Dance Hairstyles: For Competitions and Classes

Dance Hairstyle.

The dance floor is very demanding. Including women's hairstyles. This demand applies both to the rules of dance competitions, and the ability to show your image in detail. Moreover, agree, a suitable and comfortable hairstyle is very important for the quality of your dance and performance.

Certainly, there are different requirements for costumes and hairstyles for different styles of dance. For example, ballroom dancing competition rules require the strictest possible hair in the form of slicked-back hair. Dance competition hairstyles can be formal or casual and can be styled in many different ways. For a formal dance competition hairstyle, a dancer should make sure her hair is neat and tidy. The top section of the head should be pulled back from the face with either a clip or elastic band. For an informal dance competition hairstyle, any style that doesn't damage the hair will do such as braids.

Nevertheless, in this article, you will find a variety of ideas and examples of many different hairstyles. Here are some suggestions on hairstyles that will work well with your hair and costumes. Many of these can be done in a hurry, so don't worry about spending a lot of time on them.

Twisted Bun

The bun is a classic dance hairstyle, which is suitable for ballet classes and for other styles of dance. Let's see how you can diversify this hairstyle for dance competitions and classes.

This is a pretty and easy updo that looks great for many different dance styles. But when it comes to ballroom dance competitions this hairstyle is the most popular there. No wonder - it's easy to do, and it looks more beautiful and original than a usual bun.

Pull the hair into a ponytail. Choose your own height of ponytail. Separate the hair into three parts. Lightly gel each strand to make it easier to twist. Then slowly twist it around itself. The more you twist the strand, the less voluminous the bun will be. Then you can twist the strand around the ponytail and secure it with a bobby pin. Do the same with the rest of the strands. The more pins the better! It is hard to be very specific here since everyone's hair is different. But it's important that the bun holds very firmly during the dance!

Pass the Ponytail

You'll need hairspray, a comb, an elastic band, and a couple of minutes for this procedure. This style works well with most kinds of costumes and performances, including jazz, ballroom (if your hair is not too long and thick), contemporary, disco, and so on.

Ponytail

Separate all of your hair into a high ponytail and a lock of hair at the base of the ponytail. Pull the hair back to make a single ponytail in the middle of your head. Secure with an elastic. Separate one of the locks and wrap it around the elastic securing the ponytail. Secure it with a bobby pin. This will cover up your hairband and give a more finished look to your hairstyle.

Dance Hairstyles.

Bouffant

This hairstyle is cute and easy to do! You'll need hairspray, a comb, an elastic band, and one minute for this style. Pull all of your hair back into a ponytail. Brush it very well till it is completely smooth and free of knots and tangles. Then put the hair up in a high ponytail and secure it with an elastic band. Slightly tease the hair Spritz the teased part with hairspray to set it.

Naturally, hardly such a comb is suitable for the ballet stage or ballroom competition. However, for less conservative dance routines, a comb and voluminous ponytail will look just fine!

Hairstyles for dancing.

Important! Older dancers are allowed more freedom in terms of hairstyles. Styles for young ballroom dancers should be as simple and elegant as possible.

French Twist

The French twist is a classic hairstyle that is perfect for any dance competition. It is a very simple style to do, and it will make you look very elegant.

To do the French twist, start by gathering all of your hair into a high ponytail. Then, take the ponytail and twist it around itself until it forms a tight coil. Secure the coil with a hairpin. Then, take the remaining hair and wrap it around the coil until it is completely covered. Secure with additional hairpins.

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are small, twisted, decorative hairstyles that can be created on natural hair. They are named after the Bantu people of Africa, who are known for their elaborate and creative hairstyles. Bantu knots can be created on any type of natural hair, including curly and kinky hair. They are a great way to add texture and volume to your hair, and they can be worn in a variety of styles.

Bantu Knots.

Separate all of your hair into two symmetrical parts. Then separate your hair into more parts depending on how many Bantu knots you want to twist. Take a strand from the first section and twist it into a rod shape by rolling the hair around your finger. Secure the tip of the Bantu knot with a bobby pin. Do this to all of your hair in each section. This is a cool hairstyle idea for hip-hop, breakdance, or other street dance styles. You can also braid Bantu knots if you are a disco dancer. Well, why not!

Low Chignon

A low chignon hairstyle is a bun style where the hair is gathered low on the back of the head. This style is often used for formal occasions because it is both elegant and formal. This hairstyle is also often used for dance competitions because it stays in place and does not move around a lot. This is important because when you are dancing, you do not want your hair to be in your face or flying around.

To do a low chignon hairstyle, start by gathering your hair into a low ponytail. Next, twist the hair around the ponytail holder to form a bun. Tuck any loose hair underneath the bun and secure it with pins. Finally, spray the hairstyle with hairspray to hold it in place.

Dutch Braid

A dutch braid is a type of braid that is formed by crossing the middle section of hair over the top section and then crossing the left section of hair over the newly-formed middle section. The right section of hair is then brought over the new left section. This process is repeated until the braid is completed. As the dutch braid is elegant and stylish, it stays in place well, it is a popular hairstyle for dance competitions.

Fishtail Braid

A fishtail braid hairstyle is a type of braid that is created by crossing two sections of hair over each other and then weaving them together. The braid starts as a normal french braid and once you reach the end, you flip it upside down and weave the two sections together.

A fishtail braid hairstyle is often used for a casual look, but can also be styled into a more formal hairdo. You can make your fishtail braid as long or short as you want, but it's usually worn halfway down your back. This hairstyle is fairly easy to do on yourself, but it can be difficult to get the hang of at first.

The fishtail braid is a versatile style that can be worn for many occasions, including dance competitions. It's a good option because it's not too formal or too casual, and it can be styled in many different ways. You can make your fishtail braid as tight or loose as you want, and you can add accessories to make it look more special. If you're looking for a dance competition hairstyle that is easy to do and looks good on everyone, the fishtail braid is a great choice.

Fishtail Braid.

Small Curls

A striking choice for the competition is the hairstyle with goffer curls. It creates the illusion of a beautiful wave in the style. The size of the curls and their density depends on the choice of tool attachment. Hairstyles with crimped curls look chic and make the dancers stand out from the crowd.

Ballroom Dance Hairstyle.

Mixed Hairstyles

Cute dance hairstyles.
Competition dance hairstyles.

Final Words

There are many different types of dance hairstyles that can be worn during competitions or classes. Some of the most popular hairstyles include the twisted bun and the pass the ponytail. These hairstyles are easy to do and they stay in place, but you can style them differently if you want your dance hairstyle to be more unique. Another great option is the Bantu knot. For a formal look, try a low chignon or fishtail braid; both styles look elegant and will stay in place. You can also style your hair into an updo if you want to keep it away from your face and neck, but you still want to look stylish. If you're looking for a new dance hairstyle that is special and easy to do, try one of the hairstyles above!

One of the biggest benefits of taking aerial fitness is that it's fun for all involved. While adults may take pole dance as a form of serious exercise or performance art, kids are generally just interested in having fun. Aerial classes allow them to play with gravity and their own strength in a fun and exciting way that they can feel great about.

Aerial arts is a relatively new art form, and many studios are still learning what works best for children. It's important to speak with the instructor before enrolling your child in any classes to make sure that their level of fitness will be appropriate, you will both understand the goals for the class and how to accomplish them, and that you can communicate any issues or problems. If your child is already incredibly physically fit, the instructor may be able to provide more challenging options for them so they don't get bored and lose interest.

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History of Tap Dancing

Tap dance is a type of dance that is performed by tapping one's shoes on the ground as fast as possible, with rhythm and music. Tap dancers can be found performing in many genres including jazz, tap dancing competitions, Broadway tap shows, musical theater productions, and modern pop culture performances such as those seen on MTV or America's Got Talent.

