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FEET FIRST: an invitation to dance
Dance Genres
Learn more about each of the genres and presenters
on show at Feet First
This culture represents a living heritage left by the African slaves in Brazil, in which context
Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian dances constitute a whole. For this reason, the pratice of Capoeira
always comes together with Afro-Brazilian dances such as Maculelê, Samba de Roda and
Puxada de Rede.
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Baby Ballet
Creative movement and dance for 3-8 year olds. Designed specifically for young children,
baby ballet introduces the foundations of dance through movement, rhythm, imagination and
creative play.
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Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the
15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since
become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary.
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Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively
around the world. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is
also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television.
Ballroom Dance
Ballroom dance may refer, at its widest, to almost any type of social dancing as recreation.
However, with the emergence of dancesport in modern times, the term has become
narrower in scope. It usually refers to the International Standard and International Latin style
dances. Examples of Ballroom dance include: Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Quickstep, Cha Cha Cha,
Jive, Samba.
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Bollywood dance is primarily modeled on Indian dance: classical dance styles, dances of
historic northern Indian courtesans or folk dances. Indian dance elements often blend with
Western dance styles though it is usual to see Western pop and pure classical dance numbers
side by side.
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+Refers to performances in a variety show format. These were popular from the 1860s to
the 1940s, often in cabarets and clubs, as well as theatres, and featured bawdy comedy, song,
jazz dance and pantomime. Some famous films featuring burlesque include Cabaret and
All That Jazz
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Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music
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FEET FIRST: an invitation to dance
Dance Genres
The Charleston is a dance named for the harbor city of Charleston, South Carolina. The rhythm
was popularised in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called
The Charleston. It became a fast kicking step, kicking the feet, both forward and backward
and later done with a tap.
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Flamenco is a genre of Spanish music, song, and dance from Andalusia, in southern Spain, that
includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps). The genre
grew out of Andalusian and Romani music and dance styles. Flamenco is associated with the
Romani people of Spain (Gitanos) and a number of famous flamenco artists are of this ethnicity.
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Greek Dance
Traditional Greek dancing has a primarily social function. It brings the community together at
key points of the year, such as Easter, the grape harvest or patronal festivals; and at key points
in the lives of individuals and families, such as weddings. For this reason, tradition frequently
dictates a strict order in the arrangement of the dancers, for example, by age. Greek dances are
performed often in Greek communities, and among international folk dance groups.
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Groove is the sense of propulsive rhythmic ‘feel’ or sense of ‘swing’ created by the interaction
of the music played by a band’s rhythm section (drums, electric bass or double bass, guitar,
and keyboards). In dance this is a style of Hip Hop where the rhythm and feel of the music
dictates the choreography.
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Hip Hop
Hip Hop is a broad conglomerate of artistic forms that originated in New York City. It is
characterised by four distinct elements, all of which represent the different manifestations of
the culture: rap music (aural), turntablism or ‘DJing’ (aural), breaking (physical) and graffiti art.
Today Hip Hop is a funky, upbeat style of dance based on current pop music often seen in
music video clips.
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Irish Dance
Irish dancing or Irish dance is a group of traditional dance forms originating in Ireland which can
broadly be divided into social dance and performance dances. Irish dancing, popularised by the
world-famous show Riverdance, is notable for its rapid leg and foot movements, body and arms
being kept largely stationary.
Most competitive dances are solo dances and can either be in ‘soft shoe’ or ‘hard shoe’.
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Lindy Hop
The Lindy Hop is an American dance that evolved in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved
with the jazz music of that time. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were
popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. It is
frequently described as a jazz dance and is a member of the swing dance family.
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Line Dancing
A line dance is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of
people dance in one or more lines or rows, all facing either each other or in the same direction,
and executing the steps at the same time.
Line dancing has very traditional dances to country music. Line dancing is practiced and learned
in country-western dance bars, social clubs, dance clubs and ballrooms worldwide.
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FEET FIRST: an invitation to dance
Lyrical Jazz
Dance Genres
Lyrical jazz is very similar to ballet, combining the many technical elements of classical ballet
with the freedom, fluidity, expressiveness of jazz, contemporary and modern dance. It is typically
considered a sub-category of jazz and/or contemporary dance. It is a combination of intricate,
highly technical, and pedestrian/naturalistic moves. It is commonly set to popular music.
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Musical Theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance.
The story and emotional content of the piece – humour, pathos, love, anger – are communicated
through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an
integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and
dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with
the dialogue, movement and other elements of the works. Since the early 20th century, musical
theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.
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Popping is a street dance and one of the original funk styles. It is based on the technique of
quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer’s body, referred to as
a pop or a hit. This is done continuously to the rhythm of a song in combination with various
movements and poses.
Popping and
Locking is a style of funk dance, which is today also associated with Hip Hop. The name is based
on the concept of locking movements, which basically means freezing from a fast movement
and ‘locking’ in a certain position, holding that position for a short while and then continuing in
the same speed as before. It relies on fast and distinct arm and hand movements combined with
more relaxed hips and legs. The movements are generally large and exaggerated, and often very
rhythmic and tightly synced with the music
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Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s. It is a
blend of country & western and rhythm & blues. Danced with a partner, it is high energy with
movements based on popular culture dance of the 50s and 60s.
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Russian Folk
Song and Dance
Russian folk song and dance are traditional performing arts of Russia. Many of these early
dances were performed and practiced by the lower classes. Typically the upper classes
would watch performers rather than participate in the dances themselves. Russian folk dance
traditions continue to play an important influence in various sectors of Russian culture. These
include in the areas of music and dance. One example can be seen in the Ballet Russe, which
invoked Russian folk dances and music into its pieces.
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Street Latin
Latin dance is a general label that refers to various forms of ballroom dance and folk dance, and
can include a wide range of dances originating in Latin America. Danced socially, with a focus on
improvisation, movement combinations have a free form structure. Movement involves swaying
of hips and rhythm of feet to different musical combinations.
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Swing dance is most commonly known as a group of dances that developed with the swing style
of jazz music in the 1920s-1950s. It is a social dance that can be danced solo or with a partner.
Movement includes steps, jumps, hops and turns to particular rhythms of music. Examples
include, Balboa, West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing.
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FEET FIRST: an invitation to dance
Dance Genres
Tap dance is a form of dance characterised by using the sound of one’s tap shoes hitting the
floor as a percussive instrument. As such, it is also commonly considered to be a form of music.
Two major variations on tap dance exist: Jazz tap and Broadway tap. Broadway tap focuses
more on the dance. It is widely performed as a part of musical theater. Rhythm tap focuses more
on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the Jazz tradition.
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Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba’s choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca,
samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves.
Squats and lunges are also included.
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