Dance Around the World
Dance has been used as a form of expression for thousands of years around the world and each region of the world has a type of dance that separates them from the rest. However, when we look at the bigger picture, these variations also serve as a form of unity as all dancers can agree upon the liberating feeling that it gives. From the salsa to ballet there are numerous countries that have a specialized discipline in the art form of dance.
Out of the numerous regions and countries in the world, one of the places I am most familiar with when it comes to dance is Latin America. This region has many types of dances each with their own style of music and steps. Latin America has a vast variety of dance styles that all are related, yet can be distinguished as their own individual styles as well. For example, the salsa is composed of a combination of various other Latin American dance styles such as the cha cha, the mambo, and the rhumba, yet each of these subgroups of dance can be identified as their own with their own personal identity in the world of dance. The merengue and samba also originate from Latin America and serve as a lively and fun style of dance. In addition, the paso doble, which is modeled after the environment and sound involved with a Spanish bullfight is a renowned dance style learned by professional dancers around the world.
On the other hand, although India is only one country and Latin America consists of many countries, the dance styles in India all vary drastically from one to another. Each geographic region of India has its own cultural dance that distinguishes itself from the rest and each dance style has its own specialized types of music, costumes, and flow, or sometime lack thereof. For example, the dance style from my last blog, Bharatnatyam, consists of intricate costumes and makeup and the steps are done with precision and grace, whereas Bollywood has much more flow and is much more casual in its costume choice. Furthermore, dance styles like bhangra, kathak, and garba all have their own specialized music depending on the region of the country. North Indian dances tend to focus more on an upbeat style like bhangra with loud and energetic music, while South Indian dances, like kathak, tend to focus on stricter movements, and generally have a more classical edge. Centrally, the region of Gujrat, where my family is from, garba is the regional dance style and every year for a week straight, groups of people gather together and create intricate steps to fast-paced music in celebration of the holidays.
Overall, there are diverse styles of dance everywhere we go, and it is fascinating to see the way different regions of the world can incorporate dance into their lives as a mode of expression. Although I only focused on Latin America and India for this week’s blog, I am sure there are many other scenarios of dance styles and their respective variations around the world.