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Ballet is a specific academic dance form and technique which is taught in ballet schools according to specific methods. There are many ballet schools around the world that specialize in various styles of ballet and different techniques offered. Works of dance choreographed using this technique are called ballets, and usually include dance, mime, acting, and music (usually orchestral but occasionally vocal). Ballet is best known for its unique features and techniques, such as pointe work, turn-out of the legs, and high extensions; its graceful, flowing, precise movements; and its ethereal qualities. These carefully organized movements tell a story or express an idea.
Ballroom dance, refers collectively to a set of partner dances, which originated in the Western world and are now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the globe. Its performance and entertainment aspects are also widely enjoyed on stage, in film, and on television.
While historically ballroom dance may refer to any form of formal social dancing as recreation, with the eminence of dancesport in modern times the term has became much narrower in scope, usually referring specifically to the International Standard and International Latin style dances (see dance groupings below). In the United States, two additional variations—"American Smooth" and "American Rhythm"—have also been popularized and are commonly recognized as styles of "ballroom dance".
Breakdance, breaking, b-boying or b-girling is a street dance style that evolved as part of the hip hop movement among African American and Latin American youths in the South Bronx of New York City during the early 1970s. It is normally danced to funk or hip hop music, often remixed to prolong the breaks, and is arguably the best known of all hip hop dance styles.
Breakdancing is generally unstructured and highly improvisational, allowing the incorporation of many different elements. A basic routine might include toprock, a transition into downrock, a display of power moves, and finally a climactic freeze or suicide.
Capoeira is an African-Brazilian fight-dance, game, and martial art created by enslaved Africans during the 16th Century. Participants form a roda (circle) and take turns playing instruments, singing, and sparring in pairs in the centre of the circle. The game is marked by fluid acrobatic play, feints, subterfuge, and extensive use of groundwork, as well as sweeps, kicks, and headbutts. Technique and strategy are the key elements to playing a good game. Capoeira has three main styles, known as "regional", "Angola", and the less-well defined "contemporânea".
El baile flamenco is a highly-expressive solo dance, known for its emotional sweeping of the arms and rhythmic stomping of the feet. While flamenco dancers (bailaors and bailaoras) invest a considerable amount of study and practice into their art form, the dances are not choreographed, but are improvised along the palo or rhythm. In addition to the percussion provided by the heels of the dancers striking the floor, castanets are sometimes held in the hands and clicked together rapidly to the rhythm of the music. Sometimes, folding fans are used for visual effect.
The Foxtrot (also: "Fox trot", "foxtrot", "fox trot") is a ballroom dance which takes its name from its inventor, the vaudeville actor Harry Fox. According to legend, Fox was unable to find female dancers capable of performing the more difficult two-step. As a result, he added stagger steps (two trots), creating the basic Foxtrot rhythm of slow-slow-quick-quick. The dance was premiered in 1914, quickly catching the eye of the talented husband and wife duo, Vernon and Irene Castle, who lent the dance its signature grace and style. It was later standardized by Arthur Murray, in whose version it began to imitate the positions of American Tango.
Indian classical dance is a misnomer, and actually refers to Natya, the sacred Hindu musical theatre styles. Its theory can be traced back to the Natya Shastra of Bharata Muni (400 BC).
Dances performed inside the sanctum of the temple according to the rituals were called Agama Nartanam. This was a spiritual dance form.
Dances performed in royal courts to the accompaniment of classical music were called Carnatakam. This was an intellectual art form.
Darbari Aatam form of dance appealed more to the commoners and it educated them about their religion, culture and social life. These dances were performed outside the temple precincts in the courtyards.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi currently confers classical status on eight "dance" forms: Bharatanatyam; Kathak; Kathakali; Kuchipudi; Manipuri, Mohiniaattam; Odissi and Sattriya.
A line dance is a formation dance in which a group of people dance in one or more lines, executing the same movements. Certain line dances may be considered variations of circle dances, where people are joined by hands in chain, e.g., the Dabke dance of the Middle East. In fact, most circle dances may be danced in a line formation, rather than in a circle; this is most common when only a small number of dancers are available.
Salsa refers to a fusion of informal dance styles having roots in Cuba and the Caribbean, Latin America and North America. Salsa is danced to Salsa music. There is a strong African influence in the music and the dance.
Salsa is usually a partner dance, although there are recognized solo steps and some forms are danced in groups of couples, with frequent exchanges of partner. Improvisation and social dancing are important elements of Salsa but it appears as a performance dance too.
Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance of Brazilian origin in 2/4 time danced under the Samba music. However, there are three steps to every bar, making the Samba feel like a 3/4 timed dance. Its origins include the Maxixe. There are two major streams of Samba dance that differ significantly: the Brazilian Samba music has been danced in Brazil since its inception in the late 19th century. There is actually a set of dances, rather than a single dance, that define the Samba dancing scene in the country; thus, no one dance can be claimed with certainty as the "original" Samba style.
Square dance is a folk dance where four couples are in a square beginning with Couple 1 (the couple facing away from the music) and going counter-clockwise until getting to Couple 4. Couples 1 and 3 are known as the head couples, while Couples 2 and 4 are known as the side couples. Each dance begins and ends each sequence in a square formation, with one couple on each side of a square. This is called being in your "sets-in-order". The dance was first described in 17th century England but was also quite common in France and throughout Europe and bears a marked similarity to Scottish Country Dancing. It has become associated with the United States of America due to its historic development in that country. Nineteen U.S. states have designated it as their official state dance.
Tango is a social dance originating in Buenos Aires Argentina. The musical styles that evolved together with the dance are also known as "tango".
Early tango was known as tango criollo, or simply tango. Today, there are many tango dance styles, including Argentine Tango, Uruguayan Tango, Ballroom tango (American and International styles), Finnish tango, Chinese tango, and vintage tangos. The Argentine tango is often regarded as the "authentic" tango since it is closest to that originally danced in Argentina and Uruguay, though other types of tango have developed into mature dances in their own right.
Music and dance elements of tango are popular in activities related to dancing, such as figure skating, synchronized swimming, etc., because of its dramatic feeling and its cultural associations with romance and love.
Tap dance was born in the United States during the nineteenth century, and today is popular all around the world. The name comes from the tapping sound made when the small metal plates on the dancer's shoes touch a hard floor. This lively, rhythmic tapping makes the performer not just a dancer, but also a percussive musician (and thus, for example, the American composer Morton Gould was able to compose a "concerto for tap dancer and orchestra"). The Encyclopedia Britannica definition for tap dance is: A style of American theatrical dance using precise rhythmical patterns of foot movement and audible foot tapping.
A waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in 3/4 time, done primarily in closed position.
The waltz first became fashionable in Vienna around the 1780s, spreading to many other countries in the years to follow. The waltz, and especially its closed position, became the example for the creation of many other ballroom dances. Subsequently, new types of waltz have developed, including many folk and several ballroom dances.
In the 19th century the word primarily indicated that the dance was a turning one; one would "waltz" in the polka to indicate rotating rather than going straight forward without turning.