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Dance - Dance - Dance

March 08, 2023 3:00 PM | Anonymous

Throughout history, people from many different cultures and backgrounds come together and express themselves.

As with food and music, every dance style has its own history and comes from a specific part of the world.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of dance styles that exist.  

People most likely have always danced, but there's proof of it that is thousands of years old! These cave drawings from India are from 9,000 years ago.


Ballet was first developed by European aristocrats, most notably Louis XIV of France, who was also known as the Sun King. Ballet steps are taught throughout the world in French.

Other famous figures in ballet include Marius Petipa, who choreographed classics such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker; George Balanchine, who founded the New York City Ballet and developed a distinctive, American style; and Misty Copeland, who is a leading ballerina of today and the first black, female dancer with the American Ballet Theater in New York City.

Ballet is meant to be performed, and often is set to orchestral music.The movements are precise, graceful and formal. Women often wear pointe shoes, which allows them to appear lighter and more lifted. Men often partner women, lifting them off the ground and turning them. 

Some male dancers, such as those at Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, also wear pointe shoes and partner each other. In the past fifty years, some choreographers have blended ballet with other styles such as jazz, modern and tango.

Ballet was first danced in Italy during the Renaissance and later in the royal courts of France, Russia, Denmark and England. Today, ballet is performed in opera houses and theaters all over the world. Although ballet is probably still most popular in Europe, it has been especially embraced by Cuba, Argentina, China and the United States.

Hip Hop

Hip hop was born in primarily Black and Latinx communities in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Los Angeles during the 1970s. Many people think that early hip hop movements imitated the “Good Foot” dance that James Brown performed in 1972. Michael Jackson was another early inspiration for hip hop movement.

Many early hip hop stars belonged to dance crews such as Rock Steady Crew and Chain Reaction. Hip hop dance and music are closely intertwined, and many hip hop music artists also are dancers.

There are many different forms of hip hop, including breaking, which was the first hip hop style, locking, popping, jerkin’,and krumping. Hip hop is performed as well as danced in social settings. 

Hip hop dancers also compete against one another in performances called battles. The movement is isolated, segmented, rhythmic and athletic. It often includes fast footwork and acrobatic floor movement.

Hip hop was first danced on American city streets and at parties and was closely connected to hip hop music. The first hip hop developed in the Bronx in New York City, but it quickly spread to other American cities and is now popular all over the world.

Hip hop is still danced in social and outdoor settings, but it is also featured in many music videos and on popular dance T.V. shows such as America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance.

Hip hop has dominated global popular and street culture in the past few decades. Hip hop dance is seen throughout the world, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Popular music forms, such as K-Pop, often incorporate hip hop dance in performances and videos.

Inspired by and edited from original article at:

© Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County

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