Where Did Dancing Come From?

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Have you ever wondered why people dance? Lately, with shows such as Dancing With the Stars, dancing has taken on an entirely new meaning. When we look back at the history of dance, not many people can definitively say where or when dance originated or when it actually became a part of the human culture. Ancient history does tell us, however, that dance was an important part of ceremonies, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. According to Wikipedia, archeology delivers traces of dance from prehistoric times such as Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from around 3300 BC. One of the earliest dance forms, Wikipedia continues, may have been in the performance and in the telling of myths. It was also sometimes used to show feelings for the opposite sex. There are even some who would venture to believe that the actual “art” of lovemaking is in and of itself a form of dance. Prior to the production of written languages, dance was often used as the primary method for passing stories on from generation to generation.

Nowadays, people tend to dance for a variety of reasons, usually just to have fun. However, there are some people who go to school to learn more about the art form. There are also a variety of different dance styles which still exist. For example, some of these dance forms include: ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, ballroom, Latin, highland dance and Irish dance to name a few. Dancing varies from culture to culture and there are actually professional dance competitions that are held where dancers can compete against each other and show off various styles that they have learned. Not many people stop to think too long or hard about it, but dance is all around us. We see it in television commercials, in toddlers who are first learning to walk, at high school dances, weddings, parties, ballet schools, performances or even in your own kitchen. There are also many added benefits to dancing now, which perhaps weren’t considered before. For example, many people today take up dance lessons as a means of socializing and meeting new people.

Increasing numbers of people are also joining gym membership classes where there is “dancing aerobics” where you are taught a choreographed dance while incorporating workout moves into the routine for a total body workout- so dancing can be beneficial in a number of ways, including getting you in shape! If you are serious about dancing, there are careers for it, although these careers are typically very competitive. For instance, if you wanted to be a backup dancer in Janet Jackson’s entourage, you would have to go through numerous auditions and even then, you still may not get picked. There are other dance-related occupations that people tend to fall into, however. These occupations include some of the following: dance teacher, dance sport coach, dance therapist and choreographer. If you are thinking of becoming a professional dancer, sometimes it’s not as easy as you think. It can sometimes be costly, you have to put in many hours of practice and you must also maintain a high level of fitness.

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