Dance has been an integral component of human civilization from its inception. Dance can serve a number of functions such as recreation, amusement, health benefits and supporting social interactions as well as religious ceremonies or celebrating special occasions.
There are various dance forms, which can be classified based on country, region, ethnicity and style. Popular examples of such dance forms are ballet, hip hop and numerous folk dances from across the globe.
Aerial dance (also referred to as acrobatic or contemporary aerial dance) is an increasingly popular form of contemporary dance that blends elements from circus arts with dance movements on an aerial apparatus (fabric, rope, trapeze pole, Chinese pole or hoops) that are designed to convey emotion and create an air of mystery for audiences. Aerial dance uses both floor-based movements in tandem with movement on these apparatuses (floor or wall-based movements and/or movement on an aerial apparatus such as fabric rope trapeze Chinese pole or hoops) in tandem to convey emotion or create an aura of mystery that leaves audiences speechless!
Traditional dance is limited in its ability to explore vertical space, while aerial dance goes further by taking advantage of vertical space exploration. Aerial dancers use their bodies’ strength in an altered state to convey modern ideas and concepts through aerial dancing; such as during productions of Western ballet or opera such as Giselle where Wilis were flown in using harnesses and wires.
Though dancers require technical skill sets for success in aerial dancing, no specific appearance or fitness level are needed in order to become aerial dancers. A simple passion for moving the body while suspended in the air and an eagerness to build strength are sufficient prerequisites to becoming an aerial dancer.
Two main forms of aerial dance exist: vertical and acrobatic. Vertical dance involves dancing suspended from rope or cable with harness, exploring gravity vs weightlessness as well as exploring all possible movement options in suspension state. Acrobatic dance resembles circus arts where high-flying feats are performed to impress audiences.
Aerial Dance is an emerging art form that blends yoga, ballet and contemporary dance with gymnastics and circus training to produce an exquisite yet powerful form of movement that can be learned by students of any age and physical condition. Aerial Dance for Dancers provides teachers and students alike all of the tools needed to understand this unique dance genre by providing descriptions of aerial rigging equipment, safety instructions for aerial and floor movements as well as lesson examples with time management strategies and illustrations of essential aerial dance positions – everything you need for aerial dancing at every level!
Hip Hop Dance
Hip hop dance is a freestyle form of urban and rap music-influenced dancing that originated in the 1970s; originally inspired by street dancing but since expanded into styles such as b-boying, popping and locking. Men and women both engage in hip hop dance performances.
B-boying is one of the most recognizable forms of hip hop dance, known for its complex floor work and spinning motions as well as hand gestures known as burns. This style can often be seen being performed during songs breaks in popular music videos; its aggressive style lends itself well to both friendly and competitive dance battles.
Hip hop dance incorporates another element known as popping, which features quick movements and kicks with locking and jerking movements. Typically performed to hip hop or rap music, popping is another style used in this form of dance.
Locking is a form of dance which uses arm movements to form various shapes, often in tandem with popping and locking movements. This dramatic form can help interpret the beat of any song beautifully, often performed wearing baggy pants paired with a hoodie.
Jerking is a dance move which involves shaking one’s body to mimic muscle contractions, often performed to hip hop or funk music.
Hip hop dance can often be thought of as simply moving to the beat of hip hop music; however, it is actually an intricate and dynamic form of movement with its own culture, language and fashion trends. Hip hop dance has continued to develop over time and now forms part of many modern dance shows and movies.
Swing is an energetic partner dance style, performed to an array of music from blues to rock and roll. Its main characteristic is moving in one spot called a slot on the floor instead of switching directions frequently – perfect for busy dance floors! Additionally, its non-progressive style makes it very social and beginner friendly while still featuring lots of spinning, swinging and rhythmic footwork variations.
The name of this dance derives from its musical name, “swing,” which refers to its fast-paced jazz music inspiration. However, “swing” can also refer to both its origins in Harlem in the 1920s and 30s as well as to era in general; The Lindy Hop is most well known form of swing dancing that is still immensely popular today.
Other swing styles include the Jitterbug and Collegiate Shag. Both styles draw inspiration from Foxtrot; however, Jitterbug tends to be performed to rock music or other non-jazz genres while Shag is usually associated with jazz or blues music.
All variations of swing dancing rely on using a slotted dance position that enables dancers to avoid colliding with other couples on the floor. While it is regarded as good dance etiquette for couples to stay within their own slot, sometimes this may not always be practical or possible due to crowded dance floors.
Swing dance offers an expansive repertoire of steps, including forward and side-to-side walks, turns and spins. Additionally, advanced moves that require dancers to jump through the air are sometimes utilized – these typically reserved for performances and competitions.
As with other forms of partner dancing, swing dancers communicate via body language and non-verbal cues. Lead dancers referred to as leaders tend to offer to dance with female-identified followers (known as followers in swing dancing ) who may accept or decline this offer. Both partners must feel comfortable with the level of skill and energy required for each step and a safe, consentual environment must be established for all dancers involved in swing dancing.
Belly dancing is a form of Middle Eastern dance with both social and performance art elements. Also referred to as Raqs Sharqi – which translates as Eastern Dance – this form was initially developed during the early 20th century in Egypt and popularized through tours by Gypsies from that region in the West. Today its popularity continues to increase and many women of all ages enjoy its health-promoting benefits.
Traditional belly dance was performed at social gatherings such as family and community celebrations, featuring simple costumes consisting of a fitted bra top, low riding belt, skirt or pants and embellished with fringe, coins, sequins or jewels.
Belly dancing may have originated among gypsies who traveled around performing for tips. Their dancing often featured improvising to music, adding their own distinct flair. Modern belly dancing may have originated in 18th century Egypt when traveling performers known as ghawazee pioneered this form of performance dance. Over time, Middle Eastern Dance became increasingly influenced by cultures all around the world such as ballet and Latin dance styles.
Since Middle Eastern Dance can now be seen around the world, various styles can now be found within its genre. Each has their own specific characteristics but all contain similar core movements like shimmy-shimmies-adagio and kaleidoscope-twirl-turns etc.
Modern dancers refer to this dance by its modern name based on an incorrect translation of Arabic “raqs sharqi,” or Eastern Dance, which means “Eastern Dance.” Although many dancers still use this name for this dynamism-packed form of expression, its inaccurate description doesn’t do justice to what makes raqs sharqi such an impressive and fascinating art form. Understanding its historical background will allow dancers to fully appreciate its beauty and subtle nuances.