Participation dance

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Participation dance (also group-participation dance or audience participation dance) is a major class of dance that encourages dancing in a group. It includes social games based on dancing (for example, at weddings, festivals and other social gatherings), including rhythm video games. Some participatory dances have simple words to be sung to the music, which may act as a reminder of the steps – one example is the Hokey-cokey. Some consist of a few simple steps learned either from simple instructions given by a leader or from watching others. Examples are Electric Slide, Macarena, YMCA, and the Chicken Dance.

Participation dance games may have elimination rules that disqualify a dancer or dancers, due to lack of endurance, entering a particular part of the floor, or being of a specific age. Well-known examples are statues and musical chairs.

In "follow the leader" dances, a designated leader makes some motions which the rest repeat, in some cases in a chain or a file. Examples are Conga line, Bunny Hop and Finnish dance Letkajenkka.

Some types of participatory dance, such as contra dance and square dance, feature a caller who teaches dancers how to do the moves for a particular dance during a walkthrough and calls out the moves during the dance.

A mixer dance or dance mixer is a kind of participation game for partner dancers. During well-known dances – Waltz, Foxtrot, West Coast Swing etc. – at certain moments dancers change partners.

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