World Dance Styles: History and Evolution


Since time immemorial, dance has been an integral part of culture. It embeds human values which can be both symbolic or serve the purpose of aestheticism. Dance is a freeform of expression with historical reference to India and Egypt. You can find opinions on the many dance styles available on

Dance has been linked to originate from 5300-year-old Egypt and 9000-year-old- India. It however spread about due to the expansion of kingdoms and empires like Ancient Greece, Rome, Great Britain, and lots more. Over the centuries, there has been a fusion of dance styles and everything got integrated into each other.

Today, you can learn both cultural and modern dance styles from e-learning platforms. Dance has morphed into different functions. It is used for martial activities, erotic activities, ceremonial festivals, social functions, etc. A group of people could gather around and sing folk songs while children or adults dance to those songs. Song and dance were not just entertainment. They represent cultures.

Modern dance emerged in Renaissance Europe. Since then, different noteworthy periods in history saw the emergence of new dance styles and steps. It has since fostered human relations and expressed human thoughts. It even functions to improve physical and mental health. Dance has evolved into an occupation and it still bears strong relevance to some cultures and religions.

The different kinds of dance styles include:

·  African-American Dance:

This came with the emergence of black people in America. Through years of improvisation, the native dance styles have morphed into different dances today. Some of those dance styles are tap dance, swing, breakdance, moonwalk, disco, hip-hop, etc.

·  Indian Classical Dance:

Most regarded as “ShastriyaDevesh”, dance, it is used to worship Lord Shiva (Kala Bhairava) who is regarded as the master of dance. However, Indian dance is both the symbol of religion, culture, and art. Some of the dance styles include Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh, Kathakali from Kerala, Bharatanatyam from Tamil Nadu, Sattriya from Assam, Mohiniyattam from Kerala, Manipuri from Manipur, etc.

·  Latin/Rhythm Dance:

With Latin American origin, they feature passionate and rhythmic dance styles. They include Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Bachata, Salsa, Jive, Zumba, etc.

·  Fad Dance or Novelty:

This features crazy dance styles initially linked with African-Americans. Some of the styles are Gangnam style, the Carlton, Bunnyhop, the Smurf, etc.

·  Ceremonial Dance:

These are the dance styles for cultural or religious rituals and festivals. Different cultures of the world have their ceremonial dance steps. There are over thousands of them in the world. Some popular ceremonial dances are Indian Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam,Kathakali, etc. Ancient Egypt’s dances, England’s Long Sword’s, Morris dancing, China’s ritual dance, rapper dance, Dances of Universal Peace, etc.

·  Social Dance:

This is an informal and relaxed form of dance. It is performed at business functions, informal gatherings, wedding receptions, nightclubs, etc. Some of the styles are swing dancing, tango, waltz, line dancing, samba, nightclub freestyle, etc.

·  Street Dance:

Since the emergence of hip hop dance, the street dance takes place in parks, streets, clubs, block parties, etc. Breakdance is one of the most popular examples of these dances.

Other dance styles include Cancan, folk dance, ballet, electronic dance, fandango, aerial dance, lion dance, and lots more.


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