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Der Kinderreigen
Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.

Dance also is used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain genres.

Choreography means any notation of dance.

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance disciplines exist in sports such as gymnastics, figure skating, and synchronized swimming, and martial arts kata are often compared to dance.

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A bboy performing in a cipher for a crowd in Turkey.
Hip Hop dance refers to dance styles primarily danced to hip hop music or that have evolved as a part of the hip hop culture. This includes a wide range of styles such as breaking, popping, locking, and krumping. Breaking, locking, and popping were developed in the 1970's by Black and Latino Americans. Krumping followed in the 1990's and was developed by Black Americans in Compton, CA.

What separates hip hop dance from other forms of dance is that it is often improvisational (freestyle) in nature and hip hop dancers frequently engage in battles—formal or informal one on one dance competitions. Freestyle sessions and battles are usually performed in a cipher, a circular dance space which forms naturally once the dancing begins. It was DJ Afrika Bambaataa that outlined the five pillars of hip hop culture including breaking as one of them (along with rapping, DJing, beatboxing, and graffiti).

The dance industry responded to hip hop dance by creating a more commercial version of it. This "studio hip hop", sometimes called new style is the kind of hip hop dancing seen in most rap and R&B music videos. Technically speaking, hip hop dance (new style hip hop that is) is characterized as hard hitting. The feet are grounded, the chest is down, and the body is kept loose so that a dancer can easily alternate between hitting the beat or riding through the beat. This is in contrast to ballet or ballroom dancing where the chest is upright and the body is stiff. In addition, new style hip hop is very rhythmic and there's a lot of emphasis placed on musicality—how sensitive your movements are to the music.

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Tutu by Edgar Degas
Credit: Tutu by Edgar Degas

A ballet tutu is a skirt worn as a costume in a ballet performance, often with attached bodice. It might be single layer, hanging down, or multiple layers starched and strutting out. Tutus were often cherished as costumes, for the tanning makeup people used to wear was forbidden to touch the costumes. Ballet Ports de Bras arm movements were modified to not touch the elegant costumes.

Did you know

... that Rolf de Maré was a Swedish art collector who in 1933 created the world's first museum and research institute for dance?

... that the first performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in 1958, was held at New York's 92nd Street Young Men's Hebrew Association?

... the Ländler dance that Maria and the Captain shared in the musical The Sound of Music is not really traditional?

... during the production of Sylvia, the score was constantly under construction by Delibes, often with the aid of lead dancers Louis Mérante and Rita Sangalli?

... the Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations are Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity?

...that the score of Giselle contains additions by Léon Minkus?

...that the Mark Morris Dance Group derives its name from the fact that Mark Morris never wanted a formal company but instead simply gathered a group of his colleageus and peers and, on November 28, 1980, put on a show of his works at the Merce Cunningham Studios in Greenwich Village, New York City?

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Jerry Mitchell is an American theatre director and choreographer. He served as both director and choreographer for Legally Blonde: The Musical, which opened in April 2007 and Peep Show, the stage show for Planet Hollywood Las Vegas starring Holly Madison.

Most of his career has been in theatre; however, in 2008 he served as a mentor on Bravo's reality competition Step It Up and Dance. In 2005 he won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for La Cage aux Folles.

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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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 • Swing

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