Portal:Dance

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Der Kinderreigen
Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.

Dance also is used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain genres.

Choreography is the art of making dances.

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance disciplines exist in sports such as gymnastics, figure skating, and synchronized swimming, and martial arts kata are often compared to dance.

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Gaskell Ball
Ballroom dance, refers collectively to a set of partner dances, which originated in the Western world and are now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the globe. Its performance and entertainment aspects are also widely enjoyed on stage, in film, and on television.

While historically ballroom dance may refer to any form of formal social dancing as recreation, with the eminence of dancesport in modern times the term has become much narrower in scope, usually referring specifically to the International Standard and International Latin style dances (see dance groupings below). In the United States, two additional variations—"American Smooth" and "American Rhythm"—have also been popularized and are commonly recognized as styles of "ballroom dance".

The term "ballroom dancing" is derived from the word ball, which in turn originates from the Latin word ballare which means "to dance". In times past, ballroom dancing was "social dancing" for the privileged, leaving "folk dancing" for the lower classes. These boundaries have since become blurred, and it should be noted even in times long gone, many "ballroom" dances were really elevated folk dances.

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A tap dancer jumping into the air
Credit: Airborne tap dancer, photo by Lambtron

Tap dance is a form of dance in which the shoes worn by the dancer, known as tap shoes, are used as percussive instruments. The percussive sounds are made by metal "taps" on the heel and toe of each shoe.

Did you know

Rosina Galli

... that Rosina Galli (pictured) was the prima ballerina at La Scala Theatre Ballet before she became the première danseuse at the Metropolitan Opera House?

... that LeRoy Prinz, who staged dances in dozens of Hollywood movies in the 1930s and 1940s, was more an "idea man" than a choreographer, using simple steps and dance routines?

... that Tatjana Gsovsky, ballet mistress at opera houses in East Berlin, Buenos Aires and West Berlin, first choreographed ballets by Henze and Nono?

... during the production of Sylvia, the score was constantly under construction by Delibes, often with the aid of lead dancers Louis Mérante and Rita Sangalli?

... the Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations are Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity?

...that the score of Giselle contains additions by Léon Minkus?

... that in 2008, the Romanian ballet mistress Mijaela Tesleoanu was one of only two non-Cubans on the payroll of the Cuban National Ballet?

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Debbie Allen (born January 16, 1950 in Houston, Texas) is an American actress, choreographer, director, and producer. She first began receiving critical attention in 1980, when she appeared in the role of Anita in the Broadway revival of West Side Story which earned her a Drama Desk Award.

She is probably best known for her role as Lydia Grant in the hit 1982 TV series Fame. During the opening montage of each episode, Ms. Grant told her students: "You've got big dreams? You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying... in sweat." Allen was also lead choreographer for the film and television series, winning two Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe Award.

She has a B.A. in classical Greek literature, speech, and theater from Howard University. She also holds honoris causa Doctors from Howard and the North Carolina School for the Arts.

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