles of modern dance in the 1900s. One of the most influential was Martha Graham. Her company and school trained generations of important modern dancers.
The American choreographer Agnes de Mille made dancing an important part of musical theater. Her production of the musical Oklahoma! in 1943 mixed ballet, folk, and modern dance. The dances Jerome Robbins created for West Side Story (1957) brought a new edge to musical theater. Robbins influenced later Broadway choreographers such as Bob Fosse and Michael Bennett.
Once ballet became a professional form, the dancing done in the European royal courts was social dancing. Starting in the 1700s dances were held in ballrooms and houses. That way more people could participate.
Over the years, various dance forms went in and out of style. Some of the most popular were the minuet (1600s and 1700s) and waltz (1700s and 1800s). As music became less formal in the 1900s, so did social dances. Popular music—from big band to rock and roll and house music—has continued to inspire new forms of social dancing.
Dance Facts and History
Dance is a form of art that is made by purposefully recreating selected sequences of human motion, which can be imbued with the values of aesthetic and symbolism that are acknowledged by both performers and observers from within the particular culture. The dance itself can be freeform or can have a predefined choreography that may or may not align with traditions of origin or historical period.
The dance can be performed to serve various functions (social, competitive, ceremonial, martial, erotic…) but it also has two distinct forms – theatrical dance in which dancers perform for an audience, and participatory social dance where dancing in a group is encouraged to anyone. Participatory dances are most commonly found at weddings, social gatherings, and festivals, and they can be enjoyed with folk music both alone or in a group (pairs, lines, chains or other forms).
Theatrical dance is known for having more elaborate choreography, planning, costume, scenery and other elements that make the entire production feel more professional. The performers of theatrical dance are usually professional “ virtuoso dancers”, who practice their craft over the years, and are often tasked to interpret the musical accompaniment with advanced dance moves or routines.
Origins and Early History
The dance has always been with us, even before the arrival of written language and modern history, when our earliest cultures evolved utilizing oral and performance methods to pass the stories from one generation to the next. Many historians believe that social, celebratory and ritual dances are one of the essential factors of the development of early human civilizations.
The earliest findings have pinpointed the origins of ancient dances in 9000-year-old India or 5300-year-old Egypt, but the records more common infusion of dance into a modern culture can be found from Ancient Greece, China, and India. All these old dances evolved, eventually morphing into a wide variety of Roman and European medieval dances, traditional Chinese dances, Hindi and other traditional dances, respectively.
After the arrival of European Renaissance, the history of music and dance exploded with the new additions to song and dance. Ease of travel and immigration to the new world brought these dances into the mix with many native cultures of the New World, forging countless new dance types that are still popular to this day.
Do you know these facts about dance?
- First archeological proof of dance comes from the 9 thousand year old cave paintings in India.
- One of the earliest uses of structured dance was introduced in religious ceremonies that told the stories of ancient myths and gods. Egyptian priests used this kind of visual storytelling in their rituals.
- Ancient Egyptians used dancing for both entertainment and religion.
- Dance represented important parts of many Greek and Roman religious ceremonies.
- Ancient Greeks and Romans annually celebrated their wine gods Dionysus and Bacchus with several days long festivities filled with alcohol, song and dance.
- History of European medieval dance is fragmented and limited, but is believed that simple folk dances were widespread among common and wealthy classes.
- Modern dance history in Europe started with Renaissance, when many new dances were invented. After that, periods of Baroque, post French Revolution, Elizabethan era, World War 1, Prohibition, Ragtime and pre-WW2 brought many new waves of dance styles.
- Waltz, one of the most popular dances today came into popularity in mid-19th century by the efforts of the famous composer Johann Strauss, but its origins can be traced even to the distant 16th century.
- At first, waltz was performed with arm's length between male and female dances. The shocking transition to the close embrace happened only after English Queen Victoria fell in love with the dance and forced this change.
- Around 30 thousand people are employed in UK dance industry today, maintaining around 200 dance companies.
- Even people in wheelchairs can dance! Such dancing is very popular in Europe where there are even competitions in Latin dances with special wheelchair choreographies.
