Diverse Dance: A Movement Medley

Celebrate National Dance Day on the last Saturday of July – July 27, 2019! This special day was founded by Nigel Lythgoe, the co-creator of So You Think You Can Danceand co-president of the Dizzy Feet Foundation.


Ever tried dance? It’s time to get moving! With so many different kinds of dance – from ballet to belly dance – try a healthy variety and stick with your favorite(s). Not only will you get a good workout, you will have fun along the way, and may make some new friends.

Dancing can be an exciting social experience. Meet new people and bond with them in your dance class or event. And enjoy dancing at almost any age. Enroll your toddler in creative movement classes or your grandparents in social dancing classes and events. Dare to be a dancer. You will learn and practice new skills that will keep you challenged as you explore a new vocabulary and way of thinking and moving, which is a lot like learning another language.


Can’t choose just one? Go for a dance medley. But first, start with ballet. . .

BALLET– Known as the backbone of dance, learning the basics of ballet can provide an ideal foundation to branch out into other forms of dance. Find your core and get more centered, adopt the grace and fluidity that’s unique to ballet, and develop a framework to build on. Ballet combines technique with artistry and athleticism. Whether you’re a newbie or a professional, take ballet on a regular basis to stay sharp mentally and to stay in shape physically. The more advanced ballet dancer can take pointe classes (12 years old or older) and will be challenged dancing with a partner in pas de deux classes.

MODERN/CONTEMPORARY– Modern dance tends to be more free-form and abstract, whereas contemporary dance combines movements from various styles of ballet, modern, jazz, and hip-hop.

HIP-HOP/JAZZ– Both styles emerged from American and African-American culture. Jazz began in the 1920s, whereas hip-hop came about in the 1970s, gaining popularity with street dance. Michael Jackson’s moon-walking is a jazz technique, whereas pop-locking, freestyle, and break dancing belong to hip-hop.

TAP– Rhythmic dance and performing art with theatrical roots are especially popular on Broadway, classic musicals, and old films. Foot movements may include shuffling, chugging, scooping, and brushing in different patterns.

ETHNIC DANCE– Rich roots of dance are worldwide and many cultures express themselves through movement. Explore Indian classical dance, Chinese fan dance, African dance, Latin dance, Irish dance, and many other types of dance from different areas of the world.

SOCIAL DANCE– Grab a partner and have fun with ballroom, foxtrot, country western, contra dance, swing, folk, Latin, salsa/bachata, and tango.

DANCE FITNESS– Have fun and get fit! Pick up the pace, get your heart rate up, and burn calories with aerobic dance fitness classes you can take at your local gym or online. Try belly dance, Zumba, and cardio dance.

IMPROVISATION– Spontaneously creating and exploring movement is an exciting way to express yourself artistically. Challenge yourself to be different and dynamic with lots of level changes. Try moving from floor work to turns and jumps. Stay mindfully present as you freely exercise your mind and body.

CHOREOGRAPHY– Enjoy the challenge of learning, memorizing, practicing, and even performing a designed dance, known as dance composition. Whether it’s your own choreography or that of a choreographer’s, focus on details and patterns you link together seamlessly as you dance.

Want to know and grow outside of your dance class or event? Do a search on YouTube.com for dance tutorials and instruction in any form of dance, and go at your own pace. Learn and grow by leaps and bounds!

And remember to move through that space with a smile on your face. Dance isn’t just for the elite. You may think you have two left feet, but you can always move to the beat!



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