Sie sind auf Seite 1von 16

American ErasFurther reading

TOOLS

Dance
New Dictionary of the History of Ideas | 2005 | Dox, Donnalee
COPYRIGHT 2005 The Gale Group, Inc.

DANCE.

Dance is broadly conceived as physical movement organized into patterns in time and space.
Writings on dance grounded in the European intellectual tradition have tended to distinguish
dance from other systems of organized movement (such as sport, military drills, synchronized
labor, festival processions, and sometimes ritual) by identifying a dimension of conscious craft
or artistry. The discipline of anthropology has shown that this distinction is not universal by
investigating how organized human movement functions in different cultures, as well as how it
relates to music, theater, pantomime, storytelling, and other kinds of performative behavior.

Dance in Intellectual Traditions


The idea of dance varies within intellectual traditions. Two ancient treatises serve as examples.
Where ideas are treated as a function of language, and knowledge is derived from analysis of
phenomena, the body is often written out of epistemological projects. Aristotle's Poetics (fourth
century b.c.e.), for example, analyzes the plot structure, poetry, and ethical issues presented by
fifth-century Athenian tragedies. The Poetics mentions only briefly the physical movement of
the tragic chorus as a contributor to the effect (emotional or intellectual) of a theatrical
experience or as a component in knowledge. In contrast, where cognitive processes, observation,
and abstract thinking include bodily experience, physical movement is thought to generate and
represent abstract concepts. The body and corporeal experience have a more prominent place in
the formation of ideas. The Indian treatise Natyasastra (c. second century b.c.e. to second
century c.e.), describes in meticulous detail how correct performance of hand gestures, eye
movements, posture, steps, coordination with music, and posture will affect an audience's
comprehension of the narrative and its meaning.

The Poetics and Natyasastra both assume dance to be inseparable from the performance of
music, theater, poetry, and dress (including masks and makeup). Both treatises also assume that
performance takes place in a ritual context, where form and content are already dictated by
established conventions. Even so, the relationship between movement, emotion, and cognition is
conceptualized differently in each treatise, which suggests the need for continued attention to the
intellectual formulations that define the interpretation of human movement.

Until relatively recently, dance has been on the margins of the modern Western intellectual
tradition. Dance appears as an object of study in two particular domains of modern Western
thought: aesthetic criticism and anthropology. Aesthetic criticism, emerging in eighteenth-
century dictionary projects and then taking root in nineteenth-century philosophy parallel with
the development of the romantic ballet, considers dance to be an artistic practice. As
performance, dance is distinguished from folk, social, or ceremonial dancing (though it may
represent them) and requires formal training. The idea of dance as a formalized performance
tradition is usually associated with industrial economies, urban societies, and a culture's
economically secure or educated classes. Appreciation of technical mastery and performance
conventions is considered evidence of cultural sophistication or artistic sensibility; meaning is
communicated primarily in the visual realm of symbolic representation, mimesis, and technique.
Dance criticism is an intellectual project involving analysis of choreography, performers' skill,
aesthetic conventions, historical developments in dance styles, innovations in genre, and the
success of performances.

Aesthetic Criticism and Analysis of Culture


In dance practice, at the beginning of the twentieth century Sergey Diaghilev's (1872–1929)
experimental productions with the Ballets Russes famously challenged the aesthetic sensibilities
of classical ballet by introducing parallel feet, ambiguous story lines, a lowered center of gravity,
and representation of "primitive" cultures. The creation of new forms of art dance, such as
expressionistic modern dance in Europe after World War I and Butoh in Japanafter World War
II, deliberately defied ballet's conventions of beauty but stayed within the domain of artistic
performance. Aesthetic criticism accounted for and dealt with the creation of new dance genres.
The purpose of aesthetic criticism remains a greater understanding of established and new dance
styles, choreography (recorded in notation systems such as Labanotation), individual
performances, and criteria on which stage performances can be evaluated.
The emergence of anthropology as a scientific discipline in the mid-nineteenth century, parallel
with aesthetic criticism's elevation of dance as an art form and tensions in experimentation with
the form, expanded a Western idea of dance to non-Western cultures and societies, often treating
dance practices as folk traditions. Franz Boas (1858–1942), A. R. Radcliffe-Brown (1881–1955),
and E. E. Evans-Pritchard (1902–1973) included social dancing, ceremonies, and rituals in their
field studies. Curt Sachs's World History of the Dance (English translation, 1937) offered an
evolutionary and universalizing theory of world dance forms and was followed by Franziska
Boas's collection, The Function of Dance in Human Society (1944). Though guided by the
scientific commitment to objectivity and evaluation of empirical data, early anthropological
studies interpreted dances from non-Western cultures as less aesthetically developed than those
on the European stages and presented the dance traditions of North Africa, the Middle
East, India, Asia, and the Americas as more primitive forms of dance. The images provided by
early anthropologists were reproduced as artifacts of exotic cultures in World's Fair exhibits and
romanticized in exoticized, popular stage performances such as those of Ruth St. Denis (1879–
1968) and Ted Shawn (1891–1972).