- Professional dance is today regarded as one of the most demanding physical abilities and sports. According to studies, 80% of all professional dances have at least one major injury during their career and staggering 93% of all dance teachers were forced into that position after career ending injury.
- High amount of injuries in professional dancing is induced by high levels of fatigue, little time for rest, inadequate healing techniques and high stress levels. All those factors can produce burn out periods when dancers have decreased strength, coordination, cognitive and immune functions.
- Lion Dance is one of the most popular religious and ceremonious dances in China and surrounding countries of Taiwan, Korea and Japan. This dance can signify bringing of good fortune, ward of evil spirits and be an excellent showcase in martial arts proficiency.
After several thousand years, dancing managed to completely infuse itself into our way of life. Here you can find more information about this fascinating activity and the impact it can have on our lives.
Since the dawn of human civilization, dance remained in close connection with us. Here you can find out more about this fascinating part of our culture, all from its roots in ancient civilizations to the modern times.
Thousand years of innovations and evolution created modern dance that we all enjoy today. Here you can find out more about specific dance styles and the way they are implemented and created.
There are many specific dances which can be sorted into single dance styles or families of related dances. Here you can read more about specific dances and variants of a specific dance.
Facts about Dancing
- Professional dances are today regarded as athletes.
- Dancing is very beneficial to your health. It lowers the chances for heart and blood vessel diseases, improves posture and weight, reduces stress and tension, improve brain function because of constant presence of music, and can improve relationship between dance partners.
- Because of the need to maintain strict head position while dancing, doctors often prescribe use of dance for those patients that need to develop their peripheral vision.
- First balled dancer that used pointe shoes was Marie Taglioni in 1832 ballet "La Sylphide".
- One tutu shoe cost up to $2000 dollars to be made, and one ballerina wears between 2 and three pairs per week.
- Because of high physical demand on their bodies, most professional dances retire from dancing during their mid-30s.
- Famous modern dance Cha-Cha originated from Cuba.
- Famous energetic ballroom dance can-can (or cancan), which is performed by the row of female dances in long skirts originated form 1830s Paris ballrooms.
- Origin of tap-dancing comes from the tribal dances of African slaves. Their arrival in North America introduced that dance to the western audiences.
- Dancing with metal tap shoes became popular in United States during 1920s and 1930s. One of the most famous tap-dancing performers of that time were Nicholas brothers, who were instrumental into bringing that style of dance into Hollywood movies.
- Famous movie stars such as Fred Astaire, Ray Bolger and Gene Kelley used tap-dancing to enchant the minds of the worldwide audience with great success.
- Hindu religion has very close relationship to dance and music. This connection can most visible be seen in their countless Bollywood movies that all celebrate dancing.
- One of the dances that managed to completely change the landscape of dance history is polka! This energetic dance that was focused for young women that liked to jump, hop and turn swept across the world in mid-19th century.
- Dancing represent great physical exercise for the people of all age. It can be safely practiced from the age of 2 to 102!
- Many historical waves of dances were perceived as the "destructors" of the old way of dance. Examples of that can be found in the 1920's Charleston and the era of Rock music.
- First ballroom dance that was ever created is Italian Viennese Waltz.
- One of the reason that ballroom dancing is starting to return into popularity is because famous TV competition show "Dancing with the Stars".
- African slaves that were brought in Brazil 300-400 years ago were prohibited from practicing martial arts. Therefore, they developed the mix of dancing and fighting that is known today as capoeira.
- Breakdancing was first created as a "less lethal" form of fighting between warring African-American street gangs in 1970s Bronx area of New York City. This form of dancing re-emerged into worldwide popularity during 1990s.
- Dance marathon competition started as early as 14th century England. They reached height of their popularity in the bloom of US entertainment expansion during 1930s depression era. Some competitions were performed in the 22 day long marathons.
- The most sensual dance of modern times is without a doubt a Tango. It originated from 1890s Argentina, but it quickly became very successful in Europe.
3, 4, 5, 6 - at what age should a child be given to dancing.
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3, 4, 5, 6 or what age to send a child to dance
So, you have decided to enroll your child in ballroom dancing.
