Topical History

History of World Dance

Dance has played a crucial part of religious and cultural life throughout human history. In primitive cultures, dance was used to celebrate different stages in a person's life such as becoming an adult, marriage, and death. Throughout history, dance has been used to communicate from one generation to the next and also between different cultures and tribes. In almost every society, some form of dance has been documented or passed down throughout history. Very few world dances are performed specifically by only men or only women as the art of dancing usually breaks the gender boundaries.

Most spiritual dances have been accompanied by musical instruments such as drums, wind/string instruments, or even electronic devices of today’s age. Vocal callouts including chanting, shouting, and lyrical vocalization have also been popular throughout the history of dance in the world. Folk dances are specific to a country or nationality and are usually carried out by practiced members who take pride in their culture. This retention of historic dance through specific cultural groups, furthers the diversity of the world and allows for outsiders to get a taste of the world’s history.