Since the 1960s and 1970s, this early anthropological work on dance has been significantly
revised. The idea of dance, expanded to the broader notion of movement practices, allows for
greater attention to the categories that define movement systems within individual cultures,
nations, or societies, as well as for comparative studies. For anthropology and its related
disciplines (folklore, ethnomusicology, ethnology, and ethnography), aspects of culture are
revealed in dance practices. These disciplines also look at dancing itself as a culturally
constructed activity that offers information about human behavior and, by extension, culture.
These interrelated disciplines, along with methods drawn from sociology, kinesthetics, and
linguistics, operate with a heightened sensitivity to the imposition of Western values and desires
on non-Western, indigenous, or nonindustrial cultures.

Awareness of Western ethnocentric tendencies in dance research generated different categories


of analysis and new questions. Researchers began to work toward a deeper understanding of the
language, customs, social structures, and modes of thinking governing localized "dance events"
before attempting to interpret them. Adrienne L. Kaeppler's work on Tongan dance in the late
1970s did much to advance the study of structured human movement in a specific cultural
context. In the late 1980s Paul Stoller advocated the importance of a sensual dimension in
ethnographic work. Major contributors to the assessment and development of anthropological
approaches to human movement in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and into the 1990s include Gertrude
Prokosch Kurath, Anya Peterson Royce, Helen Thomas, and Judith Lynne Hanna.

The treatment of dance as a social practice and a form of expressive culture goes beyond
descriptions of local customs, ceremonies, and movement idioms. Through proscribed methods
of observation, data collection, documentation, interviewing, participant observation, and
interpretation of data, these methods analyze how human movement relates to culture. Many
studies analyze the function and meanings of dances or dancing in situated contexts. Others track
changes in the performance and interpretation of dance styles such as the tango, rumba, samba,
flamenco, and hula as they are transmitted across cultures, including in the inquiry of the
mechanisms of transmission. Still other studies are concerned with visual and kinesthetic
communication, or how dance communicates as a kind of language. Behaviors surrounding a
dance performance, such as audience participation and dancers' preparation, may be as important
as the performance itself. Religious beliefs, political restrictions, integration of dance with other
performance forms, and vocabularies used by practitioners to describe movement are all
significant to interpreting data gathered in fieldwork.

Theory and Praxis


In the 1990s and into the twenty-first century, the critical concerns of feminism, postmodernism,
poststructuralism, new historiography, cultural studies, semiotics, race and ethnic studies, and
queer theory have brought to light a wide range of issues that remain crucial in studies of dance
and human movement systems, namely, how dance constructs or challenges gender and
sexuality, how dance practices negotiate power relations, the effects of colonialism and cultural
imperialism on dance practices, exoticization of cultural "others," institutionalization of dance
practices, how dance is used to demonstrate cultural or ethnic difference, cultural ownership and
authenticity of dance idioms, dance as a display of national identity, dance in marketing and
tourism, the effects of stylistic hybridity on individual or group identities, performers' agency,
multiple meanings in complex symbol systems, how dance practices link to social class, dance as
a means of building ideological consensus, and dance as a medium of resistance and social
change.

The work of scholars such as Jane Cowan, Cynthia J. Novack, Ann Daly, Sally Ann Ness, Jane
C. Desmond, and Susan Leigh Foster has opened interdisciplinary territory in the effort to
address these and other issues in the study of human movement in culture and as a means of
cultural production. Their theoretical work has broken down the notion that Western art forms
are a model of aesthetic progress. Studies of female dancers in Egypt and Morocco in the 1990s,
for example, have used methods from sociology to examine performance in social conditions that
define both dance and dancer. More recent attention to these concerns through ethnographic
methods has shown how social control was exercised in the costuming, movements, songs, and
visual spectacle in women's dances at rallies for political candidates in Malawi.

