Dance is the movement of the human body in a rhythmic way. Dance serves many functions in human society. It is an art form, a social activity, a type of communication, and a form of recreation. People can dance by themselves, in couples, or in large groups. The dance can be spontaneous or performed in established movements. It can tell a story, explore an emotion, or serve as a form of self-expression. Many people dance as a career, but anyone can dance simply by moving in rhythm. Dance is among the oldest human art forms. Dancing extends beyond the human species itself. For example, many animals perform complex dances during courtship.
Dance differs from other kinds of rhythmic movement, such as dribbling a basketball, because in dance the movement itself is the goal of the activity. Music usually accompanies dance, providing the rhythm, tempo, and mood for the movements. In modern societies, many people enjoy dancing simply for entertainment. Each generation creates new dances as an expression of its own sense of life and fun. For example, rock dancing arose about 1960 with the popularity of rock music. This type of dance was created primarily by and for young people. Rock dances such as the twist did not require partners to touch each other while they danced. The dancing was free-spirited and individual, allowing each dancer to create his or her own steps spontaneously. Rock dancing stressed pure emotion underscored by the strong beat of the music.
Why do people dance?
Religious reasons: For thousands of years, human beings have danced for religious reasons. Many religions involve some form of dance. Many religious dances are forms of prayer. Believers dance as they pray for rain, for the fertility of crops, and for success in war or in hunting. Such dances often imitate or pantomime some movement. For example, dancers may imitate the movement of the animal to be hunted, or a hunter's actions in stalking it. They may wear elaborate costumes and... [continues]
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