The history of tap dance is a history of American culture. It tells us about America’s past, present, and future. While few people know about tap dancing today, tap dance has come to symbolize the cultural diversity that makes this country great. So who first started tap dancing, we suggest you learn from this article.

Note! Tap dancer and musician in one person - his shoes are lined with special plates (usually metal), and therefore the best tap shoes make a resonant clatter at the slightest touch on the floor.

Where Did Tap Dance Originated?

Where Did Tap Dance Originated?

Tap dance has been around since the early 19th century. It originated in New Orleans and was a popular form of entertainment for Americans. Tap dancing was first recorded in 1828 as "the act or art of dancing on tiptoe." The word “tap" comes from the sound made by slapping shoes against the ground, which dancers would do to keep time with music played at social gatherings where people danced for amusement. But it took a full 100 years before the genre became popular on a national scale.

Origin Theories and First Information

In general, there are different theories of the origin and origin of the steppe. But all of them in one way or another come to a common denominator in that the earliest examples of tap dance did not originate on the stage, but rather were social dances among slave communities. Though the origins of tap can be traced to the ritual dances of the Indians. Their movements during rituals do resemble in some ways the rhythm of tap dance.

Tap dance initially appeared in a more standard shape during the early 1800s, when a new dance was created as a result of combining Irish jigs and African-American rhythms.

In 1830, a famous Irish dancer, who performed under the pseudonym of Papa Rice, showed the public the new dance. He combined the jig with some elements of African rhythms, in particular borrowed certain movements of the legs, shoulders, and arms. Papa Rice was greeted with applause - thus the tap dance that thrilled America was born.

Tap Dancing Active Promotion

Tap Dancing Active Promotion.

Tap dancing became popular after 100 years when in 1920, wooden and leather soles were replaced by modern shoes with padded metal plates on the toe and heel. Tap dance became a commercialized urban art. It also attracted the attention of the media and movie directors who began to hire tap dancers in films. In 1926, a famous singer and dancer gave his first recital in New York. His name was Fred Astaire, and he was the most famous tap dancer ever, who combined his incredible technique with showmanship and elegance. He and his sister, Adele, brought tap dancing to the mainstream in the 1930s and 1940s with movies like "Top Hat" and "Swing Time".

In 1930, Hollywood included tap dancing in many of its films. This genre reached its peak during the 1940s with such stars as Bill Robinson (Bill "Bojangles" Robinson) and Gene Kelly.

The postwar period

The postwar period is considered a golden time for the development of tap dancing. With the war behind us, you can relax and enjoy the cast of musicals performing tap. The names of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Jinder Rogers are still on the billboards, and the great tap dancers never stop beating out the clear rhythm, turning dance into art.

In the early '50s, tap-dancing continued to be popular but its appeal gradually diminished. Tap dance is giving way considerably to ballet scenes.

Revival

In the '60s and '80s, the steppe began to revive again thanks to the revival of the fashion for old musicals. And at the beginning of the 80s tap dance returned to the cinema screens: there were films with the great dancer Gregory Hines. At the same time a lot of different groups and schools dealing with this kind of dance were founded; international festivals and competitions were held. All this led to the U.S. Congress in 1989, declaring May 25 - Day Step, which is now celebrated by enthusiasts around the world.

Today

Though tap dancing is not as popular today as it once was, it has left an indelible mark on American culture. Tap dance represents the diversity that makes America great and continues to inspire new generations of dancers. While the origins of tap dance are shrouded in mystery, we can be sure that this unique form of dance will continue to delight audiences for years to come.

Types of Swing Dance

Types of Swing Dance.

What is swing dance? Swing dancing is a type of partner dance performed mostly to swing music. The focus is on musicality, improvisation, and personal expression.
on the vertical pole. There are some children who might want to take classes with adults initially so they have someone serving as a role model. The reasons why kids might want to do pole dances are just as diverse as the adult reasons.

There are many ways to classify swing dances. Most of the following types of swing dance are derived from traditional dances, such as the Lindy Hop (which was done in ballrooms during swing music’s heyday), East Coast Swing (typically danced socially to slower music), Balboa (a fast-paced solo dance mainly done in California).

There are many places that offer swing lessons and dances, from the local dance studio to your very own backyard! All you need is a good mood and comfortable swing dancing shoes, and you can get a powerful energy boost at the swing party!

What are the main features of swing dance?

Swing dance is characterized by the following features:

  • Pivoting is a key dance move used in many swing dances. This typically involves leading a one- or two-step turn.
  • Swing dance may be danced in the open position or closed position (with dancers facing each other). In the open position, the leader usually has the follower’s right hand in his left hand. In the closed position, the dancers may be connected at either or both sides, so that they have their arms around each other. Although some types of swing dance are characterized by a more close position.
  • It includes Charleston elements such as “kicks”, “licks”, and hip motions. Some types of swing are danced to faster tempos than other forms, depending on the style.
  • The presence of acrobatic elements.
  • All forms of swing are characterized by a syncopated (shortened) rhythm, typical of African-American and West African music and dance, and with jazz dance of the jazz era. The swing style typically includes “triplet steps” on every beat, meaning that the first step is made on a triplet boundary and typically uses a ball-change footwork pattern for this reason. A triplet is a set of three beats in which the first two are strong or accented and the third is weak or unaccented.
  • Many swing dances are characterized by very fast movements and footwork.
  • Swing music has a characteristic “swing” feel. It also typically includes triplet rhythms. The rhythm may be accented either on one or three beats of the measure.
  • Also, an important part of the swing is improvisation, the way you feel the music and embody it through your body.
  • Another feature of swing dance is that swing dancers from different localities and groups often bring their own features and characteristics to it. Swing actively absorbed and absorbs local features, even different clubs, DJs and coaches contributed to the swing dance their vision of dance compositions. Hence – the emergence of a large number of different types of swing dance.
Swing Dance Types.

What are the Main Types of Swing Dance?

The Lindy Hop

Lindy Hop is known for its fast and athletic style. It is a mix of Charleston, breakaway, and the Shim Sham. Lindy Hop dance is considered the most developed and most complex form of swing. The peculiarity of the lindy hop is the ability to improvise and the rhythmic flexibility, as well as the ability to perform to any jazz or blues music.

East Coast Swing Dancing

The east coast swing was developed from the Jitterbug. A swing dance that was popular when Lindy Hop was in full swing, the East Coast Swing is much more gentle than other styles. It’s characterized by high energy movement and smooth footwork.

East coast swing is the round, rotating dance that has many wraps, tunnels, and turns. The advantage of East Coast Swing was that it can be performed to slow jazz and blues, as well as to fiery rock and roll. East Coast Swing is danced on a 6-stroke rhythm, but sometimes it is performed on an 8-stroke as a lindy hop or a Charleston.

Since this is fast swing dance, the steps should be small and easy.

The popularity of East Coast Swing is due to its simple structure, uncomplicated movements, and uncomplicated footwork.

West Coast Swing (Western Swing)

The West Coast Swing was invented in the 1990s by dancers who wanted something more energetic than Balboa but slower than Lindy Hop. West Coast Swing is considered the most elegant dance. In fact, watching this flowing dance, one can hardly find any resemblance to its parent, the Lindy Hop.

West Coast Swing dance involves moving partners along the line. In most cases, each combination begins with the steps of the lady. Moves forward are made on the counts of “one” and “two”. The anchor step completes all the basic figures more often and logically.

Among the interesting things, West Coast Swing has shattered notions of full partner lead, as is typical of most other swing dance styles. Here the partnership is divided 50-50. Each partner is free to express himself in the dance, the main thing is to listen to the music and to each other. Thus, in West Coast Swing, in contrast to other swing dances, there are more opportunities for the partner to improvise and really create together on the dance floor.

