Created in Italy during the Renaissance by the Medici family, ballet is the most stylized and formal dance form. From the age of 11 to 13, the girls start training a pointe and dancing on their toes with a pointe shoe: a silky pink shoe with a square toe made of a paper mache material. With many years of training, a ballerina can pirouette (spin) and dance with her partner on her toes. When men dance ballet, they learn to run and fold high in the air and take special partner lessons to dance a pass de deux (a dance of two) with a ballerina. The Paris Opera Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet are leaders in ballet today.
Developed by Martha Graham, Isadora Duncan and Paul Taylor, modern dance has become a favorite in the dance world. This dance style was created to reveal emotions and to ‘humanize’ the art form. The modern main idea is to manipulate the space around you. Modern steps can be extremely — slow motion compared to fast, smooth versus choppy and large versus small. Some modern dance companies that list are Alvin Ailey and Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Jazz can be seen as a combination of ballet and Broadway. The steps Chasse, Jete and Pas de Bourne are all from ballet while Charleston, Crazy Legs and Bee’s Knees are elements of ‘old Hollywood’. Jazz has a high energy and is performed with intense, usually fast music. The idea of ’center control’ is important for this dance style, without a safe center (abdominal area), many of the steps and movements would be difficult to do. A notable jazz dance company is Giordano Jazz Dance based in Chicago.
Hip- Hop / Pop
Hip-hop dance covers a wide range: breaking, locking, popping and crumpling can be categorized under this form of dance. It is strenuous and most improvisational. Many people simply take steps that go with There are currently no hip hop companies per se, but dancers usually travel around in ‘crews’ and compete against others. Jabbawockeez, Beat Freaks, Kaba Modern and Krump Kings are some excellent crews.
Ballroom is a popular leisure activity, especially for people who have no previous dance experience. There are several tempos and styles within the ballroom: Jive, Quickstep and Swing are fast; Waltz, Foxtrot and Blues are slower and sometimes slick; and Tango, Flamenco and Cha-Cha are somewhere in between. Each style has a certain set of steps that correspond to the time of the accompanying music and the character of the dance. America’s Ballroom Challenge is a popular competition that is broadcast on PBS. Dance is an art form or sporting activity commonly used in performance, liturgical or expressionist arenas. From the French word, dance involves the movement of the body (usually in time with music) in different fashions according to the style used. There are many different types of dance steps — but those presented in ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop and ballroom are the most common.