Why We Dance: History and Culture
Dance is a universal language.
Whether we are aware of it or not, dance has existed in the world of humans since the beginning. With references of dance dating back as far as the Old and New Testament, to celebratory tribal dances around a ceremonial fire, to a Latin dance social today, dance is all around. Not only does dance give us joy, but it also gives us a window into history of so many different cultures, each one different and unique, and fantastic to learn about.
I have had the privilege of travelling across the seas outside of the U.S.A in my life. I have always said that being exposed to other cultures outside of your own can teach you so much, and that you can truly grow as a person just by being able to compare and contrast what you know to what you don’t. For me, dance does just that. Different communities all over the world have dance styles that represent them, it is amazing to realize how much exists, and it is all made of people. There is such a vast variety of dances out there, many, admittedly, of which I have no idea about, and yet, for those very reasons, dance is so important in each of our cultures.
From my personal experience, I have learned SO much from each of the genres of dance that I have been introduced to. Ballet, for instance, has taught me so much about the development of one of the most classical forms of dance, dating all the way back to the year 1600 with King Louis XIV of France and his royal court. On a completely other end of the dance world, I have learned the rich culture and history of salsa and many Latin dances, born through Afro-Cuban roots and spreading to numerous countries in South America and beyond for development and influence. I honestly feel that I am the cultured person today that I want to be because dance has shown me just how beautiful different cultures and their music are.
I believe that dancing, whether it be for a hobby, profession, appreciation, or celebration, is so important for people to expose themselves to. Those who dance will meet so many different people, and will hear such a great variety of music, ultimately opening us more as human to new experiences and meeting new people. That is why I recommend that if you have the time, take a dance class, or see a dance performance of some kind, and you will be able to see how people express themselves through movement, and have fun at the same time. I am happy to offer a wide variety of dance classes in Atlanta that span across different genres, as well as showcasing different social opportunities and routines in performances for you to enjoy. And who knows- you might just learn a thing or two about history and culture in the process (:
Check out this great list of some world dances that represent a few cultures from all over the world, from World Atlas: