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by sofiadancer87
Last updated 7 years ago

Arts & Music

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Styles of Dance

History of Dance

How Dance has Helped Me

Dance is a form of art. You tell a story when you dance; some happy stories, some not. To do this, you portray what you are trying to tell the audience through your body. There are so many ways, per say, to dance. These are called styles of dance. They each have their own characteristics that make them unique, whether it's music or shoes or body language. You can dance in 3 levels, Rec., (recreational) Rec-comp, (recreational competitive) and Comp. (competitive) I am in competitive, which is the highest. From there, it is split into age divisions. They are novice, (first year of competitive), mini, junior, inter, and senior. I am an inter, which is the second oldest. At competition, there are usually 3 judges. They judge you on performance and technique. Performance is the way you carry yourself and your facials, and technique is everything else. It's timing with the other people in your group, having stretched knees and pointed feet, it's literally everything. Being able to do 50 turns or put your leg behind your head is just a bonus. After competitions, you get tapes. On them is what the judges said into the mic. AT comp., there are things called overalls. They are places that you win if you have the top scoring mark in your age group. Each age division has their own overalls, one for solos, another for duo/trios, and another for groups. I've won overalls for groups and trios before, but this year was my first soloist overall. I won first place, and got to showcase my routine in the Fever 100 Degree Dance Off. Each competition has there own marking scheme. The most common one goes Bronze, Silver, High Silver, Gold, High/Dynamic Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

The first style of dance I will be talking to you about is contemporary. It is my favourite style of dance. There are 2 kinds of contemporaries, contemperary fusion and plain contemporary. Contemporary fusion is more upbeat, but not as upbeat as jazz or hip hop. There is a lot of accents to hit, and it's more abstract; meaning creating different shapes. Contemporary fusion is lots of fun. I like to wear socks when I do this style, but sometimes I wear foot-undies. Contemporary is a little bit different. It is less sharp, but not as flowy as lyrical. It's just as abstract as fusion, though. Lyrical is very similar to contemporary, with a few little differences here and there. For starters, lyrical is more emotional, and requires a clearer storyline. It has more ties to ballet, and is very flowy. Ballet is the core of dance. It teaches the basic techniques, e.g. turnout, plie... To become a great dancer, ballet is definetely a good place to start. I take 4 classes a week, and even though it gets boring, I know it will help to improve. It has many different styles and 'parts'. It can be super strong and sharp, or it can be slow and soft. There are a bunch of sections, like barre, centre, free movement, character, and pointe. Barre is done at a wooden bar attached to the wall, and sometimes, green skirts are worn, once you get into the higher grades. Centre practice is done in the middle of the floor. Free movement is less ballet, and more lyrical, so to speak. It is a time to let your posture 'go' and become heavier. Character is really cool. You wear cool skirts and high heelish kind of shoes. Each grade has a different culture. Some are Polish, Hungarian, and Russian. Pointe is also very interesting, although it hurts a alot. Pointe shoes are ballet slippers with wood at the toe. When en pointe, (on the wooden part of the shoe) your toes slide down to the surface and push against the wood. Nowadays, we have "ouch pouches" to help subside the pain, but it's bad when your shoes are too small. Pointe shoes are the main interpretation of ballet. They are also very specific. You need to get them carefully sized so they do not ruin your feet. They have ribbons that tie up to just above your ankle bone. Me and my friends made up a song to help us tie our shoes properly. It goes, "outside once, inside twice, double knot and tuck it in!"Tap is a type of dance that involves tons of footwork. When you tap, you wear tap shoes, that have metal at the toe and heel. When they make contact with the floor, a sound is made. Tap has a main goal; to sound as one. This means you have to stay together. Another goal is to uninvolve your upper body when doing difficult footwork. You want to make it look efortless, like every style of dance.Jazz's closest tie is contemporary fusion, but even that doesn't have many similarities. Jazz is sharp, fast, and you barely have any time to breath. Hats are often used, just to add the Broadway feel. There are a couple styles to jazz, some are classic and some are more modern. Classic is to a bit of slower music, and most of the time has a hat. Modern is to fast music, and is very sharp and strong. My solo falls in between, its not classic, but its not modern. It is intense, to say the least.The last style I'll be talking to you about is hiphop. It is by far the most unrelated to the rest of dance. It requires no technique. You wear baggy clothes and running shoes. The songs are mostly modern and some times it's rap music.

Dance has been around for forever! Dance has certainly been an important part of ceremonies, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Archaeology delivers traces of dance from prehistoric times such as the 9,000 year old paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from 3300 BC. The first original style of dance was ballet, which was created by Louis XIV in the 15th and 16th centuries. It wasn't until the early 20th century that contemporary was created. After the explosion of modern dance, the 1960s saw the growth of postmodernism. Postmodernism veered towards simplicity, the beauty of small things, the beauty of untrained body, and unsophisticated movement. A manifesto rejected all costumes, stories and outer trappings in favour of raw and unpolished movement. Unfortunately lack of costumes, stories and outer trappings do not make a good dance show, and it was not long before sets, decor and shock value re-entered the vocabulary of modern choreographers.By the 1980s, modern dance (or, by this time, "contemporary dance") was clearly still a highly technical and political vehicle for many specialists. Existing alongside classical ballet, the two art-forms were by now living peacefully next door to one another with little of the rivalry and hatred of previous stages. The present time sees us still in the very competitive artistic atmosphere where choreographers compete to produce the most shocking work, however, there are still glimpses of beauty to be had, and much incredible dancing in an age where dance technique has progressed further in expertise, strength and flexibility than ever before in history.

Dance has honestly changed my life. I've been dancing since I was 3 years old and not once did it not cheer me up. It has a way of making you feel better. Not even choreo, just plain movement. Improv is something I can count on in a hard time. I know it sounds weird, saying dance is there for me, but it is! I'm so passionate about dance, and I can see a career. I want to continue, I'm constantly learning new things, and discovering new ways to move. It's really insane, just thinking about it. I honestly know dance will always be there, it's like a wall that cannot be broken down. When I feel like giving up, it's still there. It always comes back to dance, because what else can you do? If you love something so much, how can you let it go? Dance has literally turned my life upside down, and I don't think I'll ever love something the way I love dance. I've always loved dance and I always will, I will never quit. Dance is unbreakable, and with it, so am I.

Above is Sofia's lyrical group, Rainbows. Below is Sophia Lucia's solo called Secrets.

Some Famous Dancers are;-Sophia Lucia Sophia broke the world record for most consecutive pirouettes in a row, getting 54! Thats a lot of turns!-Tate McRaeTate is the Mini Best Dancer at the Dance Awards. That is a huge honour!-Christina RicucciChristina is the Teen Best Dancer at the Dance Awards.-Travis WallTravis is a famous choregrapher, owns his own studio called Shaping Sound, and teaches at a competition/convention called Nuvo. -Bianca MelchoirA couple years ago, Bianca won the Best Senior Dancer at the Dance Awards. Today, she dances and lives in her hometown, Toronto. Bianca dances with an incredible contemporary company called Conteur. She also teaches at a studio called CM Dancing, which happens to be my studio. I absolutely love her classes and always enjoy learning new things. I look up to Bianca, not only as a dancer, but as a person.These are only some of the millions of amazing dancers all around the world. If you want to see them dance, just look them up on Youtube! Some other great dancers to watch are Zenon Zubyk, Hayden Hopkins, and the well-known cast of Dance Moms.



  • KittyClaws203 5 years ago

    KittyClaws203's avatar

    Nice job! I can see you worked hard on this!