The Art of Dancing

Whether it be a principal ballerina on stage or an embarrassing uncle at a wedding, dance comes in all shapes and sizes. Ballet, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, musical theater, and tap are just a few of the many styles of dance. But really… what is dance? To begin, the dictionary definition of dance is a series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music. This is fairly accurate, but being a dancer, I believe there is much more to it than that.

In my opinion, there are only two ways to dance. The first is best described as your embarrassing relative at a family event. This type of dancing can be performed anywhere there is music. Luckily, in our society today, music is playing all around us. From the grocery store to your car, the latest hits are always playing on the radio. You can boogie in the frozen food isle, or bust a move at a stoplight. Having been around for ages, this way of dancing is usually performed by an ordinary person who has the desire to move.

The second way of dancing requires dedication, hard work, and strength. A principal ballerina with New York City Ballet elegantly leaps across the stage, demonstrating the perfect amount of grace. I consider this type of dancing an art form. Dancers who take this path in life spend an abundance of hours perfecting their craft. A contemporary dancer and a tapper on Broadway both share a mutual love for dance. Late rehearsals, hundreds of performances, and endless hours of training allow these dancers to become beautifully successful.

Both ways of dancing bring both joy and innocence to the world. Beautiful and unique, dance is an art form that deserves much more recognition and respect then it is given in today’s world. Because of shows such as “Dance Moms” on Lifetime, dance is misrepresented. Programs like this portray dance in a negative light, dirtying and warping the image of dance. Unfortunately, viewers misunderstand dance and therefore dislike the art form. However, “Dance Moms” has also positively impacted the dance industry. The popularity of dance sky-rocketed when the show went on air. Children everywhere have taken up dance in an attempt to be like the dancers on the show, but many realize that the show is glorified and embellished; dance is a difficult, whole-body sport that may not be for everyone.

My definition of dance would be moving your body to music in a way that feels right to you. The thing that appeals the most to people about dance is the freedom. There is no right or wrong way to dance, as long as you move your body to the music and enjoy yourself. So next time your favorite song comes on, do not be afraid to dance.

“See the music, hear the dance.” -George Balanchine 

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