Dances Around the World

Dances Around the World

Dance is one of the most beautiful expressions of art that is out there. It is also a great way to get to know a culture. Local dances can represent so much about a country and their people. Here are just a few.

1. Hula
This dance is quite common in Hawaii and was brought over by the Polynesians partially as entertainment but also as a way to worship the gods. The traditions of hula have changed over time such as the lei and the costume. It has become more of a form of entertainment for tourists but that doesn’t mean that it has lost its beauty.

2. Bon Odori
This has been part of Japanese Buddhist culture for more than 500 years. They are apart of Bon Festivals, which are known as Obon which usually lasts for three days and is a time where deceased ancestors visit to check in on their family. Bon odori welcomes the ancestors and while there are many varieties of the dace they are usually performed during street parades.

3. Irish Stepdance
While it can look quite complicated, Irish stepdance can actually be performed at many levels making it a suitable dance for many. This dance dates back to pre-Christian times in Ireland but it is now quite common at Irish festivals or St. Patrick’s Day celebrations all over.

4. Ghoomar
A folk dance of Southern India, Ghoomar is a graceful dance that includes twirling colorful skirts which makes it even more enjoyable to watch. Women are the only ones who dance but men and women will sing together during this performance. It is a dance used to worship religious deities as is common with many folk dances.

5. Maypole dance
This dance started as a pagan custom in the United Kingdom in which women would dance around a wooden pole to celebrate sex and fertility. Nowadays, it is more common for children to wrap ribbon round the pole while dancing and singing.

6. Samba
In Brazil, the Samba is much more than a dance. It is a huge symbol of their culture and people. There are more than seven different kinds of samba but they are always danced with traditional samba music. A lively event with guitars, tambourines, and colorful headdresses makes it a great time!

7. Harlem Shake
This popular dance in New York actually came from Eastern Africa in the 1980s. It mostly incorporates a lot of shoulder shaking and movements of the head. The best part is how easy it is to pick up!

8. Flamenco
A dance that truly evokes emotion. It is known for its passion and intensity due to the exquisite body language of the dancers as well as their hand clapping and foot stomping. The costumes are important as well since the long skirts are often used to highlight the movements of the dancers.

9. Haka
Coming from New Zealand, this dance was originally more of a war cry. Overtime it has transformed into a dance but still with many variations. It includes much chanting, chest beating and stomping. It has become most popular as the rugby teams began to perform it in 1905.

10. Salsa
This Cuban dance has become especially popular in the last few decades. It consists of many different styles as it has spread all over the world which is probably partially due to the fact that it is quite easy for many to learn.

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