Dance How Cultures Throughout History Have Used Dance as a Vital Part of the Human Condition
Literature, music, and dance are all outlets for human creativity that have been as vital to our existence as human beings as war, science, and religion arguably. There are some who would even go so far as to say that our appreciation for such arts and our ability to comprehend aesthetic principles is the defining trait of humanity itself. While such claims may certainly be overstated, there is no doubt that dance has and still does play a role in our history and culture as a species to this date. In the United States there are around 8,404 dance studios that employ around 48,860 people and counting; the dance studio industry in the U.S. grow by 2.3% annually between 2009 and 2014. Here are some historical examples and scientific evidence as to why dance is such a vital and essential part of the human experience.
The History of Dance
For millennia dance has been an integral part of human society and culture with the first archaeological evidence of dance being linked to cave paintings in India that are believed to date back to over 7,000 BC. In more recent history, the ancient Egyptians regularly used dance for both entertainment and ritual purposes; it was believed that the gods and the cosmos itself were in a perpetual dance of fate that was replicated by human worshippers in an attempt to both appease the gods and connect themselves with that overarching source of divinity. Although many cultures and people still ritualize dance today, for many cultures dance became a form of entertainment and eventually courtship. Ballroom dancing became standardized in late 17th century Paris when Louis XIV founded the Academie Royale de Musique et de Danse — these rules became the standard for which ballroom dancing was to be founded and are followed even now as ballroom dancing has become recognized as an Olympic sport.
The Benefits of Dance
While dance has found its place in human society and history, many of its health benefits are only now beginning to be understood by scientists and doctors. Regularly attending dance class gives individuals the opportunity to improve their posture and balance while simultaneously strengthening their bones and muscles. In addition to these physical benefits, many psychologists argue that there are even more significant mental and social benefits behind regular dance classes. Those who regularly attend dance classes were shown to have reduced stress, tension, and depression. In a world full of increasing distractions brought on by technology, dance also provides individuals with social opportunities in an environment that allows dancers to get exercise while encouraging and helping one another better their practice.
Dancing Like a Star
For some dance is a calling, for most dance is a recreational activity and a skill that some need to pick up quickly. A majority of those who take classic ballroom dancing instructions are couples rehearsing for their weddings. There are a number of dance studios around the country that specialize in offering a series of first wedding dance lessons for couples to wow guests and dance as though they were born to do so. While some of these couples may have greater aspirations for Broadway, there is no doubt that those who invest the right amount of time, energy, and effort will be able to follow the rules established centuries ago in Paris by Louis XIV. Whether looking for a stress reliever, removal of two left feet, or one’s future, rest assured that professional ballroom dancing studios across the country have helped thousands dance as though they were born to do so.