Monday, April 20

Dance Like No One's Watching

I envy people who can dance. And I don't just mean bopping back and forth at a party dancing. I'm talking about full-on leaping, twirling, professional dancing. Any time I see a movie or TV show that comes out about dancing, I have to go see it because I know even if it's not that great of a movie, the dancing will be really awesome. After the movie is over, I am left sitting there wishing so badly that I could dance like the stars in the movie. Wednesday, April 22nd is National Dance Day so bust out your dancing shoes and start moving!

Dancing is an art form. It has been around since the beginning of time and has many different purposes throughout history. It's original purpose was as a method of storytelling. People would use different movements to represent different words. It allowed stories to be passed down to generations before there was any kind of written language. This tradition is still carried on through the Hawaiian form of dancing called hula dancing. Each hand movement represents a word and the dance as a whole tells a story to the audience.

There are so many different styles of dance that even if your career is in dance, it would be very hard to master each one, so usually dancers have a specialty dance style that they spend most of their time working on. Some of the major forms of dancing include: ballroom, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, modern, swing, country and western, belly dance, flamenco, Latin, and folk dancing, to name a few. All of those styles originated from different parts of the world and when you see each type performed the culture comes out.

A few years ago, a man by the name of Judson Laipply performed a dance routine called the "Evolution of Dance". It spread across the internet in weeks and has millions of views on YouTube. In the dance Judson shows the more modern side of dancing, spanning over the last century or so. From disco to hip-hop and pop to interpretive, he shows it all in a hilarious compilation of dances and songs throughout the ages.

One of my favorite shows to watch during the summer is called “So You Think You Can Dance” and it is just filled with talented dancers.  It’s kind of like American Idol for dancing.  The show incorporates a bunch of dance styles from hip-hop to ballroom to interpretive dance to Broadway.  Each contestant gets a partner each week and they do a dance with them as well as a solo dance.  All of the dancers are so talented but obviously only one contestant can win in the end.  My friend and I always tape the shows and watch our favorite dances over because some of them are just extraordinary. 

If I had the chance, I would definitely take dance lessons and try to become a phenomenal dancer, but I feel like those really talented dancers start when they are about three years old – so that’s a few more years of experience that I am behind on.  I have a few friends who are dancers and it is so much fun to go to their performances and watch them dance.  When you know the performer you can really see the passion they have when they dance and how happy it makes them to share their hard work with others. 

Dancing is a way we express ourselves, so get out there and dance like no one is watching!

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