Methods of inquiry rooted in anthropology take aesthetic conventions as culturally determined


rather than as marks of progress or as by-products of modernity. Aesthetics can thus serve as an
entry point, whether the project is to understand culture through human movement, or human
movement through culture. Applying anthropological methods to the aesthetics of classical ballet
reveals, for example, that control of the body and individuality against uniformity are Western
values. Cross-cultural comparisons of ballet's reception as scandalous in non-Western cultures, in
contrast, show how ballet performs a desire to expose and transcend the body in contrast to local
movement practices that value a body's individuality and are grounded in everyday activities.
Joann Kealiinohomoku's (1983) work on ballet as ethnic dance has been followed by studies of
ballet's adaptation in non-Western cultures and of how ballet choreography structures desire in
its narratives.

Information made available through anthropological approaches has also led to popular
appropriations of local dance forms within new cultural or social contexts. National dance
troupes, such as Ballet Folklórico de México, present indigenous social dances as commercial
art with aesthetic aims, often with an educational mission. Ceremonial, ritual, and communal
dances may be taken out of context, adapted for the stage, and performed as a recuperation or
preservation of "traditional" cultures. Scholars have interrogated the affected aesthetics, claims to
national identity, and cross-cultural mis-interpretations at work in such performances. While
dance forms identified with specific cultures are staged for international audiences, the same
dance forms might be reinterpreted and invested with new meaning within the home culture.
Kathak and Bharata Natyam as popular dance practices in India, for example, have been
analyzed as resistance to the colonial legacy and as recuperation of the precolonial past. Such
analyses show how adaptations of traditional dances within a culture can be used to define
national, cultural, or class identity.
Reciprocity between theory and practice is evident in other areas as well. By the mid-twentieth
century, ethnic fusion forms such as Afro-Cuban-jazz combined Western dance styles with those
of other cultures, sometimes raising issues of cultural authenticity and appropriation. Dance
forms identified with ethnicity within a dominant culture, for example African-American dance,
have been analyzed as distinct and unique and, conversely, as in the process of adapting or
challenging movement idioms from the dominant culture. Contemporary Western "belly dance"
has been shown to remain deeply bound to nineteenth-century European Orientalist fantasies.

Dance as Experience
Though their methods, goals, and objects of inquiry differ, both aesthetic criticism and
anthropology deal at some level with the fundamental question: What is being communicated, to
whom, and how? This disciplinary imperative takes the human body as an agent of
communication in an interpretive community or as an embodied subject acted upon by social
forces. The psychological experience of dancing is generally irrelevant to aesthetic criticism's
analysis of dance as a visible medium and tangential to research grounded in kinesthetics or
linguistics (though audience response can be analyzed). Beyond Romanticism and notions of the
sublime in art in the Western philosophical tradition, phenomenology has offered the most
appropriate frame for the ephemeral qualities of human movement, as Maxine Sheets-Johnstone
demonstrated in 1966. First-person descriptions of movement as a conduit for spiritual or
metaphysical experience are, however, not easily adapted to Western modes of thinking and
analysis, even in studies of mainstream liturgical dance.

Paranormal experiences, dissociational states, expressions of deep inner feelings, mystical


experiences, and intense emotion generated by participating in a dance are usually associated
with non-Western, nonindustrial, or indigenous cultures. Movement practices that produce such
experiences are identified by terms such as shamanic dancing, trance dancing, exorcism, healing
dance, voodoo, spirit possession, and ritual dance. In the Western stage dance tradition, such
states may be represented in artistic performance, as with the expressionist choreography of
Mary Wigman (1886–1973). Numerous dance forms in Western popular culture, for example
Gabrielle Roth's "Ecstatic Dance," the appropriation of African dances as "healing dance," and
so-called "spiritual belly dance" do emphasize altered states of consciousness and/or physical
healing. Such practices—especially those that identify with practices of nonindustrial or non-
Western cultures in their costuming, symbols, stories, and idioms—offer rich sources for cultural
analyses. Though some work has been done to integrate experiences of altered states of
consciousness into scholarly discourse, this area requires attention.

As suggested by the example of how the ancient Greek Poetics and Sanskrit Natyasastra frame
dance, understandings of human movement are not uniform across cultures. In the early twenty-
first century, collaboration among researchers from different intellectual traditions reveals
differences in research methods, modes of interpretation, analytical vocabularies, descriptive
categories, and goals in dance research. International conferences such as the Congress on
Research in Dance (CORD) and the World Dance Association (WDA) insure that ongoing
research will reflect a diversity of intellectual as well as movement systems.

