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What are Some of the Main Dance Genres?

By Yann, published on 14/05/2018 We Love Prof > Arts and Hobbies > Dance > What Are The Different Types of Dance?

If you love watching musicals or you’re always the first one on the dance floor, it sounds like you have a passion for dance. Is your mind blown watching professional dancers perform their intricate dance routines?

Rock, salsa, hip-hop, classical, modern, Irish, tap, tango or mambo … Whatever the style of dance or genre of music, one thing is certain, you love to throw some shapes and are dying to learn how to move your body in rhythm.

Want to know how it’s done?

An African proverb says:

If you can walk, you can dance.

Some people have rhythm in their blood while others are born with two left feet. Regardless, dance is a craft that can be learned. So, there’s really no excuse not to get up and start that dance class you’ve been dreaming of!

With a little willpower and patience, you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make. Taking classes to learn to dance will make you progress even faster.

15 Reasons to Finally Learn How to Dance

Not convinced yet? Remember, learning to dance is not just about having fun or being active.

Learn ballet online for free from the comfort of your own home. Classical dances like ballet are great to know. Source: Pixabay

You will discover that dancing has many advantages, some of which you won’t even be aware of. Here are just a few reasons why you should dance. Not only will you discover skills you never knew you had, but you will also realise that:

  • Dancing is great fun,
  • Dance helps you destress,
  • Dancing helps you stay in shape,
  • Dancing is a fun way to watch your waistline,
  • Dancing improves flexibility,
  • Dancing is a good seduction technique,
  • Dancing can help you make friends,
  • Dancing with your partner enhances intimacy,
  • Dancing helps you unwind from everyday life,
  • Dancing gives you self-confidence,
  • Dancing keeps you young,
  • Dancing is a great way to communicate,
  • Dancing stimulates memory,
  • Dancing promotes creativity,
  • Dancing can become your job.

The list goes on, but these are some great reasons to start moving your booty. In fact, numerous scientific studies have shown the benefits of dance. Dancing not only works your body muscles, it also stimulates the brain and produces endorphins which give you that positive feeling of well-being. Moreover, having to memorise all the steps in a dance routine is an excellent brain exercise.

How Can I Learn Dance for Free?

Now that we’ve convinced you, you need to consider how you want to learn to dance.

Weekly dance classes are usually a significant investment. It is, however, possible to learn to dance for free.

Obviously, we will naturally progress faster when we can utilise the experience and knowledge of a dance teacher, but if you take the time to do the necessary research and practise regularly, it is indeed possible to to learn to dance by yourself.

Some talented dancers have been self-taught without taking dance lessons. It’s quite common in the world of hip-hop for example.

Stay in shape with regular dance lessons. Dancing is a great to tone and improve flexibility. Source: Visual Hunt

If you want to teach yourself how to dance, you will need to be strict with yourself and do the following:

  • Commit to regular practice sessions,
  • Look for learning materials and music adapted to your level and dance style,
  • Make some space at home and get the right dance equipment to be able to practise regularly and see real progress,
  • Perform to an audience every once in a while to have an outside perspective on how you are progressing.

Before you start, take time to learn about the different styles of dance to determine which one suits you best. Rock n’roll, African, salsa, ballroom, belly dancing… the possibilities are endless. All you have to do next is find your inspiration and work hard at the dance you want to learn. Take note from videos available online, follow dance tutorials on YouTube and practise.

Thanks to the internet, you can also take dance classes for free online. Some websites are actually very useful. You can download explanations, discover a type of dance and its origins and follow videos to learn the steps. Repeating a routine is sometimes tedious, but once you’ve learned the moves, you will start to see progress quickly.

Suitable for everyone, there are classes for all levels: introduction to dance, beginner, intermediate and expert level. It is always good to keep trying to improve, to have new ideas and to try new steps. Some dance websites specialise in a particular style of dance while others are more general. This is the case for Learn To Dance: a website dedicated to a variety of different dances including videos, tips and free classes.

Check out our Zumba classes online!

Learn how to dance to the different dance genres.

How to Dance to Rock Music?

Rock is one of the most popular music genres in the UK.

And it must be said that, even as a beginner, you can easily cause a stir on the dance floor when some rock music comes on. A popular dance event, rock and roll dancing if attracting more and more people every year.

Is this the type of dance for you?

Even if it seems difficult to find the right pace, once the basics of rock n’roll dance have been covered, the advantage is that you can create your own style by varying the moves, from simple steps to more complex ones.