Because of the freedom for improvisation and movement, West Coast Swing is a lot of fun during classes and lends itself to quick learning. Already after a few lessons, you will learn how to connect with a partner and work in a tight frame.

By the way, in 1988, West Coast Swing becomes the official dance of the state of California.

Balboa

The home of the Balboa dance is considered the Balboa Peninsula in California. The social dance of Balboa is good because it does not require special skills and training, you can learn it at any age, the movements are quite simple, but it is beautiful to look at.

The main feature of this dance is the rapid movement of the feet and the close contact between partners. The dance is performed too fast jazz music, the tempo is 180 to 320 beats per minute. But despite the almost crazy rhythm, it does not require a lot of tension, because all the movements are small. You can also dance to slow music, then you will have more time to perform complex movements.

Balboa is a dance built on improvisation. This dance is directed more inward to the couple than outward. And the compactness of Balboa movements allows you to save strength. The torsos of the partners touch each other so that no light can be seen between them.

Charleston

The Charleston evolved from the Lindy Hop in Harlem in 1932. It has a jazzier look that comes from swing music still in its heyday. You can find older clips of this dancing in movies like Hellzapoppin, which was the first movie to fully feature swing dance.

The musical size is 4/4. The tempo is fast. Performed in pairs, briskly and loosely, with small movements around the hall. The dance is characterized by sharp syncopated steps and sweeps on the balls of feet. The energetic arm movements and characteristic turns of feet are the main features of this dance. The Charleston is danced both in pairs and solo. Hands move freely and energetically.

It has certain features of ballroom choreography, namely, foxtrot, with the difference that Charleston has a limited nature of movement and is performed mostly on the spot. By the way, Charleston is considered one of the forerunners of the Quickstep ballroom dance.

Jitterbug

A partner swing dance, often done with a man and a lady, where the dancers rotate around each other. It evolved from Lindy Hop and is usually done at a faster pace.

It can be easily recognized by the leaps performed by the pair. The jitterbug includes in its variety of movements a variety of acrobatic elements, tumbling, splits, swing jumps, and spins.

Jazz

Another modern style, Jazz is a smooth and gentle swing dance. This style is beautiful to watch. It’s a very popular swing dance in social dances because it doesn’t require a lot of training and preparation, but it looks fantastic.

The basic movements are performed on the spot, with a smooth changeover from one part to another. The dance is characterized by syncopated steps and high kicks.

As an “open” system, jazz dance refers to the means of expression of other systems and directions of dance, incorporating the achievements discovered by modern dance, classical dance, folk choreography, and other directions of dance art. As a result, the process of merging the main schools of modern choreography began and a new artistic phenomenon appeared: modern jazz dance.

St Louis Shag

Six counts, closed position, bouncing steps – and you’re dancing the Carolina shag! A modern American swing dance, St Louis Shag was invented in the 1980s as a speedier variant of its East Coast Swing forerunner. The name comes from a popular stomp, where the dancer taps their foot to the music.

Boogie-Woogie

Boogie-woogie is a European interpretation of Swing. The feature of this dance was the dancer’s ability to show movements on relaxed, yet resilient legs.

The rhythm of this dance is 4/4. It’s a very emotional, and free dance for a couple or in a group. This is the most popular swing variation at the present time. This is a bright, fiery couple dance, with fun music and an appropriate mood.

Blues

The Blues is very expressive and beautiful to watch. It’s performed at a slower pace, but it looks effortless. This dance is great for social dancing because you can really feel the music while you’re dancing.

The blues is the slowest of the swing dances. It is willingly performed when the dance floor is small or when you need a break from the jerky, nervous rhythms of other dances.

The musical size is 4/4. The tempo is slow, with 20 beats per minute. All fractions of the bar are accented. Performed in pairs, in the closed position, with moving around the hall. The dance is characterized by the alternation of the fast and slow steps and the light chorus when changing the legs.

Savoy Style Lindy Hop

This dance came from Harlem in the 1930s when jazz was at its peak. The Savoy, one of the most famous dance halls, was home to this style of swing dancing. This is the type of Lindy Hop that people think of when they hear the name “Swing Dance.”

Jive

Today the jive is an obligatory dance of the competitive Latin ballroom dance program. Its main feature, in addition to the high rise of the knees in the steps, is a characteristic swing movement of the hips and body as a whole.

The dance is fast and energetic, requires a lot of energy. The musical size is 4/4, the tempo is 44 beats per minute.

Swing Dance History

The word “swing” was first used in 1911 to describe the dance Texas Tommy, when the partner “unwinds” the partner, which is reflected in the name “swing”.

Swing dancing was popularized in the late 1920s and 1930s. It came from jazz music. The birthplace of swing is considered New York City. Here, in Harlem, the funniest parties were born, where dancing helped to forget about all problems. The legendary Savoy Club occupied an entire block, and hundreds of dancers came there every day to party to live music. Everyone was allowed in, as long as they knew how to dance.

Swing was first danced to big band music and later evolved into various new styles with the influence of rock n’ roll and other types of music. There are many swing dances, such as Lindy Hop, Balboa, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Jitterbug, and Triple swing, etc. But all of them, in some way or another, come from the original swing.

From the 20s of the 20th century, the dance spread to America and Europe, actively absorbing the national features of the country in which it was performed. Therefore, in today’s world of dance, there are many varieties of swing – from slow jazz compositions to fast ones.

Final Words

Today swing is America’s leading social dance. It is loved for its awesome, easy atmosphere and fun. It’s a great dance style to learn if you want something fun and energetic. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people. So whether the style of swing dance you choose, you’ll get the best mood of jazz party with like-minded people.

And pay attention: swing dance world is very strong and friendly, it is really unifying kind of class, which gives a lot of acquaintances and bright impressions. So let’s dance swing!

12 Benefits of Dancing

Benefits of dancing.

Dancing is one of the most popular types of physical activities, which among other things gives a good mood and brings pleasure. That’s why dancing is an ideal activity for those who are bored just to do sports. Below we will talk about other benefits of dancing for your health, psychological state, and social life.

  1. Health

    Dancing, like any other physical activity, has a positive effect on health. Dance movements improve blood circulation, rejuvenate the body. It directly affects the state of internal organs. Regular training reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and colds. Dancing helps to raise the so-called "good" cholesterol (HDL) level and reduces the number of "bad" cholesterol (LDL).

    Besides dancing helps to strengthen bones and as a result, prevents osteoporosis.

  2. Flexibility

    Stretching to Lose Weight.

    Development of flexibility and amplitude of movements is one of the ways of development for any dancer, regardless of the style of dancing. Most dancing lessons begin with a warm-up, which includes several stretching exercises. We can talk a lot about the benefits of flexibility and stretching, but here are its main advantages: improving body mobility, preventing injuries to joints and muscles, improving blood circulation, the improvement of coordination of movements.

  3. Strength

    Persons who dance train all muscle groups. The body of the dancer and his muscles grow evenly and proportionally, which in turn affects the figure. Dancers' muscles do not become as voluminous and embossed as, for example, weightlifters, but they have great strength and endurance. Just look at the so strong ballet dancers!

  4. Keeping fit

    Keeping fit because of dancing.

    During the dance, calories are burned. The more intensive and faster the dance moves, the more calories are burned. Therefore, if you tend to be full, the dance will help you spend time pleasantly while remaining in a good fit. In addition, many studies have proven that dancing helps control fat consumption.

  5. Endurance training

    Endurance is the ability of muscles to work harder for longer periods of time without fatigue. Dancing is a long time aerobic exercise, which also trains endurance.

