Popular types of dance




Dance is a universal language. There are many types of dance, and you can trace their origins back to various places around the world. Some have roots that go back centuries, others are decidedly more modern, and have only just entered into the artistic sphere. Each form of dance has its own story, and can be used to express yourself in different ways. Read on to discover more about the most popular kinds of dance.



Ballet’s origins can be traced all the way back to 15th century Italy. Over time, ballet has become more and more popular, and is now an art form all of its own. There are three basic styles of ballet.

Classical: Popular in 19th century France and Russia. Usually heavy on plot and orchestrated, with detailed sets and costumes. Pointe work, graceful movement, and symmetry are emphasised. A popular example of classical ballet is The Nutcracker.

Neoclassical: Emerged in the mid-20th century. Little to no plot, movements are faster and more urgent, costumes and sets are kept simple.

Contemporary: Costumes and set designs are quite oftentimes abstract, music and sound is experimental in nature. Pure movement and physical expression is favoured over plot and story.



Jazz has become one of the most popular styles of dancing in recent years. It is a fun and energetic type of dance that is prevalent in television shows, movies, and music videos. Jazz dancers usually have some skills in ballet, as the two types of dance complement each other well.

Jazz dance steps include chaines, piques, pirouettes, and the signature jazz walk move. A popular jazz move is the contraction – you contract your torso, with the back curved outward and the pelvis pulled forward.



Modern dance developed in the early twentieth century in reaction to more technical and structured forms of dance like ballet. Its choreography is very diverse and cannot be categorised as having a specific style. Dancers are encouraged to use their emotions and mood to influence their movement.

Sometimes watching a modern dancer perform can be very moving, as the dancer might be trying to convey a sad emotion like grief or mourning. Many modern dancers will choose to channel a subject close to their hearts, such as a personal failure. They will then choose music that relates to this subject, or sometimes no music at all.



Flamenco is the most famous style of dance and music in Spain. It originates from the Spanish region of Andalusia, and became popular in the 18th century. It consists of three distinct parts: the cante (or song), the toque (or guitar), and the baile (or dance).

Flamenco dancers use their arms and stamp their feet to express great emotion. There are many different variations of the dance including flamenco puro, classical flamenco, and modern flamenco.

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