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Sports: Dancing

[ Background | Equipment | Where ]

By: Wendy Holmquist
Dance Dynamics Studio, Thunder Bay, ON
807-766-0066

Background

Dance is arguably the one art; so often described, as art in motion, the only living canvas where the artist can also be the substance of which the masterpiece is created; that has crossed over the barriers to become not only an art, but also a recreational hobby or sport.

Dance is broadly defined as a human behaviour characterized by movements of the body that are expressive rather than purely functional. Walking, running and jumping in some instances can be described as dance but; it is the social, emotional, and intellectual motivation, which distinguishes this movement as dance.

Dance is an instinctive response to such naturally occurring cycles of the moon and sun and the beat of the human heart. This explains why dance is often rhythmic. People have danced for many different reasons: as a form of religious devotion or invocation, as a recreational diversion, as a mating ritual, as entertainment, as a pleasing form of exercise, as physical or psychological therapy, or simply to express something that cannot find voice in words. As long as there have been people, there has also been dance.

Today, dance encompasses all corners of the world - with the long established ethnic dances; ballroom dancing; traditional ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary to musical theatre, acrobatic dance, hip hop and pop 'n locking. It is ever evolving requiring nothing more than the joy of movement, or requiring as much physical and mental strength and agility as an Olympic athlete.

The popularity of shows like So You Think Can Dance and Dancing with Stars has opened the doors of this fabulous art/activity for millions across the planet.

Ethnic Dancing

two dancers

Today, ethnic dancing is used to foster an understanding and awareness of world cultures through the re-creation and presentation of traditional ethnic dance and music.
It is believed that ethnic dance is the true affirmations of human artistic expression. It allows for history of different cultures to be passed down from generation to generation. Ethnic dancing acknowledges the inherent beauty and dignity of all peoples.

Traditional Children's Dance Lessons

braodway style dancer

Ballet
Ballet is one of the world's most graceful dance styles. Ballerinas spend years in training, striving to perfect their technique. It is widely believed to be a good dancer in any other genre you first must have a solid ballet background.

Tap
Apart from being an essential skill for the professional dancer, tap dance is one of the most enjoyable and rhythmic forms of recreational dance. Using a tap (a piece of moulded metal or metal alloy) that is attached to the bottom of a shoe with short screws, the tap dancer can produce a variety of percussion sounds and rhythms.

Jazz
Jazz dancing is a form of dance that showcases a dancer's individual style and originality. Every jazz dancer interprets and executes moves and steps in their own way. Jazz dancing is energetic and fun, consisting of unique moves, fancy footwork, big leaps, and quick turns. To excel in jazz, dancers need a strong background in ballet, as it encourages grace and balance.

Other Dance Forms

teen dancer

There are almost as many other forms of dance today as there are types of people willing to try them.

The list is endless and there is something for everyone, here are just a few:
Street Dancing has given us such forms as break dancing, hip hop, pop 'n lock, and crumping. These are high energy, usually full of stunts and intricate body isolations. A style that is very popular among the male population.

Line, Square, and Rounding dancing - is a very social form of dancing where singles and couples can meet people and have fun at the same time.

Ballroom dancing - This style of dance has grown in popularity over the past few years and encompasses everything from your traditional waltz and fox trot to the jive and sexy salsa.

Musicals/ Theme Parks/ Broadway
Dancing has become an intricate part of performances in all walks of life. Musical theatre performances can be seen everywhere from, your local high school drama clubs production to Canada's Wonderland Theme Parks to New York's Mamma Mia.

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Equipment

Equipment can be as simple as a cardboard box on the street corner with someone banging out a rhythm on light post, to a basic body suit and leotard with a pair of ballet slippers in a city run recreational program, to big $$ to train with the top choreographers in the world at the most prestigious schools. It all depends on what level you want to take your dancing to. Ultimately, dance in one form or another is affordable to everyone who can move.


Where


There are several different amateur dance schools & clubs where you can learn how to dance:

Ethnic


Jazz, Tap, Ballet etc.


Line/ Square/Round Dancing

Belly Dancing



Ballroom Dancing


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