Correlation between Dance and History

Subject: Art
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1009
Topics: Dance


Almost all subjects in the world are interconnected for instance, mathematics allows designers to measure and analyze the quality of their work. Sculptures too need design and architecture requires philosophy and science. In the end, a parametric link joins the universe. The paper looks at dance as an independent variable in life though it is also interconnected to each of the subjects offered, the paper will concentrate on history. It will bring out the influence of dance on history and the reverse. To do so, it will borrow heavily from secondary records on evolution of music and dance through time and how current choreographies are influenced by the history.

All the generations that have existed since the conception of human beings have always relied on dance as a form of enjoyment, pleasure and excitement. Through losing themselves in the rhythm, it is evident that dance presents an imperative channel for individuals to derive pleasure. The use of dance has evolved with time to demonstrate the application of dance in numerous aspects of life such as ecstasy and rituals. Ancient civilizations were observed to use dance as a form of paying allegiance to their gods. In addition, the priestesses and priests were observed to use dance to narrate religious stories in the Egyptian society. It is evident that dance has evolved with time where each generation has been observed to adopt their moves, gestures and style as a form of expression. Hence, it is evident that dance has a significant association with the historic evolution of the world.

History and Dance

Dancing can be traced to Mesopotamia when man started living in communities. Different genres of music have come up with different forms of dance. In religion, dancing has always been used as a form of praise. It is an expression of the feeling and affection towards the subject. Christians tell of a story where King David danced for God so vigorously that his cloths fell off. History of slaves and African Americans tell of choreographies borrowed from the motherland. During worships to traditional gods and ceremonies such as circumcision and marriage, people used dance in celebration. 

Dance is considered both art and science. In the 18th and 19th centuries, explorers toured the world in search of cultures and discovery. Christopher Columbus described the way of life of the American Indians stating that they were deeply cultured. They invoked God in every aspect of life. They expressed their devotion through sacrifices, painting and music. These songs of praise were accompanied by dance. The main question remains how history has affected dancing.  Because of the exploration and interconnection of communities, people have borrowed from each other so much that dancing has been evolving with time (Burkholder & Grout, 2014).

Looking at dancing today, choreographers design the dances with aims of expressing a given topic. Classical dances are presented with musical instruments but no words are involved. Through the dance, a story is told. The expressions offered regard or reflect the ideas of the creator. Each theme offered represents a given issues for instance, the rise of punk music was a way to riot against social injustice and equality. The form of dancing that was done resembled violence and aggression. Today, the same has been taken up in different genres like hip-hop music and hard metal rock. Though the dances differ, there are similarities that tell of the story intended by the dancers.

Cultural music from Asia involves smooth and slow dancing. Thailand and regions around it mainly have women dancing. Their bodies are designed in ways that allow the curves to twinkle and turn to make uniform group dances that are magnificent in every way. Similarly, the islands in Bahamas offer almost similar dances.

The type of music that a region has come up with creates the foundation of dance, the discovery of Jazz music in New Orleans invoked African like dances. As the genre spread, it changed depending on where it was listened. In the Caribbean, the Cuban Jazz became very famous in the 1970s. Unlike the common smooth Jazz of New Orleans, Cuban Jazz has a mixture of calypso music and salsa. The creation offered new form of dancing that looks like a mixture of fast salsa, hip twisting from calypso dancing and a bit of African dances from African Americans (Kim & Lee, 2016).

Influence of Dance on History

The world has been unified by dances for example, reggae music started in the islands of Jamaica. The founders of what is today called roots were more Rastafarian oriented and danced in a way that embraced nature. It was a free flow of thoughts, feeling the music and getting lost in the dance. The music spread to United States and the rest of the world. In South Africa, artists like lucky Dube took up reggae and advanced it in an African way. Te universality of the music and the messages that were sent through them unified the world. A common ground was established because people could dance to a similar form of music without feeling left out (Vestal, 2015).

21st century was welcomed with free style dancing mainly in the streets of major cities like California and New York. The dances included gymnastics and groups. Spinning and break dance took over the cities so much that it influenced and changed the culture of youths. The dress codes and hairstyles all reflected the dancing (Holt et al., 2014). Dancing crews from across the world met in competitions and showed off their skills with a bit of twit depending on where they come from. The culture has been evolving so much that today, the break dances have taken new forms. History is being shaped by dance because it defines people. How you dance and the form of music one dances to tells a story of where they are from and when they were born in fact one can tell the age of a person depending on the dance style they grew up dancing.  

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  1. Kim, J. Y., & Lee, S. M. (2016). How dance can teach the literary imagination?: Action research on dance education model for liberal arts knowledge, 2016(1), 208-208.
  2. Holt, D., Reed, S., Preece, K. L., Pickard, A., & Childs, C. (2014). Identifying dance in UK higher education.
  3. Vestal, S. (2015). New Sources of Indian History, 1850–1891: The Ghost Dance and the Prairie Sioux; A Miscellany (Vol. 7). University of Oklahoma Press.
  4. Burkholder, J. P., & Grout, D. J. (2014). A History of Western Music: Ninth International Student Edition. WW Norton & Company.
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