  6. Good memory

    Of course, dances improve memory, as dancers have to memorize many different choreographies and do it quickly. Attending a lot of masterclasses, staging dances for performances, training new movements, and their techniques - all this requires constant concentration of attention and memory development.

  7. Fighting the bad mood

    It has been proved that movements to music contribute to the production of serotonin (the hormone of happiness), reduce stress levels, get rid of emotional tension.

  8. Creative skills and thinking development

    By dancing, you develop not only the body but also creative thinking. Moreover, improvisation is one of the most important parts of dancing classes. It also helps you to think outside the box and go beyond standard thinking. Improvisation also helps to go beyond the comfort zone, which also positively influences the level and ways of thinking and creative activity.

  9. Beautiful gait and smooth posture

    Great posture.

    Choreography is impossible without grace in movements, which is grafted in the first lessons and over time becomes part of life. That is why dancers most often have a very smooth posture and a beautiful gait.

  10. Good balance and coordination of movements

    Performing some dance moves requires a high degree of coordination of movements and balance.

  11. Communication and new contacts

    You meet many new interesting and creative people in training. This is especially useful for children who are actively acquiring communication skills and are in the socialization phase.

  12. Enhancing self-esteem

    It is believed that dancing helps a person to reveal themselves, to express their feelings, to become more graceful and plastic. As a result, a person becomes more confident in himself, and this confidence is transferred not only to dance activities but also to everyday life.

Choreography and its benefits.

So, if you are looking for some physical activity that will help you to be more healthy and feel better, you should try dancing. The benefits of pole, ballroom, classical, or street dances are obvious.

If you tried it and felt something from this list, please, write your impressions in the comments below.

Or if you have any benefits to add in this list, write it too. Because our editors’ team thinks that there is an infinite number of benefits of choreography and dancing.

Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan and her Dance Heritage.

Isadora Dunkan

a woman whose name in the early 20th century was synonymous with dance.

“If you could explain something with words, there would be no point in dancing it.”

Isadora Dunkan

is an American dancer considered the founder of free dance, the forerunner of the art nouveau dance.

Isadora Dunkan a woman whose name in the early 20th century was synonymous with dance

Biography

Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco in 1877 to Joseph Duncan, a banker. Born Dora Angela was the youngest of four children in the family. Soon after Isadora was born, the head of the family went bankrupt and the family lived in extreme poverty for some time.

The father soon left the family and the mother, Mary Isadora Gray, had to work hard to support the four children. But she used to say a lot: "You can do without bread, but you can't do without art." In their house there was always music, the family read a lot, played ancient tragedies. Little Isadora started dancing already at the age of two. And at six, she opened the first "school of dance" for neighboring children: teaching them the movements that she invented herself. At the age of 12, while giving lessons, the young dancer could already earn a part-time job. A year later she left school and devoted all her time to dancing, studying music, literature, and philosophy.

From childhood, Isadora perceived dancing differently from other children - the girl "followed her fantasy and improvised, dancing as she liked". Dreams of a big scene led in 1985, Duncan in Chicago, where she unsuccessfully went to auditions in different theaters, and then in New York, wherein 1896 the girl got a job with the theater famous critic and playwright John Augustine Daly. There she took ballet lessons from ballerina Marie Bonfanti. But Duncan is known for her denial and contemptuous attitude towards ballet. Ballet, according to the dancer, was just a complex of mechanical body movements that do not convey spiritual experiences. So, disappointed in classical choreography, Isadora moved to London in 1898 and then to Paris.

Isadora Duncan Biography.

It was in Paris in 1901 there was a fateful meeting between Duncan and Lois Fuller (about which the dance film "La danseuse" was filmed and which later became the founder of the modern dance). Loi and Isadora had similar views on the dance, seeing it as a natural body movement rather than a rigid system of proven movements like in ballet. In 1902 Fuller and Duncan went on a dance tour in European countries. Together they created new compositions: "Dance Serpentine", "Dance of Fire", "The Divine Shoe". Duncan became very famous in the European cultural scene.

In 1903, the dancer went to Greece. There she initiated the construction of a temple on Kopanos hill for dancing classes.

In 1904 Isadora moved to Germany and opened her first dance school there and then another one in Paris, but it was soon closed down due to the outbreak of World War I.

Having become a widely popular and revered dancer around the world, Duncan continues to tour Europe, Russia, and America. She never liked it, she believed that the tour distracted her from her true calling to educate young dancers and create something creative.

Personal life

Duncan's personal life was filled with tragic twists of fate. But she, as a creative person, found solace in work and creativity, no matter what.

In 1904, she met the director Edward Gordon Craig, and a year later they have a daughter. But the happiness didn't last long. Craig, who never officially became Isadora's husband, returned to his former mistress.

In 1910, Duncan gave birth to a second child from billionaire Paris Singer. By the way, the heir to a vast empire of sewing machines needed a lot of effort to win the heart of an incredible and so famous dancer.

Isadora with children.

In 1913, both Duncan's children died tragically. The car in which the children were driving on a car trip fell off the bridge in the Seine. The doors in the water jammed, nobody managed to get out. Isadora went down in fever. She didn't want to live, her strength gradually left her. The doctors sent her inconsolable mother to the resort and prescribed complete peace.

1914. Having become pregnant with the third child by Italian sculptor Romano Romanelli, Isadora also found no consolation: the child died a few hours after birth.

Isadora Duncan and Romano Romanelli.

Then Isadora realized that she was not meant to be happy, that her destiny was loneliness. From now on, work is the only thing that holds her back in this life. There is a new detail in the dancer's stage image - a long red scarf that stood out like a bloody wound against the white tunica. It symbolized the wound that was not healing in her heart.

In 1917, 6 of the first Duncan students were adopted by her and were given the name Duncan. This was done so that during the tour to the U.S. there were no problems associated with the German origin of the participants in the tour.

Duncan and Esenin.

In 1921, Isadora met Sergei Esenin, a famous Russian poet who was 18 years younger than her. It was a bright and discussed love affair because despite the language barrier and age difference the couple was madly in love. At first, they lived in Russia, but soon Duncan had to go on tour to America. To go abroad together, the couple got officially married in 1922. While they lived in Russia, the relationship developed perfectly. But abroad Esenin stopped writing, began drinking, and most of all he was annoyed that no one here knew him as a poet Esenin. Marriage was officially dissolved in 1924, although a couple separated earlier: Esenin left Duncan and went to Russia in 1923. Two years after the divorce, Duncan received the news of Esenin's suicide, which also left a sad trace in her soul.

Fact!

Duncan was bisexual. For example, after Esenin, she had an affair with American poetess Mercedes de Acosta - about this relationship learned from the letters that the girls wrote to each other.

Death

On 14 September 1927, at the height of her fame, the dancer was to give a concert in Nice. A legend that became famous later said that a moment before getting into the car, Isadora exclaimed to her fans: "Goodbye, friends! I'm going to glory!". The driver touched the car from his seat, but neither he nor the dancer noticed that a long red scarf wrapped around her throat caught the rear wheel axle. After stretching out, he literally strangled Isadora Duncan. The body of the great actress was cremated and the ashes were buried in Paris' Per Lachez Cemetery.

Dunkan's death.

Dance Heritage

Virtually no video recordings of Duncan's dance remained, because the dancer herself believed that the dance could not be recorded, that this is a specific energy that exists right at the moment of the dance.

There is still a perception that Isadora went into some kind of trance and improvised when she came on stage. That is certainly not true. According to a June Layson research, Duncan staged almost 223 dances + 20 in "Iphigenia", of which 176 for herself, 47 for the students.

