Types of Dance Genres
Ballet dance developed during the Italian Renaissance, before evolving in France and Russia into a concert dance meant for public performance. This is in the form of a ballet, in which the dance is choreographed with classical music.
Ballet productions vary between using elaborate costumes and staging and using minimal costuming and bare staging.
Considered as being a broad genre of dance, modern dance primarily arose from western countries such as the USA and Germany during the late 1900s. While most forms of dance are structured and feature set steps, the purpose of modern dance is to rely on the dancer’s interpretation of the music and feeling to guide movements.
Modern dance was initially born out of dislike for the limitations of traditional dances such as ballet, which often oppressed dancers with rigid rules and techniques.
Jazz dancing has its roots in seventeenth-century African traditions, brought to the Americas via the Atlantic slave trade as slaves continued dancing traditions in Brazil, the US and elsewhere on the continents.
Known for its improvisational and dramatic body movements, the jazz dancing grew in popularity in early twentieth-century jazz clubs.
Tap dancing is a type of percussive dance characterized by the “tap” of shoes hitting the floor as the person dances. Tap dancers often wear metal “taps” on the heel and toe of a shoe to accentuate the sound.
Often performed as part of musical theatre, tap dancing often focuses on choreography and formations, with more than one tap dancer performing at once.
Tap dancing characterizes a range of dances including flamenco, rhythm, classical, Broadway and postmodern tap.
Hip-hop dancing refers to a range of street dances that developed in relation to hip hop music and culture. Hip-hop dancing dates back to the early 1970s in New York and California, evolving out of Funk and the development of break beat.
Main styles of hip-hop dancing include Breaking, Locking and Popping, with derivative styles emerging out of these including Memphis Jookin’, Turfing, Jerkin’ and Krumping. These were often popularized and made mainstream after being featured in music videos of the time.
Developed during the mid-twentieth century, contemporary dance is now one of the most popular and technical forms of dance studied and performed professionally, especially in the US and Europe.
Drawing on classical, modern and jazz dance styles, contemporary dance has evolved to incorporate many characteristics of a broader range of dance forms.