The World of Dance

By: Diana Zani

Hello my name is Diana, and I would like to inform you about the many different forms of dance.  The most common forms of dance that are seen in today’s society are hip-hop and ballet, but there are many more as well.  These include tap, contemporary, lyrical, and ballroom. In addition, each region of the world has its own dance styles such as Irish step, African dance, the salsa, and Chinese folk dances.  While there are many styles, I’m going to focus on tap, hip-hop, and ballet as I have trained in these styles.

Tap dance was invented in the United States in the early 20th century by combining European clog dancing and West African step dancing.  It gained popularity through movies featuring Shirly Temple, Fred Astiare, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly.  The shoe differs from typical leather dance shoes, as it has metal plates screwed into the heel and ball of the foot to accentuate the sound.  You can see modern day tap in movies like “LaLa Land” and Billy Elloit.

Hip Hop evolved from African dance into what is one of the most popular styles in today’s society.  Early forms of the style are traced back to the southern Bronx of the late 1970s.  Some defining features of the style are its sharp motions and low positions.  Unlike tap and ballet, hip hop can be done anywhere.  You can see hip hop in many places including TV, music videos, movies, and street dancing.

Ballet was one of the first styles of traditional dance, and originated in Italy during the Renaissance.  It moved to France in the 16th century with the marriage of Catherine Medici to King Henry II of France.  The Russians took the lead next and created some of the most famous ballets such as “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker”.  Ballet has two different kinds of shoes: Ballet slippers used by dancers under the age of 12 and professional warming up, as well as pointe shoes used by more experienced dancers and professionals.  The base of a pointe shoe is made of a cardboard platform, which supports a dancer’s foot while on high releve (aka : on your toes).  

As I covered above, there are many different styles of dance, and still this barely begins to scratch the surface of the world of dance.  While there are many differences among dance styles, they are all united by music and body movement.  I hope you enjoyed reading my blog.  I myself learned a lot while writing it and I hope you did too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *