Dance and human civilization are bonded together since the beginning of the human race. With centuries passing by, Dance has become one of the important tools for recreation, entertainment, health, preserving social interactions, religious ceremonies, and also in celebrating events etc. Dancing also served as a way of expressing human thoughts and emotions and also as a means of communication. These days, people chose dancing for various purposes like continuing the family legacy, improving the physical and mental health, as an occupation etc. With the increasing demand in creativity, dance forms also emerged quickly, and now in the present day, we have different dance forms based on different regions, cultures, religions, etc. Here in this article, we show you different types of popular dances present in the world.

Different Kinds Of Dance Styles:

1. Indian Classical Dance:

Indian classical Dance or popularly revered as “Shastriya Devesh” in the religious Hindu Musical theatre styles whose scripted theories and practices can be identified from the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra. In Hindu religion, it is believed that Kala Bhairava (Lord Shiva) is considered as the master of Dance and hence he is worshipped as Nataraj. Indian classical dances were performed as a religious art inside the sanctum of the Hindu temple or nearby it. There are 8 recognized Indian classical dances by The Sangeet Natak Academy.

  • Bharatanatyam from Tamil Nadu
  • Kathak from Uttar Pradesh
  • Kathakali from Kerala
  • Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh
  • Odissi from Odisha
  • Sattriya from Assam
  • Manipuri from Manipur
  • Mohiniyattam from Kerala

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2. African-American Dance:

African-American Dance was started by the black people in America. Before slavery ended in America, many Africans were transported to America as slaves. Soon after the slavery ended, the Africans started to perform their native Dance with a flavor of American moves making it popular as an African-American Dance style. Placing great value on improvisation, these dances are characterized by ongoing change and development. Even today, most of the black Americans perform this style. Some of the famous personalities who performed this dance style are Micheal Jackson and Misty Copeland. Some of the African-American dance styles performed today are

  • Break Dance
  • Tap Dance
  • Swing
  • Hip-Hop
  • Disco
  • Moon Walk

3. Novelty or Fad Dance:

Novelty or fad dances are typically characterized by a quick burst of popularity. Some of these dances may get a longer-lasting life. These are also called as trendy dances or crazy dances which becomes popular overnight. These type of dances were initially started by African-American communities on the streets, in clubs, and in discotheques dancing with some loud and energetic music. There are fad dances that are meant to be danced individually calling them as solo dancers, some with partners, some with groups. Some of these Novelty or fad dances were freestyle type, i.e., there were no particular dance steps or pattern. Some of the well-known Novelty/Fad dances are

  • Bunny Hop
  • The Carlton
  • Gangnam Style
  • Level Up
  • The Smurf
  • Moon Walk

4. Ceremonial Dance:

This is a type of Dance performed during any ceremonies or for any religious rituals. This type of Dance is also called as ritual Dance or festival dance. Ceremonial Dance is often related and overlaps to sacred Dance and ecstatic dance type. This type of Dance is usually performed to uplift the community spirit. The ceremonial dance type is different for different religions and also different in different regions (countries or places). Some of the best known ceremonial dances are

  • Indian Classical dances like Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali etc
  • Hadra dances and Sufi Whirling in Islam religion
  • Dances in Ancient Egypt
  • Long Sword dance in England
  • Morris dancing
  • Rapper dance
  • Ritual dancing of China
  • Dances of Universal Peace

5. Social Dance:

It is a non-competitive, partner dancing that is relaxed, informal, and danced for the enjoyment and entertainment of the partners that are intended for participation rather than performance. Social dancing is less formal than exhibition dancing and is meant to be enjoyed while socializing. Social dancing is usually performed or enjoyed in wedding receptions, business functions, nightclubs, or informal gatherings. Some of the best known Social dance types are:

  • Waltz
  • Line Dancing
  • Minuet
  • Tango
  • Swing Dancing
  • Hasapiko Dancing
  • Cha-Cha
  • Samba
  • Nightclub Freestyle

6. Latin/Rhythm Dance:

Latin Dance is a partnered dance style that is united by their place of origin- Latin America. This type of Dance is invariably passionate and rhythmic while performing. Latin dances hail from various countries in North and South America and also has European, and African influences. Latin Dance is known for passion, the fire, and the energy and because of these reasons, most of them started making this a hobby of learning Latin Dance, that also benefits from cutting down some pounds in your body. Today, following the music, rhythms, and movement history, Latin Dance evolved over time and has many Latin styles. Some of them are:

  • Slasa
  • Bachata
  • Samba
  • Rumba
  • Cha-Cha-Cha
  • Jive
  • Paso Double
  • Zumba

7. Street Dance:

Street dance is a type of dance style that has been evolved outside the dance studios. These dances are performed on the streets, parks, block parties, clubs etc. In fact, these dances originated at different times and places. For example, Breaking is said to evolve in the 1970s in New York. Nowadays the terms “street dance” and “Hip Hop dance” are often used to refer to a studio-based version of the forms which came about after established teachers and choreographers of Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary tried to copy the “street” styles when they were popularized. Some of the styles of street dances are:

  • Hip-Hop
  • Break Dancing
  • Jerking
  • Locking and Popping
  • Electro Dance
  • Tutting
  • Clogging

21 Different Types of Dance:

Dance is an art that is practiced or performed by different sets of people in different ways. Hence Dance can be classified based on country, region, ethnicity, styles etc. For example, in India, there are certain classical dances that are quite famous and in other regions like Brazil has its own traditional Dance. But, there are some dances which are extensively performed and practiced all over the world. Here is a list of some of them.

1. Ballet:

Ballet dance has its origin from Italy. The term ballet means to “dance.” This is usually accepted all over the world as one of the most artistic forms of entertainment enjoyed by all ages. This Dance is the combination of choreography and art, scenic design, lighting, costume, graceful movements with light classical music. These days the traditional ballet dance is replaced with new modern forms of ballet dance styles. Some of the forms of ballet dance are classical ballet, contemporary ballet, neoclassical ballet etc. This type of Dance is not difficult to learn once you have identified your passion for it.

2. Bharatnatyam:

Bharatnatyam is an Indian classical dance form having its origin in Tamil Nadu. It is a dance form practiced by both males and females. It is known among all for its tenderness of graceful expressions and posses and beauty of the dance steps. Dancers wear anklets while performing which consists of numerous copper bells attached. Dancers must excel in the art of perfect ringing of bells in the anklets and must also have proper control over it. Bharatnatyam is one of the well-known types of Dance in India.

3. Kathak:

In types of Indian Dance, Kathak is one which originated in the north Indian land. Among the many dance name list, Kathak is one beautiful form of art. Nomadic bards of ancient Northern India are known to lay down the foundation of this dance form. They were known as storyteller or Kathakars. The performers usually wear the famous Lehenga Choli costume while dancing. Even the copper bells used in Bharatnatyam are used in this dance form.

4. Break Dance:

Breakdance also knew as a street dance was originated by Puerto Rican Youths and African Americans. This dance form consists of four major movements – power moves, down rock, top rock and freezes. This is a modern kind of Dance that involves abstract body steps, that may or may not convey anything. It is usually practiced by the youth.

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5. Lion Dance:

The lion dance is the traditional dance form of Chinese culture. In this form of dance, the performers wear lion costumes and mimic the moves and styles of a lion. This type of Dance is amazing to look at and is completely different from another dance form because you usually cannot see the person behind the costume in this form.

6. Tap Dance:

In this dance form, one needs to tap the shoes on the wooden floor. The shoes are made up of a metallic sole on the heel and the toe facilitating the tapping sound. The two well-known tap dance types are Broadway tap and Rhythmic tap. Tap dancing is also done in Cappella style in which performers need to perform on music created from tapping.

7. Kabuki:

The classical Japanese dance-drama is known as kabuki. This is known for its stylization of performance, and the elaborate and highly complicated make up worn by the performers. Kabuki involves a lot of practice and handling the costume along with the dance steps needs experience. It was one of the major theatrical performance in Japan for about four centuries.

8. Salsa:

It will come in another type of western Dance which almost everyone knows and is performed all around the world. Salsa was originated in New York due to the strong influences of Latin America. Arms are used by the lead dancers to communicate with the followers. In these types of dances, the major expressive movements are done by the lower part of the body that is the hips, the body and legs. The upper body remains at its level. Salsa can be performed in different styles which can be identified on the basis of foot patterns, turns and figures, on the basis of timing, body rolls, dance influence, attitude and the way the partners hold each other while dancing.

