Portal:Dance

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Introduction

Two dancers.jpg

Dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

An important distinction is to be drawn between the contexts of theatrical and participatory dance, although these two categories are not always completely separate; both may have special functions, whether social, ceremonial, competitive, erotic, martial, or sacred/liturgical. Other forms of human movement are sometimes said to have a dance-like quality, including martial arts, gymnastics, cheerleading, figure skating, synchronized swimming, marching bands, and many other forms of athletics.

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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

Stella Bloch

... that Stella Bloch (pictured) headlined in New York after she returned from learning Javanese dancing at the Prince of Solo's palace?

... that Rosina Galli 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?

...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?

Selected biography

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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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Main topics
20th century concert dance • Ballet • Ballroom dance • Ceremonial dance • Competitive dance • Folk dance • Glossary of ballet terms • Glossary of partner dance terms • Hip Hop dance • Historical dance • Latin dance • Salsa dance • Sequence dance • Swing

Dances
Allemande • Breaking • Charleston • Gavotte • Melbourne Shuffle • Polka • Salsa • Samba • Tango • Waltz • Zwiefacher • More...

Dancers
Mikhail Baryshnikov • Vytautas Beliajus • Dick Crum • Emma Livry • Rudolf Nureyev • Pedro Romeiras • More...

Lautrec la troupe de mlle eglantine (poster) 1895-6

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Companies • Dances • Folk dances by origin • Organizations • People • Style categories • Topics • More...

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Bulgarian dance • Hungarian dance • Kurdish dance • Dance of Thailand • Turkish dance • More...

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Amalia Hernández • Hunguhungu • Kizomba • Kopacka • Mezőség • Mixmag • Strathspey • The Place Prize

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