What is Dance?
Dance is the art form in which human movement becomes the medium for sensing, understanding,
and communicating ideas, feelings, and experiences. Dance provides a way of learning—one that
develops communication abilities, problem solving techniques, and creative and critical thinking skills
along with kinesthetic abilities. At its core, the goal of dance education is to engage students in
artistic experiences through the processes of creation, performance and response.

The Elements of Dance


Dance has its own content, vocabulary, skills, and techniques, which must be understood and
applied to be proficient in the art. The elements of dance are the foundational concepts and
vocabulary for developing movement skills as well as understanding dance as an art form. All these
elements are simultaneously present in a dance or even in a short movement phrase.

Body
Action
Space
Time
Energy

The acronym BASTE helps educators and students recall these elements of dance. Use the links
above and in the right sidebar to find out more about each element and see video clip examples
from outstanding Minnesota dancers and choreographers.
Dance is a performance art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human
movement. This movement has aestheticand symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by
performers and observers within a particular culture.[nb 1] Dance can be categorized and described by
its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

An important distinction is to be drawn between the contexts


of theatrical and participatory dance,[4] although these two categories are not always completely
separate; both may have special functions, whether social, ceremonial, competitive, erotic, martial,
orsacred/liturgical. Others disciplines of human movement are sometimes said to have a dance-like
quality, including martial arts,gymnastics, figure skating, synchronized swimming and many other
forms of athletics.

Contents
[hide]

 1Performance and participation


 2Origins
 3Dancing and music
 4Cultural traditions
o 4.1Africa
o 4.2Asia
o 4.3Latin America
o 4.4Europe and North America
 5Dance education
 6Occupations
 7Competitions
 8Gallery
 9See also
 10Notes
 11References
 12Further reading
 13External links

Performance and participation


Members of American jazz dance companyGiordano Dance Chicago perform a formal group routine in a
concert dance setting

Theatrical dance, also called performance or concert dance, is intended primarily as a spectacle,
usually a performance upon a stage by virtuoso dancers. It often tells a story, perhaps
using mime, costume and scenery, or else it may simply interpret the musical accompaniment, which
is often specially composed. Examples are western ballet and modern dance, Classical Indian
dance and Chinese and Japanese song and dance dramas. Most classical forms are centred upon
dance alone, but performance dance may also appear in opera and other forms of musical theatre.

Participatory dance, on the other hand, whether it be a folk dance, a social dance, a group
dance such as a line, circle, chainor square dance, or a partner dance such as is common in
western Western ballroom dancing, is undertaken primarily for a common purpose, such as social
interaction or exercise, of participants rather than onlookers. Such dance seldom has any narrative.
A group dance and a corps de ballet, a social partner dance and a pas de deux, differ profoundly.
Even a solo dance may be undertaken solely for the satisfaction of the dancer. Participatory dancers
often all employ the same movements and steps but, for example, in the rave culture of electronic
dance music, vast crowds may engage in free dance, uncoordinated with those around them. On the
other hand, some cultures lay down strict rules as to the particular dances in which, for example,
men, women and children may or must participate.

Origins
Greek bronze statuette of a veiled and masked dancer, 3rd-2nd century BC, Alexandria, Egypt.

Archeological evidence for early dance includes 9,000-year-old paintings in India at the Rock
Shelters of Bhimbetka, and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures, dated c. 3300 BC. It
has been proposed that before the invention of written languages, dance was an important part of
the oral and performance methods of passing stories down from generation to generation.[5] The use
of dance in ecstatic trance states and healing rituals (as observed today in many contemporary
"primitive" cultures, from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert) is thought to have been
another early factor in the social development of dance.[6]

References to dance can be found in very early recorded history; Greek dance (horos) is referred to
by Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch and Lucian.[7]The Bible and Talmud refer to many events related to
dance, and contain over 30 different dance terms.[8] In Chinese pottery as early as
theNeolithic period, groups of people are depicted dancing in a line holding hands,[9] and the earliest
Chinese word for "dance" is found written in theoracle bones.[10] Dance is further described in
the Lüshi Chunqiu.[11][12] Primitive dance in ancient China was associated with sorcery and shamanic
rituals.