And here comes the moment of a difficult choice: at what age is it better to give the baby to take up ballroom dancing, so that, on the one hand, he does not miss the right moment, and on the other hand, so that the child likes it, he develops and enjoys the classes?
Child 3 years old
For children of 3 years old, ballroom dancing itself is very difficult, since the child has not yet formed the necessary muscles responsible for the coordination of movements necessary for children in ballroom dancing. At 3 years old, a child is not able to hold attention for at least 30 minutes, and this attention is just necessary in order to explain and learn the movements of ballroom dancing with children. There is also a risk that at 3 years old children, even having learned the movements of sports ballroom dancing, will not be able to perform them correctly, because. at this age, the baby still cannot control himself and the quality of performance.
Thus, do not rush to send a child at the age of 3 to ballroom dancing. At this age, general gymnastics and exercises, which are done with children in kindergartens, will bring more benefit to children. In general, take your time and wait a year - let your baby grow up.
Child 4 years old
Children 4 years old can hold attention for a maximum of 30 - 45 minutes. At the age of 4 years, as at 3 years old, the child is not at all interested in how the hip works, or how to place the leg correctly, and other tricks of sports ballroom dancing. If at the age of 4 you send your child to a group of sports ballroom dancing, then at the lessons themselves, sports ballroom dancing in its pure form will not be practiced with the baby yet.
So what will children do in ballroom dancing classes for children? Answer: play! Based on the movements that children will soon need in ballroom dancing, the coach will create various game dances. During such sports ballroom dancing classes for children, children do laundry, travel by transport, walk in the forest, try on various roles. Thus, in essence, these are the same rhythmic, stretching and choreography classes that are suitable for children 3-4 years old.
Child 5 years old
So your child is already 5 years old and already smart enough to understand the complex movements of ballroom dancing. At this age, a child can be taught not only to directly perform movements, but also to perform them qualitatively. At 5 years old, the child can already track how well he lifted his leg or accurately performed the position. Children who started dancing at the age of 5 outperform children of the same age, who started ballroom dancing at 3-4 years old, in terms of the level of dancing. they learn to perform movements immediately correctly, and not in the way they succeed.
Child 6 years old
At the age of 6 it is not too late to send children to ballroom dancing. However, here you also need to consider at what age you send your child to school. It is best to first send the child to dances, and then to school, thus spreading these events in the child's life in different years so as not to overload him. At the age of 6, children already very consciously perform movements, control the quality and result. Also, at the age of 6, children perceive information from the coach well, and classes are held with maximum efficiency.
See also: Ballroom dancing is the best way to develop the intellect!
Dance club "Elite" invites children aged 4 to choreography and rhythm classes, and children aged 5-6 years to groups of sports ballroom dancing.
I want to dance. 10 misconceptions about dancing
The desire to learn to dance is natural and natural in the modern world. You can list the reasons, starting with obvious and popular pragmatic desires, for example, to start moving or losing weight, ending with unconscious and even existential ones.
This is due to the fact that dancing is at the subtle intersection of the inner and outer worlds, physical and spiritual. Above this, music becomes a driver that cannot leave anyone indifferent.
In dancing there is magic inside a person, which is not always noticeable when viewed from the side. At the initial stage, it is the external picture that attracts to dances, and sometimes repels, as it seems too frivolous and superficial.
But there are even stronger obstacles that stop many people from starting dancing. These illusions and delusions roam the minds of the majority, and are often afraid to ask about them directly, or they ask the question about it so often that they are no longer ready to hear an honest direct answer. I will try to do it in this article.
There are many examples of contemporary dance instructors sharing their thoughts about not expecting to be in the dance industry. Once upon a time there was a man and was engaged in adult, serious business. Sometimes even very serious. A person could have children and even grandchildren. I saw dances only on stage or on TV. For reasons unknown to himself, he ended up in dances. At first, everything seemed like entertainment and a useful pastime. But time has passed, and a person catches himself thinking that he thinks about dancing not just every day, but really all the time. A couple of years pass, and he already becomes a teacher or organizer of some event.
