How does dance impact society? – Valley Social Dance Studio Ton Wi Airport
How does it change us? To ask, we must take a hard look at where we have come from – where did we go wrong, how did we go wrong. Where did we go wrong in the first place?
It’s a question that has puzzled people for hundreds of years. For many, this is the first thing they think of when they talk about dance. They think of classical ballet, then dance’s many derivatives, from hip hop to dance fusion. The most popular dance form in the world – and certainly in the English-speaking world – and with a vast global following has been dance.
But what else has dance been doing for thousands of years – how many centuries have we been dancing?
In the Western world, it is hard for us to imagine a time when human beings were not socialising, singing and playing musical instruments. For many thousands of years, dancing was woven into the fabric of our lives. Dance was our language. It made up our lives, it was our national art form. It was the centrepiece to festivals of entertainment and fun. Dance was a popular form of entertainment for the masses; it was our ‘culture’.
In our culture, dancing is thought of as entertainment. But where was this entertainment going for those thousands of years? What did dancers do other than dance?
We can explore these questions by looking at dance’s many forms and cultural origins.
There are many possible approaches to exploring this question. However for the most part, the way that dance first emerged in our culture is a question of how we look at history.
As is evident throughout history, our conception of what ‘entertainment’ and how people could participate in and express themselves was shaped by the social, economic and political arrangements of everyday life.
For example, there were different levels of participation that could be held.
At the most basic level, dances were the only forms of entertainment we were permitted to see on the grounds of our school.
At the most advanced level, which most cultures would be familiar with, we saw people performing in theatres, with music and dancing – a form of performing arts that existed in our communities all over the world. This stage was also the one in which people saw dancing as entertainment. It was an expression of the ‘public’ (as we defined it) that the performers were presenting. And for most of the cultures that existed to that point, dancing was one of the highest forms
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