Learn to dance with your partner to improve your relationship. Rock is performed along with ballroom dances at dance competitions. Source: Visual Hunt

How to start rock n’roll dance?

First of all, you should know that the most popular form of rock dance (that you learn in dance classes) is usually 6-count rock. There is also 4-count rock that is easier to learn. The main difference between the two? The footwork.

  • Four-count rock is performed to 4-count music and one foot is standing on each beat. So just follow the rhythm of music to know how to move your feet.
  • Six-count rock is also played on 6-count music, but during the 6-step, the dancers do 8 steps. That’s what makes this dance so fast and lively.

To learn 6-count rock dancing, you must first focus on your feet and learn the basic steps. To be able to do the 8 steps, it helps to count like this: 1, 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6. This way, you add the two additional steps with the “and”.

The first two counts are devoted to rock step: dance partners move back their left foot. After that, you can walk 3 times to the left and then to the right.

At the start, it takes a little practice to get the hang of the footwork and be able to dance naturally and smoothly. Then, it’s time to have some fun discovering the rock moves you can perform with your dance partner. There are plenty to choose from. There are actually too many to count. Some are very complex, but others are easier to learn.

From the very first rock dance class, you can really enjoy yourself while learning the basic dance steps.

To learn to rock, you have several options. Choose according to your wants, availability, but also your budget:

  • Online dance classes from home: great if you are looking for a one-to-one teacher, personalised advice and tailored dance classes, adapted to your specific needs and abilities,
  • Rock class at a dance school: an interesting way to practice regularly, in a friendly, fun atmosphere,
  • A dance course: intensive classes is perfect if you’re preparing for a specific event, like the first dance at your wedding for example.
  • A dance association: a good compromise if you want affordable lessons.

Learning to Dance at the Club: Urban Styles

Do you love to party and go to clubs or dance parties?

Are you tired of always dancing the same way?

Again, some private dance lessons will allow you to vary your style and bring a more personal touch to the dance floor.

Discover your inner sensuality with latin dances or couples. Salsa, zouk, tango … These dances are loved for their sensuality. Perfect for couples! Source: Visual Hunt

As in all areas of life, trends evolve, fashions come and go. Taking urban dance classes like hip hop will help you improve your dancing skills and standout on the dance floor (for the right reasons).

Why not watch videos of your favourite artists and trend setters to discover new styles. Drawing inspiration from other dances can help you perfect your technique and find your own style for the next time you go to a club. Among urban dances there are several different styles each with highly stylised moves:

  • Hip-hop: boogaloo, hype, krump, or new-school hip hop
  • Twerking: a popular trend which came from music videos,
  • The shuffle: is known for its very fast footwork,
  • Voguing: also very current, this style of dance which borrows poses from the catwalk, originated from the gay community in the States but has since spread all over the world.

And do not forget to practise close body contact on the dance floor to reach maximum levels of seduction!

Want to know how to dance in clubs? Above all, stay relaxed and concentrate on the music to keep in time and move to the beat.

Learn more about urban dancing.

Unleash your Sensual Side with Salsa

Undeniably one of the most renowned styles of dance in the world, Salsa is a seductive and energetic dance. Sala lessons are a great way to socialise and make friends as well as develop intimacy with a partner. It’s not uncommon at a Salsa lesson to frequently change dancing partner, making it a great way to meet new people.

There are many variations of Salsa dancing, each with their own specific technique and advantages.

Take salsa to get closer to your partner. Salsa has the advantage of having its own unique style of music to help dancers move in time. Source: Visual Hunt

Although widely acknowledged as a Latin dance, Salsa actually originated in the Caribbean, evolving primarily from Cuban dance forms such as the Cha Cha and Mambo. This type of dance is subject to influence and change to this day.

A popular type of Salsa dancing is the Afro-Latino style, which is pretty much standard Salsa with a twist. A key element of this dance is the prolific use of the African language and instruments which give it its unique flavour. This style can be found across Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Haiti as well as Cuba.

As Salsa is such a lively dance, learning Salsa may throw you out of your comfort zone. However, going to dance classes or finding a private dance instructor can help you grow in confidence, stay in shape and have fun in the process! You will find you are more toned, flexible and strong with regular Salsa lessons.

Find an individual or group class at your local dance centre, gym or dance school to discover the benefits of Salsa.

