Dec 14, 2017 in Research

Origins of Cultural Dance in Current Dance Styles

In most culture, dances are associated with music or theatrical work. Therefore, the origin of dance in most cultures around the world can be traced to emergence of music, as dance is used to illustrate the different types and content of music. On the same note, some dances can be traced to ritual activities.   Vuillier& Grego (2004) traces the origin of dance in different culture to the moment when different societies started to emerge. Vuillier& Grego (2004) argues that the emergence of different societies necessitated a platform for people to express themselves as per what they stood for in relation to culture and religion. The expression compromised of elements such as songs poetry and art. Most of the dances originated in their raw forms that have been shaped by current culture. Knowles (2002) traces the origin of most folk dances and Celtic dances to religious rituals. . Knowles (2002) reveals that most of the ancient ritual dances involved “stopping at one spot and repeatedly tapping the foot”. Such is the type of dance that Knowles (2002) associates with tap dance and Irish dance as they involved “stepping it out” and “tapping it out.” The tapping out and tapping in is associated with sending a particular message.

An observation of tap dance illustrates that the rapid movement of the tap dancer feet is similar to the ancient type of religious rituals. Tap dancers rely on their feet to make the “music” and create the pattern of the dance style. A video from You Tube (2013) illustrates how the tap dance resembles and originated from rituals. In the video, the tap dancer rarely makes any movement on the dance floor, but concentrates on tapping his feet rhythmically to create a pattern of enjoyable music. The tap process acts as the instrument for music for the dancer.

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