Dance has been a part of human celebrations, rituals, and culture. Today’s dancing is all about self-expression and recreation. Some dance for competition while others do it for body fitness. However, dancing cannot be more fun without the right shoes in place. The best selection of dancer’s footwear is important because their feet need to be pain-free and healthy. Dancer’s shoes have the potential of restricting or enhancing the movement of the body in many ways. Below are some of the common dancing styles that a person can practice as a new hobby.
Ballet dancing started in the 15th century in the Italian Renaissance courts. Women and men were treated to hype events like weeding where dancing and music gave an elaborate spectacle. The court was a great performance in the steps taught by dancing masters. Today proper technique and extensive training are required for one to be part of a professional company. Both young men and ladies can exercise ballet dance. Ballet dancers train from the age of six and eight years (for females) or five to seven years (for male) dancers. For dancers to be fit and aware, training continues even after they are hired by the professional dancing company where they are supposed to attend training classes for six days a week. A ballet dancer must be very flexible and athletic because dance is a strict form of art.
A wooden beam called a barre, which runs on the walls of a ballet studio, is where dancer classes begin. Dancers support themselves using a barre when dancing. Barre is designed to stretch the muscles and warm the body in preparation for center work where they exercise without the support of a barre. Dancing in the middle of the room starts slowly then gradually leading to faster movements and exercises. They finish center work by exercising big leaps on the floor, which is known as grande allegro.
After working from the center, females practice on their toes or pointe where they got support from special pointe shoes while male exercise turns and jumps. Ballet is the main foundation of almost all dance styles since all moves develop from it.
The proper kind of shoes to wear in a ballet dance should be foldable flats, since they are easy to carry around.
Salsa, a Latin dance originated from New York in the 1960s which was popular in night clubs and ballrooms of Havana end of the 1950s. Different regions of the United States and Latin America have their unique salsa styles. Salsa dance is commonly held in bars, ballrooms, restaurants, nightclubs, and outside when it is an outdoor festival.
In many styles, a salsa dancer’s body remains at the same level and almost unaffected by weight changes which come as a result of shifting his or her body weight by stepping. The hips move as a result of the weight shift. Shoulders and arms also move in a union. Salsa music ranges from 150bpm to 250bpm or at times it may be a bit higher between 160bpm to 220bpm. A Salsa dancer takes three steps in a rhythm of every four beats of music. The steps in odd numbers create different salsa movements which in turn takes the music to shape back to its new sequence of steps.
The leader uses the hands to communicate and signal the follower in a closed position or either an open state. The open position involves holding a single or both hands, especially for dance moves that involve turning, moving around one another, or placing hands behind the back. A closed state the leader holds the follower with the right hand at the back while the follower holds the shoulder of the leader with the left hand.
In New York style, dancers switch places by remaining in front of each other, and in Latin American style dancers circle each other, at times in three points. However salsa music is continuously changing and is open to improvisation. A style may be identified based on timing, foot patterns, basic steps, turns and figures, body movement, dance influences, attitude, and how dancers hold each other. The move which a step takes and a slightly huge step in a bar can be used to name a style.
Salsa shoes should be very comfortable to avoid injuries which may occur due to all the various moves you’ll be making.
Jazz is fun and energetic and the majority of people like watching these moves from televisions, commercials, and movies to music videos. Jazz dancing shows the originality of a dancer as dancers execute and interpret moves and steps in their different ways. It consists of big leaps, quick turns, and fancy footwork. For a dancer to excel in Jazz he has to be more experienced in ballet.
A jazz dancer has to practice each step taught by the instructor and make it his or her own. They are advised to include their personality to every step. These steps include jazz turns, basic turns, some ballet turns and pirouettes. Leaps include grande jets and tour jetes. Jazz walks signify jazz dancing. A jazz walk can be done in different styles. Contraction is a well-known jazz move that is done contracting the torso as it happens when the pelvis is back outwards and forward. Dancing practices also include leg holds and basic jazz- square which explains why learning techniques of jazz dance usually need a lot of practice.