During the first millennium BCE in India, many texts were composed which attempted to codify
aspects of daily life. Bharata Muni's Natyashastra(literally "the text of dramaturgy") is one of the
earlier texts. It mainly deals with drama, in which dance plays an important part in Indian culture. It
categorizes dance into four types - secular, ritual, abstract, and, interpretive - and into four regional
varieties. The text elaborates various hand-gestures (mudras) and classifies movements of the
various limbs, steps and so on. A strong continuous tradition of dance has since continued in India,
through to modern times, where it continues to play a role in culture, ritual, and, notably,
the Bollywood entertainment industry. Many other contemporary dance forms can likewise be traced
back to historical, traditional, ceremonial, and ethnic dance.

Dancing and music


Main article: Dance music

Dance is generally, though not exclusively, performed with the accompaniment of music and may or
may not be performed in time to such music. Some dance (such as tap dance) may provide its own
audible accompaniment in place of (or in addition to) music. Many early forms of music and dance
were created for each other and are frequently performed together. Notable examples of traditional
dance/music couplings include the jig, waltz, tango, disco, and salsa. Some musical genres have a
parallel dance form such as baroque music and baroque dance; other varieties of dance and music
may share nomenclature but developed separately, such as classical music and classical ballet.

Cultural traditions
Africa
Ugandan youth dance at a cultural celebration of peace

Main article: African dance

Dance in Africa is deeply integrated into society and major events in a community are frequently
reflected in dances: dances are performed for births and funerals, weddings and
wars.[13]:13 Traditional dances impart cultural morals, including religious traditions and sexual
standards; give vent to repressed emotions, such as grief; motivate community members to
cooperate, whether fighting wars or grinding grain; enact spiritual rituals; and contribute to social
cohesiveness.[14]

Thousands of dances are performed around the continent. These may be divided into traditional,
neotraditional, and classical styles: folkloric dances of a particular society, dances created more
recently in imitation of traditional styles, and dances transmitted more formally in schools or private
lessons.[13]:18 African dance has been altered by many forces, such as
Europeanmissionaries and colonialist governments, who often suppressed local dance traditions as
licentious or distracting.[14] Dance in contemporary African cultures still serves its traditional functions
in new contexts; dance may celebrate the inauguration of a hospital, build community for rural
migrants in unfamiliar cities, and be incorporated into Christian church ceremonies.[14]
An Indian classical dancer

Asia
Street samba dancers perform in carnival parades and contests

All Indian classical dances are to varying degrees rooted in the Natyashastra and therefore share
common features: for example, the mudras (hand positions), some body positions, and the inclusion
of dramatic or expressive acting or abhinaya. Indian classical music provides accompaniment and
dancers of nearly all the styles wear bells around their ankles to counterpoint and complement the
percussion.

There are now many regional varieties of Indian classical dance. Dances like "Odra Magadhi", which
after decades long debate, has been traced to present day Mithila, Odisha region's dance form
of Odissi (Orissi), indicate influence of dances in cultural interactions between different regions.[15]

The Punjab area overlapping India and Pakistan is the place of origin of Bhangra. It is widely known
both as a style of music and a dance. It is mostly related to ancient harvest celebrations, love,
patriotism or social issues. Its music is coordinated by a musical instrument called the 'Dhol'.
Bhangra is not just music but a dance, a celebration of the harvest where people beat the dhol
(drum), sing Boliyaan (lyrics) and dance. It developed further with the Vaisakhi festival of the Sikhs.
The Assyrian folk dance.

The dances of Sri Lanka include the devil dances (yakun natima), a carefully crafted ritual reaching
far back into Sri Lanka's pre-Buddhist past that combines ancient "Ayurvedic" concepts of disease
causation with psychological manipulation and combines many aspects including Sinhalese
cosmology. Their influence can be seen on the classical dances of Sri Lanka.[16]

The dances of the Middle East are usually the traditional forms of circle dancing which are
modernized to an extent. They would include dabke, tamzara, Assyrian folk dance, Kurdish
dance, Armenian dance and Turkish dance, among others.[17][18] All these forms of dances would
usually involve participants engaging each other by holding hands or arms (depending on the style
of the dance). They would make rhythmic moves with their legs and shoulders as they curve around
the dance floor. The head of the dance would generally hold a cane or handkerchief. [19][20]

Latin America
Dance is central to Latin American social life and culture. Brazilian Samba, Argentinian tango, and
Cuban salsa are internationally popular partner dances, and other national dances—
merengue, cueca, plena, jarabe, joropo, marinera, cumbia, and others—are important components
of their respective countries' cultures.[21] Traditional Carnivalfestivals incorporate these and other
dances in enormous celebrations.[22]