Innovations introduced by Duncan:

  • The barefoot dance - nobody recognized barefoot dance before her.
  • Light Tunic - Duncan always said that dancing should be about nudity, and tunic helped to show the contours and shape of the body.
  • Music by "serious" composers. Whereas previously ballets and dances had been put on special music by special composers, Duncan chose music by "serious" composers.
  • Cancellation of the corset. At the end of the 19th century, women still wore corsets, but Duncan believed that a corset ugly the body and its shape (including in everyday life).
  • The emancipation of the woman. Duncan fought for a woman's right to live the life she chooses.

A lot of people say that Duncan didn't have the technique. In fact, her dance has certain common features, which can be called a Duncan technique.

Component technicians:

  • solo dance (she was the first one to dare to go on stage without an entire troupe of artists);
  • running;
  • jumps;
  • steps;
  • flowability of movements (one movement flows from another);
  • pantomime;
  • expressive gesture.

The origins of Duncan's choreography:

  • Antiquity;
  • Renaissance;
  • German romanticism;
  • Symbolism;
  • Modern;
  • the dance of the future (the dancer really forced the concept of the dance of the future, because if we now read her essay, published in 1903, we understand that all her prophecies have come true, that the dance really exists for life, the dance somehow corresponds with the forms of the one who moves, etc.).

Dance of the Future Concept

Duncan has developed his own philosophical views. She believed that learning to dance needed everyone to make it a "natural state" for people. Under the influence of Nietzsche's philosophy, Duncan wrote the book Dance of the Future.

According to her beliefs, it is in the dance that a person is able to express his highest ideals and the process of his own formation as self-overcoming. For Duncan, dance is an affirmation of life, health, sensuality, an expression of life's impulse.

The main requirement of Duncan is to radically reconsider views on dance, to recognize it as a "high" kind of art, to use symphonic and opera music, to express spiritual impulses through dance. The ideal of Duncan becomes the dancer of the future - a new harmonious man, living in harmony with nature, with his soul and space. The beautiful movements of this new man should express the impulses of the soul and correspond to the forms of his body. Dance, as Duncan thought, is not an exercise and pirouettes, it is an exaltation of life, theopractics, it is an alternative to the word means to generate ideas. The movement, as she thought, does not need to be thought up, it needs to be invented.

She thought nature was the source of the dance. But Duncan also saw nature in a philosophical way. She learned to observe nature: the movements of waves, clouds, trees, and always sought to bring in his movement a little divine sequence that is inherent in nature.

Another interesting statement by Duncan: "Will is expressed through the use of gravity". That is, Isadora, denying the unnatural forms of ballet that struggled with gravity, on the contrary, believed that one should feel one's body, used earth, and gravity to express one's dance and form.

For her, dance is not only an art but also the basis of a whole concept of life, more refined, natural. Duncan brings morality, beauty, and health to dance. Beauty as understood by Duncan is truth and harmony.

Sources:

  • June Layson “Isadora Dunkan: A Preliminary Analysis of Her work” Dance Research: The Journal of the Society for Dance Research.
  • isadoraduncanarchive.org

Contact Improvisation

Contact Improvisation Dance.

Here you’ll find the fullest information about dancing contact improvisation, its history, rules, exercises, and many others.

What is it?

Contact Improvisation (CI) – is an improvised dance form that is based on real-time communication and a point of physical contact between two people or more. Dancers improvise in physical contact using elements of dance, acrobatic and martial arts.

It’s better to see once than try to understand through the words:

So the two main elements of CI are:

  • physical contact (can come in the form of leaning, pushing, falling, lifting, etc.);
  • improvisation (evolving of the dancing is unexpected and surprising, the dancers can’t prepare for it and the next step demands the full dancers' attention).

CI can be used just as searching for material to choreographies but it is also a kind of social dance form.

History

To understand the whole idea of CI, let's take a closer look at the history of its origin and development.

CI is quite a young direction in the art of free dance. 1972 was the year Steve Paxton founded contact improvisation. In January of this year, together with several male students at the University of Oberlin, he presented a 20-minute, first in the history of CI, dance performance "Magnesium". The performance consisted of unexpected things: participants constantly collided, threw each other, jumped, rolled on the floor, and on each other.

A few months later, Paxton assembled a laboratory of 15 people. They researched the movement and found ways to interact with partners. Initially, they studied how the body works, how gravity works, the physical capabilities of a person, how the human body reacts to living situations (falls, collisions, danger, etc.). Paxton's first works in contact were different from the further development of CI: movements were faster and more unexpected.

Over time, the feeling and the flow of movement became longer. It was more time to feel what was happening.

At the beginning of the CI movement, performance participants almost never used music. The point was to listen to "music" that comes from within you.

They took away everything we think is a dance, and the dance stayed. What does it consist of? It turned out that there are a lot of things in it: the physics of the human body, its interaction with the laws of physics - earthly attraction, acceleration, centrifugal force... There is also the anatomy of movement and what is born in people when they meet. A huge space for research was found.

Then they started experimenting: what happens if you don't make the body dance, but see what it can do on its own? And they discovered that there is a dance that it always performs, and they called it the "small dance". When a person is standing, as it seems to him, motionless, millions of small reflex inclusions work in the muscles, which we have almost no control. The body is constantly balancing relative to the state of equilibrium so as not to fall. The body is dancing!

What is it contact improvisation?

Then they began to investigate what happens to a person during a fall, landing, jump, how to make support without making too much effort, and so on.

As a result of the research, the group presented a new performance, which Paxton called "Contact Improvisation". The dancers performed at John Weber Gallery in Manhattan, during the broadcast of the film by George Manupelli, Dr. Chicago.

After presenting this work, the band members began touring in the states and Europe and practicing CI with new members, spreading and popularizing this movement. Among Paxton's supporters were quite famous dancers at that time: Kurt Siddal, Nancy Stark Smith, Nita Little, Karen Rudler, and others.

However, Paxton didn't standardize and formalize this form of dance in any way. Leaving the CI system open, Paxton allowed the CI to evolve and the participants to bring something of their own into the improvising dance.

Steve Paxton.

Today, contact improvisation is danced in the form of a performance or in the form of "jams", where people can both participate in the dance and act as spectators, and change roles at any time.

Features, rules, forms

Despite all its freedom from rules and requirements, contact improvisation still has some specific features and several techniques. But these techniques do not limit you, but rather provide a basis for interaction between partners.

We can say that CI is a dialog, the dialog between two people, sometimes even strange. And it begins from listening to each other without having asked to add anything to it, without thinking, planning, or navigating. There is a flow of information between them.

It includes physical information like a weight but also sensory information like fear and excitement.

Physical information

Contact improvisation is opened for a physical exploration that consists of weight sharing, losing and regaining balance, playing with momentum, and other surprises. Through touching and searching for common trajectories, contact improvisation explores concepts such as support, giving and receiving, following and resisting, balance, taking responsibility, and finding a solution

Adults can learn contact improvisation from children. They can move without mental restrictions:

Among the CI techniques, it is worth noting work with bodyweight (transferring the weight of your body to another person and taking the weight of the other person on yourself):

  • rolling on the floor (rolling on the floor and on each other's body);
  • low table (when one of the dancers stand on his fourth and another dancer rolls on this “table” as he does it on the floor);
  • hight table (it’s the same low table but the first dancer stands on his legs and tilts his body forward);
  • side lift (the partners are on each other's sides, one of them holds a hand on the other's lower back and lifts it with the strength of the supporting leg, raising the other leg like a pendulum; the other partner tries to transfer his weight smoothly).

This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many kinds of communication between partners with the help of the body in CI.

Despite the fact that some performances resemble acrobatics, CI is fundamentally different from acrobatics. CI partners try to perform elements with the least effort, that is, with the application of minimal physical strength. The partners' attention is focused on how to get into a "comfortable" position or use the impulse so as not to use muscles or use them with minimal force.

