Main article: History of dance
Dance does not leave behind clearly identifiable physical artifacts such as stone tools, hunting implements or cave paintings. It is not possible to say when dance became part of human culture. Dance has certainly been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Archeology delivers traces of dance from prehistoric times such as the 9,000 year old Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from circa 3300 BC. One of the earliest structured uses of dances may have been in the performance and in the telling of myths. It was also sometimes used to show feelings for one of the opposite gender. It is also linked to the origin of "love making." Before the production of written languages, dance was one of the methods of passing these stories down from generation to generation. Another early use of dance may have been as a precursor to ecstatic trance states in healing rituals. Dance is still used for this purpose by many cultures from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert. Sri Lankan dances goes back to the mythological times of aboriginal yingyang twins and "yakkas" (devils). According to a Sinhalese legend, Kandyan dances originate, 250 years ago, from a magic ritual that broke the spell on a bewitched king. Many contemporary dance forms can be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial, and ethnic dance. Partner Dancing in Art
Dance at Bougival by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1882–83)
Eadweard Muybridge's phenakistoscope "A Couple Waltzing" (c.1893) Dance classification and genres
Main articles: List of basic dance topics and List of dances Dance categories by number of interacting dancers are mainly solo dance, partner dance and group dance. Dance is performed for various purposes like ceremonial dance, erotic dance, performance dance,...