Dance has played an important role in forging a collective identity among the many cultural and
ethnic groups of Latin America.[23] Dance served to unite the many African, European, and
indigenous peoples of the region.[21] Certain dance genres, such as capoeira, and body movements,
especially the characteristic quebrada or pelvis swing, have been variously banned and celebrated
throughout Latin American history.[23]

Europe and North America


Main article: Concert dance
Two classical ballet dancers perform a sequence of The Nutcracker, one of the best known works of classical
dance

Ballet developed first in Italy and then in France from lavish court spectacles that combined music,
drama, poetry, song, costumes and dance. Members of the court nobility took part as performers.
During the reign of Louis XIV, himself a dancer, dance became more codified. Professional dancers
began to take the place of court amateurs, and ballet masters were licensed by the French
government. The first ballet dance academy was the Académie Royale de Danse (Royal Dance
Academy), opened in Paris in 1661. Shortly thereafter, the first institutionalized ballet troupe,
associated with the Academy, was formed; this troupe began as an all-male ensemble but by 1681
opened to include women as well.[5]

20th century concert dance brought an explosion of innovation in dance style characterized by an
exploration of freer technique. Early pioneers of what became known as modern dance include Loie
Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman and Ruth St. Denis. The relationship of music to dance serves
as the basis for Eurhythmics, devised by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, which was influential to the
development of Modern dance and modern ballet through artists such as Marie Rambert. Eurythmy,
developed by Rudolf Steiner andMarie Steiner-von Sivers, combines formal elements reminiscent of
traditional dance with the new freer style, and introduced a complex new vocabulary to dance. In the
1920s, important founders of the new style such as Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey began
their work. Since this time, a wide variety of dance styles have been developed; see Modern dance.

African American dance developed in everyday spaces, rather than in dance studios, schools or
companies. Tap dance, disco, jazz dance, swing dance, hip hop dance, the lindy hop with its
relationship to rock and roll music and rock and roll dance have had a global influence.

Dance education
Dance studies are offered through the arts and humanities programs of many higher education
institutions. Some universities offer Bachelor of Arts and higher academic degreesin Dance. A dance
study curriculum may encompass a diverse range of courses and topics, including dance practice
and performance, choreography, ethnochoreology,kinesiology, dance notation, and dance therapy.

A dancer practices in a dance studio, the primary setting for training in classical dance and many other styles

Occupations
Main article: List of dance occupations

Professional dancers are usually employed on contract or for particular performances or


productions. The professional life of a dancer is generally one of constantly changing work
situations, strong competitive pressure and low pay. Consequently, professional dancers often must
supplement their incomes to achieve financial stability. In the U.S. many professional dancers
belong to unions (such as the American Guild of Musical Artists, Screen Actors Guild and Actors'
Equity Association) that establish working conditions and minimum salaries for their members.

Dance teachers typically focus on teaching dance performance, or coaching competitive dancers, or
both. They typically have performance experience in the types of dance they teach or coach. For
example, dancesport teachers and coaches are often tournament dancers or former dancesport
performers. Dance teachers may be self-employed, or employed by dance schools or general
education institutions with dance programs. Some work for university programs or other schools that
are associated with professional classical dance (e.g., ballet) or modern dance companies. Others
are employed by smaller, privately owned dance schools that offer dance training and performance
coaching for various types of dance.

Choreographers are often university trained and are typically employed for particular projects or,
more rarely may work on contract as the resident choreographer for a specific dance company.

Competitions
An amateur dancesport competition, featuring theViennese Waltz

A dance competition is an organized event in which contestants perform dances before a judge or
judges for awards, and in some cases, monetary prizes. There are several major types of dance
competitions, distinguished primarily by the style or styles of dances performed. Major types of
dance competitions include:

 Competitive dance, in which a variety of theater dance styles, such as acro, ballet, jazz, hip-
hop, lyrical, and tap, are permitted.
 Open competitions, that permit a wide variety of dance styles. An example of this is the TV
program So You Think You Can Dance.
 Dancesport, which is focused exclusively on ballroom and latin dance. Examples of this are TV
programs Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.
 Single-style competitions, such as; highland dance, dance team, and Irish dance, that only
permit a single dance style.

In addition, there are numerous dance competitions shows presented on television and other mass
media.