Sensual information

In CI we give and receive information at the same time. So partners always try to understand each other without any words. And it’s not only about physical contact, but it’s also about understanding the intent of any movement.

CI is about the moment, it is about what is happening and any thoughts. Plans and other stuff may cause dancers to lose this contact and maybe to miss out on an opportunity to ride on the right way. And on the other hand, the intent will help these people to stay together.

CI is a partner dance form based on improvisation.

An important part of improvisation is to allow what is happening now to happen. This means not thinking about what will happen in a few seconds, but being right in the moment.

Despite the fact that Paxton and his followers initially studied motion physics, later some of them began to talk about the inseparability of body and mind. This gave rise to the study of physical action as an analog of communication between people in real life. For example, the ability to give one's weight or support another corresponds to the ability to trust others and support others in the daily routine of communication. This space provides connecting with other people in a way that isn't possible anywhere else.

Rules of CI space

Safety is the most important principle in the framework of CI because, without a sense of security (both physical and mental), no other principle in this direction will work.

In light of the above, CI is a place without judgment. It means doing something mutual without competition, without a fight, without thinking about who is the winner and who is not.

  • You don’t need shoes.
  • You don’t need to follow so strict rules.
  • Use the whole body.

One of the basic rules that participants in CI groups must follow in order to avoid injuries during work is to do the warming up the body and stretching at the beginning of each lesson. And you should avoid rolling over and give weight to your partner's knees, ankles, and head.

Benefit of CI

CI has a positive effect on the human body, develops and heals it, gives it flexibility, plasticity, strengthens and stretches muscles, fills the body with lightness and vitality. Participants acquire the ability to listen, hear, and understand their own body, which allows them to open up more and act naturally, using movements more effective and less energy-consuming.

In psychological terms, regular attendance at CI classes allows a person, firstly, to learn to trust other people to a greater extent, secondly, to learn to take responsibility for another person, thirdly, to learn how to work, act in pairs, and, in fourth, to unleash your own creativity.

Conclusions

CI is a spontaneous dance form that involves two bodies in motion and is built around a point of contact with a partner. Each such contact and performance is something unique, something that is born here and now. It's the magic of CI and its uniqueness. In search of choreographic material, you can find yourself, contact with the outside world, support, or the ability to “speak” by your body.

So if you have the opportunity to try out the CI on yourself, feel free to try!

And then write in the comments how it is to you.?

For those who want to know more about CI:

  • Stephen Paxton's video lecture from the conference at Culturgest, Lisbon 2019​:
  • link to the specialized magazine on improvisation and dance, which has been published since 1975:
    Contact Quarterly

Burning Calories Dancing

Burning Calories Dancing.

Dancing is a good cardio load. This activity corresponds to a fat-burning cardio zone (60-80% of your maximum heart rate), so it's good if you want to get rid of a couple of extra pounds.

About how many kilocalories you lose in one dance class, read on.

The amount of calories burned depends on your age, weight and metabolic level.

That is, how many calories an average person spends an hour doing this or that dance.

All data below are based on estimates for a girl weighing approximately 155 pounds. But once again, let us remind you that everything depends not only on weight but also height, age, metabolic level, intensity of training.

Ballet - from 450 to 500 kcal/hour

Ballet is in first place in terms of calorie consumption. With various classic pas, you can burn about 500 calories or even more.

If you are not a professional dancer, try the relatively young direction of classical dance - body ballet. In such classes, you will be taught a basic ballet pas, put even posture, show how to work near the ballet barre.

Hip Hop — from 400 to 500 kcal/hour

Hip-hop and generally street dances such as dancehall, breakdancing, krump are usually very rhythmic and fast, which means it's a great cardio load. The main elements and techniques of hip-hop are "rocking" body, jumping, falling, spinning and light acrobatic movements. This dance includes a wide range of movements of the whole body, which puts it quite high on the calorie scale. Depending on the intensity of your workout, you can spend up to 500 calories per hour.

Zumba — from 400 to 500 kcal/hour

Zumba is a dance fitness program that combines fitness exercises and movements from Latin American dances.

If your main goal in dancing is to lose weight, then Zumba is the perfect fit for you. It's both fun and effective, and group dancing is not boring thanks to the fiery Latin rhythms of music. You can even try practicing zumba at home. But don't forget to buy comfortable sneakers for zumba classes!

Latina – from 300 to 400 kcal/hour

Depending on whether you are a sports ballroom dancer or a social Latino dancer, there will be different calorie consumption and efficiency. But on average you can burn up to 400 calories per hour of active samba or salsa training.

Pole Dance – to 400 kcal/hour

Pole Dance combines cardio load, stretching exercises and at the same time power training. The main load is on the abs, back, and arms. Not as many calories can be burned during a pole dance training as during a more rhythmic dance. However, you should take into account that sport pole dance is a serious power load, which develops your muscles, thus helping to increase muscle mass and, accordingly, increase the consumption of calories.

Contemporary — to 400 kcal/hour

Contemporary is a dance direction, consisting of many different techniques and styles. It is based on classical dance and art nouveau - modern dance. Despite the seeming lightness and airiness of movements, dance contemporary burns a lot of calories, gives enough load on the muscles and body.

The heavier you are, the more you spend compared to a lighter colleague. According to Harvard Medical School, if you weigh about 133 pounds, you'll burn about 5.5 kcal per minute while dancing at a moderate pace. A person weighing 155 pounds kilograms will spend 7 kcal per minute or 420 kcal per hour.

Create a calorie shortage

Physical activity alone may not be enough to feel the full effect of dance training. In order to lose weight while dancing, it is advisable to contact a nutritionist, who will perform the necessary calculations and make a suitable menu taking into account all needs.

Advantages of Dancing for Slimming

Besides the fact that dancing produces plasticity and helps us lose weight, it has a lot of other advantages. Among them are the following:

  • The whole body works during training. By dancing, you develop all muscle fibers evenly, so rest assured that your body will look as proportionate as possible.
  • Dancing improves coordination - it helps a lot in everyday life.
  • Dance training makes you more flexible. Many dream of being able to do splits or a bridge. Dancing is a great opportunity to learn it all.
  • Choreography increases self-confidence.
  • Aerobic loads are a prevention of osteoporosis, a positive effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Dancing develops a sense of balance and a sense of self in space.
  • Dancing also works well as art therapy. Sometimes it is difficult for a person to express his emotions and feelings in words, to say it out loud, to tell someone else. So the narrative goes through movements and music.

FAQ

How many calories do you burn when you dance?

It depends on what type of dance do you choose. But on average you can burn between 300 and 700 kilocalories per hour of dancing practice.

Which type of dance burns the most calories?

Hip hop and ballet burn the most calories in an hour of training. The Zumba Fitness Dance is also effective for weight loss.

How long do you have to dance to burn 1000 calories?

A person who weighs 155 pounds needs about two hours of high-intensity training to burn 1,000 calories while dancing.

Is dancing good for weight loss?

Dancing is good for weight loss.

Sources and External Resources

How to Become a Better Dancer?

How to be a better dancer?

The profession of a dancer requires constant work on himself and his body. Whether you are a professional dancer or a student in a dance class or dance college, you will always have to improve your skills. So what do you have always to do to become a better and better dancer every day? We'll tell you some tips in the article below.

Watch the other dancers dance.

Watch the video of others dancing. Pay attention to detail, plasticity, choreography. Over time it will diversify your dance vocabulary and may even help to form individual and special plasticity. Also, paying attention to other dancers, you develop your own dance taste and ideas about the world of dancing.

Shoot yourself on video.

