Dance is an art form that purposefully recreates selected sequences of human motion. It can be imbued with the values of aesthetics and symbolism acknowledged by performers and observers from within the culture of the dance’s origin or historical period. Dance can also be a performance or recreation that goes beyond the functional purposes of work or sports and serves religious, political, economic, or social needs.
Dance can be performed in silence or to music, but may also incorporate spoken word text and poetry (either live or prerecorded). The meter of the words can provide a loose time structure that guides the dancers’ movements. The choreographer may also use the spoken phrasing as “time signatures” that indicate how many counts to hold or how much momentum is required to move to the next count.
The primary elements of dance are time, space, and energy. Time pertains to the tempo of the music and the movement’s timing, whether it is rapid or slow. Space is the movement’s design in space and includes aspects such as pathways, levels, shapes, and personal space (the body’s kinesphere). Energy flow is an aspect of movement that can be expressed as heavy/light, sharp or smooth, bound or free-flowing.
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be a great dancer to start dancing. Even if you think you have two left feet, dancing can still be a great way to exercise and socialize with friends. It’s also good to be mindful that you will likely make mistakes when starting a new dance, but that is all part of the learning process.