Everybody knows how to dance. Even if you don’t think that you’re any good at it, you will be able to move your body to music or a beat. Even babies love to dance! And, at its most basic, that really is all that dance is. But everybody also knows that dance is much more than that.

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As a form of artistic expression, dance is unique in its ability to create emotion and it really is completely universal. But we do dance for different purposes, and these can generally be grouped into three.

1) Ceremonial dance

Ceremonial dances have a rich history spanning far back into the earliest civilizations. They are performed at major life events such as weddings and funerals, as a way of communicating with nature such as during harvest or to encourage rain to fall, and as a way of worshiping deities.

2) Recreational dance

But dance doesn’t always have to be for such important purposes. Most people who dance nowadays do so for fun. It can be in the form of professional dance classes, social dancing, or it can be on a night out with friends. In any of these situations, dancing can be such a joyous experience!

3) Dance as a form of artistic expression

Dance is a powerful art form that can be used to tell stories, communicate emotions, or express complex ideas. Often, this type of dance is performed in a theatrical setting (but not always) and is often associated with dance styles such as ballet, contemporary, or modern.

It can be easy, however, to think that if a dance is artistic then it has to communicate a serious emotion. That isn’t the case at all! For a great example of artistic dance that is also fun and joyous, check out the above-mentioned video by Afromanga.

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