Without seeing yourself from the outside, it will be difficult for you to evaluate your progress and technique. Also, be sure to practice in front of the mirror. But even better, videotape yourself periodically. From the outside, you can often see what can be improved in the technique of a particular movement.

Shoot yourself on video.

Practice often.

Frequent and regular training is the key to your progress. Don't be overworked, but work out every day as much as you can. If you can't dance in the studio every day, then dance at home on days free from studio training. No room? Practice separate movements. Look for an opportunity, not an excuse. This quality is definitely useful for you if you want to be a successful and professional dancer.

Dance in front of mirror.

Attend the masterclasses.

To learn from a good choreographer or dancer who came to your city is an opportunity that is simply not to be lost. Usually, these masterclasses give you much more than a few months of regular training. This is because top dancers and choreographers with a lot of experience come to the masterclasses.

Try training with different coaches.

In addition to masterclasses, try classes with different coaches. Everyone has a different approach to teaching, different style, and plasticity. This variety is sure to benefit your body.

Masterclasses.

Set specific goals.

It's cool that you want to be better than you are. But it's not very effective if you don't set specific goals. Such a goal can be a victory or a prize in competitions, participation in battles, appearances in public, getting a job in ballet, organizing your group of dancers, etc. Goals may also be short-term, such as learning to spin on your head if you are a b-boy, or learning the attitude (the main pose of ballet) if you're a ballet dancer. In this way, you will be able to track your progress, and achieving your goals will inspire you to win even more.

Different dancers' goals.

Take part in competitions and battles.

Dancing in public is a completely different feeling than in a training class. Performances train artistry, the ability to express emotion in dance, as well as tell a story with your body. Competitions and battles bring up a sporting spirit and competitive enthusiasm.

Dancer on Competitive Stage.

Communicate with other dancers.

Sharing experiences, the opportunity to train together, an objective view from the outside - all these are the benefits of communicating with other dancers. Yes, sometimes you may meet an adversary who will not be sincere with you because of competition or other selfish feelings. But in most cases, the dancers around you can help you became better every day, and you can help them in this too.

Find people from whom you can get quality feedback.

Ask your coach for advice, ask him what you are doing right and what you are not. In addition to coaches, you can talk to friends and family, even if they have nothing to do with dancing. You will at least get a boost of motivation and support from them.

Give 100% in training.

Take ALL from every training. Be serious, listen carefully to what the coach says. Repeat the movements after the coach over and over again, because the more practice you have, the faster the result will be. Why come to the training if you do not plan to do everything you can on it?

Keep the body toned.

It's a set of actions - work out, eat the right food and sleep enough. All this will make your body always ready for exercise, strong and healthy. Every day it works hard to be better for you. Do something for your body in return - make sure that your body is nourished with quality micro- and macronutrients, and that you recover sufficiently while you sleep. It's also a big plus for you if you keep your muscles toned by training in the gym or jogging if necessary.

Healthy Body.

Ignore the haters, but don't be seduced by compliments.

Negative in this field of activity can not be avoided, it is important - do not pay attention to him. Constructive criticism from professionals and experienced specialists, of course, is important. But if we are talking about envious people, then you should not be upset about their opinion. As for praise and compliments, they are, of course, very pleasant. But the main thing is not to stop at what has been achieved.

Do not ignore fatigue, pain, or even minor injuries.

Take care of your body and make sure it's healthy. If you feel pain in any part of your body, do not ignore it. Tell your trainer, or see a doctor immediately. Any injuries, even the mildest, can lead to serious and severe consequences.

Don't compare yourself to others.

Nobody’s born a dancer. Yes, some people are more inclined to learn, some people learn easier or faster, some people have good ears, then they get rhythm quicker but nobody’s born with coordination. That’s a skill that has to be developed.

Nobody’s born a dancer.

Do not give up!

This is one of the most important tips for all dancers, both beginners, and professionals. Never give up, no matter what. Take challenges with pride, and also be confident in yourself. And you will succeed!

Write what you think about these short tips below in the comments.

Perhaps you have something to add, we will be happy to supplement this list with useful tips.

And if our advice has helped you in any way, we'd be very happy to hear about it.

Dance and grow with DanceBibles.com!

Contemporary Dance History

Contemporary Dance History

Contemporary dance is a popular dance direction characterized by plasticity, emotionality, variety of movements and techniques. Today, this dance has huge popularity. Its active popularization and development began only in the 80s of the last century. Even the word "contemporary" only then began to be used exactly as the name of the whole direction in dance. But you should understand that this style of dance appeared much earlier. Let's find out - when?

Theories of Origin

We don't know exactly when the Contemporary dance came out. That is, it is not clear who and when he first started dancing, inventing movements and techniques. There are several theories that are based on the similarity of certain techniques to others.

Contemporary dance origin.

So, there is an opinion that contemporary dance came from Eastern practices, in particular from yoga and some martial arts. This is explained by the special technique of breathing in a contemporary, which is also inherent in yogic breathing. It's also important for the contemporary dance to have a stable position, balance, smooth transition from one movement to another, which is also very typical for yoga. So one cannot help but think about the similarity of these two types of physical activity.

Contrary to the previous theory, some historians argue that the emergence of contemporary dance is directly related to either Central America or European countries.

Alternative to classical ballet

What nobody denies is that the contemporary appeared as a result of the denial of classical ballet and its canons. Ballet is a rather structured system of movements with strict rules. Contemporary dance has become a kind of opposition to everything classical, because of its free, expressive and natural character.

Contemporary VS Classic Ballet.

It should be noted that the classic base of a contemporary dancer is often an undeniable advantage in terms of physical fitness and capabilities of the body.

Founders

The mother of modern dance, free and sensual, is rightfully considered Isadora Duncan, although contemporary dancing got its popularity even 30 years after her death. It was she who began to contrast the sharp lines, strict choreographic movements and standardization of poses in favor of free, natural dance, which expresses sincere emotions and feelings.

Isadora Duncan.

Isadora has established a tendency to dance barefoot. She was not interested in inventing new pas, but in creating a new worldview - light and joyful. This feeling was fully conveyed through her dancing and performances. She talked so much about "liberation from conventionality", about "free spirit in a liberated body" that her art was eventually dubbed "free".

Isadora Duncan's Photos.

Authenticity and individuality, the manifestation of personal feelings of the dancer - these signs became the main in determining the modern dance according to Duncan and her followers. The ballerina's frozen smile has disappeared, and she has been replaced by sincere emotions and feelings.

Attention!

It is also worth noting the significant influence of the idea of freedom of movement and expression of feelings in dance on classical ballet dances. Even the academic ballet could not allow a "soulless" gesture after Duncan.

Martha Graham (1894-1991)

Although Isadora and her dance were quite popular, contemporary dancing has gained more popularity thanks to Martha Graham. This dancer, who introduced and widely popularized contemporary dance to a global audience.

Martha Graham.

М. Graham excluded imitation of movements, teaching independent plastic thinking and expressiveness of gestures. For this purpose, she used the technique of contraction and release, according to which the movement originates from the center of the body where breathing is concentrated (diaphragm).

Martha Graham's photo.

Graham has introduced into modern dance all known to this day bases:

  • Breathing techniques: when exhaled, the diaphragm shrinks, directing the movement inside; when inhaled, it expands, the movement spreads in a spiral upward through the torso, arms, neck.
  • The movement must cover the entire space, that is, the dance takes place standing, sitting and on the floor (parterre).
  • The dance completely covers the whole body, all parts of the body are used.
  • More complete use of space through movements on the floor.

Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham worked with M. Graham's troupe in 1939-45. In 1952, he formed his own troupe. He believed that the emotional element should be brought to choreography by the spectator, not by a choreographer or a dancer. His aesthetics were close to the theatre of absurdity and aleatoric in music. Cunningham has staged performances of both the Art Nouveau Dance and the European Classical School in many European and American companies, particularly the Paris Opera.