9. Waltz:

The ballroom couple dance performed in closed positions is known as Waltz. This dance form had originated in the country of England during 1816. Several Victorian novels have the mentioning and a perfect description of this dance form. While dancing, the man is required to clasp his arms around his female partner’s waist. This type of modern Dance requires performers to execute delicate and fluid moves and Dance to slow melodic music.

10. Belly Dancing:

One of the unique forms of Dance is belly dancing, and it comes under types of modern Dance. It is characterized by sharp and rolling movements of the abdomen and the hips. This dance form has different types of dance moves depending upon the region and country it is being performed. Movements of the hips and the torso communicate the maximum. Shakira, a famous Latin American superstar, was the one to popularize this form during the 2000s.

11. Swing:

Swing, as the name sounds, is a very interesting dance form. It is a group of dances developed with a swing style danced to the tunes of jazz music during the 1920s – 1950s. Swing is a blanket word to different dances such as Jitterbugs, Boogie Woogie and Lindy hops. This type of dance form is fun, and the performers wear stylish dresses, yet very comfortable.

12. Aerial Dance:

Aerial Dance is slowly becoming very famous these days. This dance form is not easy to perform and requires proper training. It was first performed in the USA during the 1970s. The name clearly indicates that in this form, the performer is required to perform in the air. The dancer hangs from any apparatus which is attached to the ceiling and performs steps in mid-air. It provides a lot of space to develop a new idea and dance moves.

13. Tango:

It is a partner dance originated along with the river Plate during the 1890s the partners in tango follow each other chest to chest with either an open embrace or a closed embrace with a constant touch from the thigh area. Tango is a kind of ballroom dance and began in the working-class port in Uruguay, Argentina and Rio de la Plata.

14. Fandango:

Fandango is the primary Dance of Portugal. It involves singing as well as dancing. Dancers tap their feet and quickly keep on changing positions. This dance form is accompanied by castanets, guitars and even sometimes hand clapping.

15. Cancan:

Cancan is very high energy and physically demanding hall dance. It is usually performed by women in a chorus wearing beautiful costumes which are long skirts with black stockings. The main feature of this form is lifting of the long frilly skirt high accompanied by high kicking.

16. Latin Dance:

Latin Dance involves two partners and resembles a ballroom dance. It originated in Latin America. The social Latin Dance in International Dance includes the rumba, samba etc. The History of Latin dance dates back to the fifteenth century when indigenous dances were first recorded by Europeans. Their dance form is deeply rooted in History and is a must-watch entertainer.

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17. Iranian Dance:

Persian Dance or is also known as Iranian Dance refers to the type of dance form, indigenous to Iran. Genres of Dance in Iran usually vary depending on the area, culture, and language of the local people. They also range from sophisticated reconstructions of refined court dances to energetic folk dances. The dance style is rhythmic and pleasing to watch.

18. Azerbaijani Dance:

There are a number of Azerbaijani dances that are practiced and used by the Azerbaijani people of Azerbaijan and the Irani’s of Azerbaijan. Their Dance is engaging, and they differ from other dances and is famous for its quick temp. They are entertaining to watch and is a national interest.

19. Disco Dance:

Disco dance is a type of dance style that is a musical style dating to early 1970s. It began from the USA urban night-life scene, where it had been restricted to house parties. From there on, it began making regular mainstream appearances and gathered popularity. Its popularity was achieved sometime during the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.

20. Folk Dance:

Folk dance is a typical form of Dance that is usually extensively performed in rural areas. It talks of the folklore of the village plight. It is a traditional type of Dance pertaining to one set of people or community. The costumes are interesting and usually depict the traditional dress of the community.

21. Electronic Dance:

This style of Dance is also known as Electronic Dance Music (EDM). This style started in Northern Europe during the 2000s and has become very popular in the next decades. This Dance is typically performed to electro house music based on different dance styles like disco, hip hop and freehand glow sticking.

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Dance is an art that has been practiced since ages for different purposes. In ancient days, History tells us that Dance was performed by only a set of families in front of the kings and in the temples for the purpose of entertainment. Modern-day Dance has evolved in different forms and for different purposes such as Dance as an art, as social bonding, as a career, for health, as relaxation and recreation etc. If you are planning to start dancing, choose any of the above-mentioned styles that can suit your needs. Make sure that you start dancing in the presence of a professional because any mismatch can strain your body or maybe dislocations in your body.

Disclaimer: The above article is intended for information purpose only and should not be construed as professional advice. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to practice or perform in the presence of a professional only.

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