A similar path can start at 15 or 55 years old. The only difference will be in the self-perception of the starting stage, that it’s too late to dance. In fact, for each age there is its own dance direction, which can reveal it to the greatest extent at this stage. Hip-hop or breaking is closer to children and teenagers, and Argentine tango is closer to adults. It's never too late to start dancing. You need to make the right choice of dance style based on several parameters: age, gender, music, goal. There is a dance direction for any arrangement.
Misconception 2: Men don't dance
Our culture has a number of restrictions related to dancing. Most of these causes are psychological and lie outside the realm of rational reasoning.
First, in our culture, in principle, dancing for pleasure or self-expression appeared relatively recently. 20-30 years ago dance clubs were only for children. To start dancing even in adolescence was considered exotic.
Secondly, the aesthetics of the body in our country for men is not in the focus of attention. In general, this can be attributed to the fact that Russian men try hard not to draw attention to their appearance and clothing. Men in our country use other tools for this.
Third, dancing is associated with entertainment and alcohol. If a man feels serious and respectable, then he either does not have time or desire for this.
Nowadays the general cultural background has changed and the result is that men are learning to dance. It becomes as much a sign of masculinity as clothing, hair or beard.
Unfortunately, many misconceptions remain even among those who have already started dancing. Dance teachers do not always pay attention to this, as it seems to them that this is a matter of course.
Fallacy 3: special training is needed
For an outside observer, there is always a cognitive dissonance about what dance is. What he sees on the big stage in the form of a show with sweeping movements and splits is obviously dancing. Breakers doing unimaginable elements in the air and on their hands, competing with each other, also seem to be dancing. Pensioners in the park waltz. Dancing again, but for some reason everyone is so different. How to understand that this is a dance, and what physical criteria should be in the body.
In fact, any self-expression through the body to music can be attributed to dance. There are a number of reservations, but they are not essential. For self-expression, a person uses the set of plastics that he has. Subtlety and technique do not depend on extreme ways of self-expression, and it often happens that splits and somersaults interfere with a meaningful dance. The development of plasticity and the expansion of the body's capabilities are part of the preparation of the dancer, but not an end in itself.
Misconception 4: You must learn to dance in pairs
In couple dancing, the final learning outcome is that the couple dances at a party. It would seem that you should always train together to get the desired result. This is not true. Let's take an example from boxing. An indicator of a boxer's skill is a fight with an opponent, but this does not mean that he constantly has to fight. Also, the ability to dance is built on the possession of one's own body and the ability to interact.
The skill of the teacher is the correct selection of methods so that the student masters the skill. Based on the skill, you can engage in creativity and self-expression in dance. Not everyone knows, but it is no coincidence that almost all social dance dancers have a serious dance background, which is based on the development of individual techniques.
The same can be attributed to the interaction in a pair. The ability to separate in oneself the one who leads and the one who follows the lead is impossible within the framework of studying the sequence of movements in pairs. For this, there are special exercises that make the skill more versatile. For this, the presence of a permanent couple is not necessary, as well as the regular presence of a partner in general.
IMPORTANT! You can’t experiment at a party, and everything should be in its place there: men dance with women.
Getting rid of illusions is a complex internal process. If you leave them to yourself, you can even get the opposite result.
Misconception 5: plastique and stretching are mandatory attributes of dance
Much depends on the genre of dance that you want to master. In previous articles, I have already mentioned that different dance styles are suitable for different ages. It is appropriate to dance hip-hop in adolescence or youth, Argentine tango is a more adult dance, it is important to enter classical choreography at a young age.
The degree of necessary plasticity and sensitivity to the dance direction also correlates. For example, breaking requires great physical effort and dexterity. Elements are built on acrobatics and high speed of execution. Who are they more suitable for? Obviously young people.
There is a lot of interaction in salsa. It is necessary to feel the partner subtly, to be able to show a variety of figures and elements. Twine or acrobatics are completely inappropriate here. However, a variety of ways to show oneself are required. Accordingly, the dance is youthful, but not at all childish.
The older the dance, the less stretching or acrobatics is required. The main emphasis is on the quality of technology, the variety of ideas and the ability to show plasticity.