Get those Feet Moving with Tap Dance

Ever wanted to dance like movie stars Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers? If so, tap dance is the one for you. A fun, lively and upbeat number, tap dancing classes are a great way to stay active and have fun.

Although it originated in America, tap dancing has English, Irish, Scottish and even African influences. Tap began to emerge towards the end of the 19th century, but really took off in the 1920s when people started attaching taps to the soles of their shoes.

Find tap dancing lessons online or near you. Tap shoes have a metal tap on the heel and toe to make a loud noise when the foot strikes the floor. Source: Visual Hunt

Tap wasn’t just reserved for the big screen, dancers performed at stage shows and even in nightclubs. The ubiquitous nature of tap is still the case today with dance classes available up and down the country. Budding dancers can enrol at a dance class, school or even find lessons online.

Before attending a group or private lesson, it may be worthwhile to practise a few things at home in preparation. This style of dance is very precise and requires musicality, so work on feeling the music and staying in time. Balance is also key in order to do toe-heel taps well.

With plenty of dance centres specialising in tap dancing across the UK, there is plenty of options for beginners and experts alike. If you’re not up to it just yet, why not learn tap from an online dance instructor. This is a great way of boosting your confidence and preparing you for group lessons.

The Allure of Ballroom Dancing

Not many styles of dance are as romantic, elegant and diverse as Ballroom. This popular dance encompasses a wide range of international dances. At ballroom dance lessons you can learn a wide variety of dance moves.

Prepare for your wedding dance with ballroom dance classes. Many couples take formal wedding dance lessons to verse themselves in ballroom dancing before their big day. Source: Visual Hunt

Many people tend to think of ballroom as a slow and outdated form of dance, however, ballroom isn’t just for your wedding day. You can see forms of ballroom everywhere from the West End to nightclubs.

Ballroom became popular very quickly as a way for young people to socialise and compete in friendly competition. Thanks to shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, the popularity of ballroom dance has rocketed in recent years.

Examples of Ballroom dancing include, but are not limited to:

  • Waltz: Originating from Austria and Bavaria, this dance I performed in a closed position,
  • Viennese Waltz: this variation emerged from France and is traditionally danced to fast music,
  • Tango: Born in the lower-class districts of the capitals of Argentina and Uruguay, this genre of dance is all about the hips,
  • Pasodoble: This Spanish dance replicates the scenes of the country’s bullfights,
  • Jive: An energetic dance, this style of ballroom is usually danced to big band music,

If the glitz and glam of ballroom isn’t enough to convince you, why not try a dance class to find out! There are a ton of ballroom classes available for all ages and all levels throughout the UK.

Before you know it, you’ll be covered in sparkles and tapping your feet!

What Is Contemporary Dance?

One of the more modern genres of dance, contemporary dance began in the mid 20thcentury and embraces styles such as ballet, line dancing and folk dancing. Typically misconstrued as freestyle, contemporary dance moves are all about strength and control.

Talent shows like Britain’s Got Talenthas showcased many acts performing contemporary dance routines to modern music. Like all contemporary dancers, this craft requires a huge amount of time and effort. Contemporary dance can also be seen at clubs, stage performances, events, talent shows, films, TV and online.

Unleash your creativity with contemporary dance classes. Speed, rhythm and direction make a recipe for success in contemporary dance. Source: Visual Hunt

There are many famous contemporary dancers you can learn from. Isadora Duncan, credited as the “mother of modern dance” is one of these. Her shift away from classical dance opened doors to an innovative, unique style of dancing.

An important element of contemporary dance is the idea of storytelling through movement. The music chosen must strongly relate to the choreography in order to be most effective. Costumes also play a huge role in narrating a story.

More and more contemporary dance schools are popping up across the UK. Don’t worry if you don’t live in London or a major city, however; there are contemporary dance tutorials and even online dance instructors there to help.

Discover the benefits, artistically, creatively and physically with contemporary dance lessons. What’s even better is you can choose the pop music you already listen to and love to dance to!

To be able to dance well, you have to get moving. First and foremost, forget about your hang-ups and other people and dance like nobody’s watching. Your passion for dance will enable you to expand your universe and try all dances.

Why not take a group lesson in salsa, bachata, waltz, madison, cha cha cha, acrobatic rock, pole, Latin, oriental, Argentine tango, country… The list never ends! One thing is for certain: you have not mastered all of the dances out there. Go ahead and take a trial class at a dance school or a private lesson from home.

Before you go, check out our London dance classes!

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