Merce Cunningham.

Pina Bausch

The German dance theatre in the Pina Bausch version becomes the third source of all modern culture with modern dance. She has been working as a choreographer since 1968, thanks to which she creates the Wuppertal Dance Theatre. She has not only transformed modern dance but has also created a new genre: dance theatre, a system in which words, music, and movement exist on equal terms. Many of the things that exist in the field of dance theatre today owe this genre to Pina Bausch.

Pina Bausch.

Present days

Today, contemporary dance is a popular dance around the world. Such dancers and choreographers as William Forsythe, Alain Platel, Steve Paxton (creator of contact improvisation), Wim Vandekeybus, Itzik Galili, Meg Stuart, Ruth St. Denis, Boris Charmatz, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Sasha Waltz made a significant contribution to its development and popularization. They and many others are the authors and ideologists of modern free dance - contemporary dance. To these people, we should be grateful for what we see and enjoy this amazing dance exactly as it is.

This may be interesting to watch:


Books about the history of the Contemporary:

  • Steve Paxton “Gravity” and “Trisha Brown: dance and art in dialogue, 1961-2001”;
  • Driver S. William Forsythe “Chur: Harwood Academic Publishers”, 2000;
  • Susan Rosenberg “Trisha Brown: Choreography as Visual Art”.

So, what do you think about the future of contamporary dancing?

Let's talk about it in comments bellow.

Movies about Dancing

Movies about Dancing.
    • Step Up (1-6 parts)

Step up - the legendary six films about dancing, after which many teenagers went looking for dance schools in order to learn how to move and dance, like Tyler from the first and second parts of the film.

Step Up with Channing Tatum.

The first part (2006) is about a young man, Tyler, for whom the main thing in life is street dance. After one of the street dancing adventures (Tyler and his friends snuck into the local art school), the police detained Tyler. As a result, the court ordered him to community service at the school. During this time Tyler's life began to change dramatically.

There is an interesting plot, a lot of music and dancing Channing Tatum. There is also a love story and unexpected plot twists. And most importantly, the film perfectly captures the atmosphere of the streets and street dances. Step Up is mandatory for all dance lovers to watch.

The second part is no less entertaining because it tells us about Tyler's sister. It is in this movie appears all the favorite hero Moose, who played Adam Sevani. All events take place according to the laws of the genre, but from this film does not become boring. It is filled with special effects, cool dances and dancers, and good music.

Step Up 2 The Streets.

We recommend that you view at least the first 4 parts of Step Up. The movie will give you a lot of fun if you like dancing, especially in street directions.

    • Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing.

Dance classics, the absolute must-have in the list of films about dance. Chic Patrick Swayze and gentle Jennifer Grey is a legendary duo that amazes with sincerity.

The film tells about the romantic union of two completely different people, representatives of different estates. And this union became possible only through music and dance.

There is also the second part - Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004). The stories are not related to each other, but the plots are similar in many ways. It's a kind of fresh look at the usual plot. We recommend you to watch both parts.

    • Honey (2003)

Honey.

A classic story about a young girl who works hard and dreams of opening her own dance school. During the day - she goes to castings of dancers, teaches dance to children, and at night - we work as a bartender in a nightclub. There, her dance is noticed one day, and it changes her whole life.

Jessica Alba, starring, looks very organic. You believe in her and you empathize with her. The story is very sincere and kind, so we recommend watching it not only for a good time but also for motivation.

    • Magic Mike (2012) + Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Magis Mike.

If you haven't had enough Channing Tatum in Step Up, make sure you watch Magic Mike. Besides Tatum, featured Oscar bearer Matthew McConaughey and promising young actor Alex Pettifer starred in Magic Mike. During the day Mike works on a construction site and puts tiles, and at night becomes the object of lust of all visitors to the club "Kings of Tampa".

Magis Mike XXL.

A relaxing comedy about the life of strippers is great for watching at the weekend.

    • Battle of the Year (2013)

Battle of The Year.

The film tells about how the American team is preparing for the most important dance competitions of the world scale. Teams from all countries compete for the main prize - the title of the best dance team in the world, the title of Kings of the dance floor.

    • StreetDance (2010)

StreetDance.

StreetDance - a youth melodrama about the participants of the dance tournament. Participants of the dance group "Jay 20" live dancing and even got the right to perform in the final championship of England on street dance. But the way to victory is not so easy and the team is waiting for many obstacles.

The film focuses on a mixture of styles: the first part of street dance and ballet, the second part of the film - street dance and Latina.

The film has three parts in total.

    • La danseuse (2016)

La danseuse.

The painting about the discoverer of art nouveau in the dance Loi Fuller - attracts emotional, musical, and choreographic background. On the one hand, the drama "La danseuse" tells about a strong woman, who since childhood used to overcome resistance, looking for ways to self-fulfillment, hard to work to realize themselves. On the other hand - the story of Loi Fuller - is the tragedy of a man who did not know happiness in life and was not endowed with the deserved glory after death. And yet this woman can serve as an example of a selfless attitude to a favorite cause. But the fame of a dancer in the art nouveau style went to a student Fuller Isadora Duncan.

Interesting biographical drama with a deep philosophical meaning. Be sure to watch if you dance in modern dance directions.

    • Dancer (2016)

Dancer.

The documentary is dedicated to one of the most famous and talented artists of contemporary ballet - Sergei Polunin. Having managed to reach the top of his dancing career by the age of 19, at the age of 25 Polunin begins to think seriously about changing his life path. Acquaintance with dubious personalities and drug abuse leads to failures, but Sergei's talent continues to fascinate the public, and specialists read the dancer a bright and fast career, putting him on a par with such ballet stars as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev.

    • Burlesque (2010)

Burlesque.

Starring the musical is charming Christina Aguilera and Cher. The plot tells of a young talented girl Ali, who comes to Los Angeles to conquer the scene burlesque club. She is talented and purposeful. The musical was created especially for the actor's debut of Christina Aguilera.

It is an interesting story about the struggle for success in the dance industry.

    • Fame (2009)

Fame.

A film-musical about the New York School of Art. Every student has dreams of popularity, but the road to glory is complicated and thorny. This film is about whether students can overcome all the difficulties on their way to come to a cherished desire.

    • Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan.

The Black Swan is a modern story about ballet dancer Nina (played by Natalie Portman), whose life is changing as she gets the main role in Swan Lake. The film shows well the daily hard work of ballet dancers, tells about the strained relations between parents and children-dancers. The life of the main character is inseparable from her professional activities because ballet and getting her starring role in the legendary ballet production - became the meaning of her life.

Black Swan should please not only fans of classical dance, but also those who love drama stories about self-reflection, which sometimes leads to schizophrenic tendencies.

    • Shall We Dance? (2004)

Shall We Dance?

A romantic comedy with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez tells how dancing helps save a person from everyday routine and diversify his life.

It's a touching melodrama with great actors and an interesting story. It's a good movie to watch in the evening.

    • Take the lead (2006)

Take the Lead.

The painting tells about the confrontation between a teacher of classical tango dance and teenagers - representatives of youth hip-hop culture. Hold Rhythm - an elegant, deep, and high-quality film about dance and not only. In addition to good performances, it also shows the complex relationship between people. The protagonist acts as a kind of model, carrying the teachings not only dance but also the rules of conduct in life, regardless of position and status.

Although Dance is certainly the main theme of the movie. Each dance, especially the tango, is shown in this film very professionally and competently.

This is our TOP-13 movies about dancing.

Please write in your comments if you have watched any of these films and how you feel about them.

Or if you have any recommendations, what movie can be added to this list, we will be very glad to your comments!