Dance is a way to express your emotions through the movement of your body. It is also a way to exercise, relieve stress, and improve your overall health. Dancing is a skill that requires practice, but the benefits of dancing are well worth the effort.
The art of dance can be complicated, but you can learn a lot from taking a class or observing other people dance. Some dancers develop their own style by stealing moves from friends, strangers, or music videos. If you’re willing to put in the time, it won’t take long to start picking up the basics.
There are many different styles of dance, and some require a partner. Some dances are planned in advance by a choreographer, and some follow a specific genre of music or period of history. For example, ragtime dances are done to music with ragged timing.
Some dances are ceremonial, meant to honor a special occasion or memory. These may be communal dances, such as the Maypole dance or the Jewish hora, or they may be private and personal, like the table of silence performed at Lincoln Center to commemorate 9/11.
The energy of a dance can convey a variety of emotions, including agitation, anger, playfulness, or tenderness. Other elements of a dance include its orientation, the pathways it creates in space (curved, straight, zigzagged, or random), and its size, whether it is small and contained or large and expansive. The body’s use of weight can communicate an attitude as well: is the movement light and graceful, or heavy and repressive? Is the dance full of tense and bound movements, or free and flowing?