Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.
Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication between humans, and is also performed by other animals (bee dance, patterns of behaviour such as a mating dance). Gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are sports that incorporate dance, while martial arts kata are often compared to dances. Motion in ordinarily inanimate objects may also be described as dances (the leaves danced in the wind).
Listening in to the radio on Friday evening I heard something that made me thing about the origins of dancing in various cultures. One musical piece using a ‘folk dance’ as its root was fast and, as the presenter described, you can almost hear where they stamped their feet and clapped their hands; probably movements to warm them up on cold nights.
The origins of the earliest dancing are so far back in human history that the actual reasons for moving in a particular way, repeatedly until it becomes a known and recognised pattern in a culture are lost and gone for ever.
So why do people dance?
It’s a sort of bonding between people doing the same thing.
It’s entertainment to watch.
It lifts one out of oneself.
It’s a great form of exercise that is lots of fun to do.
It’s a form of mental and physical discipline that brings other rewards of competence in other areas of their lives.
I went to look at some, and several hours later, here are some of the better dances I found online.
So browse if you want. Me – I’m off outside to dance in the drifts of autumn leaves.
One better – Nelson Mandela dancing
Spanish for the Olympics