Misconception 6: Mirrors are necessary for learning
There is a set of instruments that dancers use to learn how to dance. The fact is that the dancer needs to receive feedback on how his movements look from the side. It is impossible to dance and see yourself from the side at the same time. The most common tool is a mirror. But not the only one.
Like any auxiliary tool, mirrors have positive and negative effects. The positive is that they can receive feedback in real time and technically it is not very difficult. The downside can be dependence on mirrors. A situation where a dancer cannot capture the feeling of dancing, such as on stage or at a party. For these purposes, you can use, among other things, video filming or proper preparation.
In many countries in Latin America, dance classrooms are not equipped with mirrors. Classes are held in bars or large halls. The dancers initially form the skill of focusing on the inner sensation, and not the habit of looking for their reflection in the mirror with their eyes.
Misconception 7: there is a lot of obsceneness in dancing
A common question from novice dancers who are taking their first steps in more contact couple dances is “in order to dance cool, there must be passion inside the couple?”. I immediately answer that no, not necessarily. Kizomba, bachata and Argentine tango attract many with their close contact. Like any other contact in our everyday life, in dances, contact can be different. We hug friends, parents, children. These hugs can wear many different shades. Sexual overtones are one of many.
The culture of dance also includes the boundaries of what is acceptable. A compliment from a well-mannered person is different from a statement about female sexuality by a gopnik. Usually, those who study at a dance school already have an idea of what boundaries should not be crossed. A good dance from a technical point of view will never look vulgar or vulgar.
Dancers always have a choice about the boundaries of contact. Most prefer to leave a good impression of themselves, as word spreads just as fast in the dance world.
Misconception 8: the best dancers are the bearers of culture
Even the very question of the origin of this or that dance can be paradoxical and ambiguous, especially when it comes to its development and performance.
For example, the Viennese waltz did not originate in Vienna, but in Germany. Salsa has its main roots in the USA, not in Cuba. The famous Greek folk dance sirtaki was invented for the film "Zorba the Greek" and appeared only in 1964.
The same can be attributed to the development of modern dance styles. Korea is known for its world-leading break dancers. People go to Turkey for Argentine tango, Spain is strong with excellent salsa and bachata dancers, in Egypt, Russians are considered the best belly-dance performers.
A good dance is based on quality training and diligence. Skin color, place of birth and age are secondary. Exotic appearance, unfortunately, is often a reason to be more superficial about one's own professional development. This becomes the reason for the low level of teaching among the bearers of culture. I am sure that few readers of this post will be ready to conduct a master class in Russian folk dance outside of Russia.
The mastery of mastering and teaching a particular style does not depend on the dancer's homeland. And "they absorbed the dance with their mother's milk" is nothing more than a common misconception.
Misconception 9: You have to know a lot of moves to learn how to dance
Focusing on learning a lot of moves often detracts from the essence of dance. Of course, the sequence of figures is important. Especially at the start. Over time, the dancer should have an understanding of how movements can be generated independently. Accordingly, instead of memorizing millions of figures, you can understand how to create them.
From every system of improvisation that a dancer can use as an instrument, dozens, hundreds or thousands of variations are derived. This frees the head from trying to reproduce the exact sequence and definitely adds freedom in the performance of the dance.
The huge theme of musicality can be attributed to the same question. Not every pre-conceived or learned sequence will fit specific music. The dance should give freedom, and not drive the dancer into the shell of the ropes.
Misconception 10: dancing is homosexual
The unusually high attention to the body and the flair from stories about professional ballet led to the spread of this myth, among other things. Unfortunately, such an idea still exists in the minds of our fellow citizens.
The dance industry is now very broad and is represented by many dance styles. Some of them can even be called homophobic. Dances reflect the general attitude to the world and it is different depending on the life position and worldview of a person.
In many dances there is contact between the dancers. In Russia, dance contact between men has always been perceived very intensely. In most other countries it is different. An example of the fact that this tension is associated only with the dance theme and does not apply to other areas is, for example, wrestling. When practicing techniques, men are in much closer contact with each other. Sometimes lying on the floor and holding each other tightly.