Best jazz shoes should be comfortable and flexible.
Hip Hop Dancing
Hip hop dance has strong social roots and deep historical roots in the African culture. In the 1970s Bronx was a dangerous and rough place for youths to grow as it was surrounded by poverty, drugs, violence, gang, and all kind of struggle. Neglected Latino youths and the African American Hip hop invented art forms that could help them escape these struggles. The art forms could be seen in how they dressed, moved, talked, and expressed themselves. The new culture and lifestyle became Hip hop. People’s energy was redirected to creativity, respect, originality, and community while hobbies like graffiti, dancing deejaying, breaking and dancing, and Emceeing became part of life.
Hip hop has a variety of styles since the 1970s as it was made popular in the United States by dance crews. Hip- hop was given exposure in early stages by television shows which led to the influence of jazz-funk, a jazz dance style. Trained dancers learned the studio styles to connect from hip hop dances which were commonly performed on the streets. Today hip hop is played in outdoor spaces and the dance studios. These are types of Hip hop dance.
Hip Hop DJs
This type of hip hop was also described as deejaying or turntablism and it was the first to be introduced. The father Of Hip Hop, DJ Kool Herc, used to call for frequent block parties in West Bronx. The community used to come out to dance and interact while he was playing on his turntables in 1520 Sedgwick Avenue which was the main building where these parties were conducted. DJ Kool Herc discovered that most publicity was had when they had the breakbeat song. He decided to isolate the breakbeat and at the same time use two turntables and play it back to back on the loop. He did this to keep peoples energy up. Grandmaster Flash later came up with the idea of using his headphones to select a beat starter and beats end. This enabled him to make significant transitions in between the breaks. Africa Bambataa expanded turntabling skills while the master of ceremonies, Emcee or the MC would hype up the crowd and the DJ. By the end of the 1970s, the Emcees and DJs could come together frequently to scratch, spin, cut, and mix for the community.
This style was also known as breaking and it was born from the parties. They were originally called break girls and break boys by Herc because boys and girls danced to his breakbeats. Early breaking involved stepping from a standing position and also dropping to the ground. Gestures signify mock battle forms, freezes, spins moving on the ground. The early b-girls and b-boys introduced salsa, Brazillian samba, Cuban mambo, jazz dance, and martial arts like Capoeira and Kun-fu which influenced breaking.
Hip Hop Party Dance
Breaking moves were so demanding and not everyone could fit in while some were not interested in competition. This prompted people to move in other different ways that were more fun and light-hearted. Some of these social dance moves are Chicken-head, Snake, Cabbage Patch, Running man, and Harlem shake. When the dance expanded, two popular clubs sprang up in New York. These clubs were Union square and Latin Quarters. Hip hop dance and culture reminded city dwellers that their differences didn’t matter and that the music was for everybody.
Hip hop shoes should look cool and be flexible.
Ball Room Dancing
Ballroom dance is enjoyed across the world since it is a competitive and social dance. It is also enjoyed on stage, television, and film because it is entertaining and it has high performance. It may also refer to any recreation dance where partners are involved. The term may also be used to describe dancing competitions because there are schools that are associated with such competitions. There are twelve ballroom dances, which include:
Cha-cha is a flirtatious and lively dance that is full of energy and passion. Cha-cha gets its style from Cuban motion. Partners observe each movement and therefore move in perfect alignment.
Foxtrot is the best dance for beginners because it is simple to learn and has a lot of fun. In foxtrot dancers make big-band music, swings on the floor through smooth, long flowing movements.
African-Americans came up with a jive dance style from the United States. It is a lively swing dance where it is more of a jitter bug.
Lindy Hop is described as the father of all swing dances. It is best recognized for its athletic style which mostly contains aerial jumps, flips, and twists. It was named after Lucky Lindy, who was popular in the 1930s as a transatlantic flight.
Mambo is an emotional dance characterized by arm movements, swaying hip movements, facial expressions, and displays all sensual holds in a dance. It was an invention of Perez Prado in the 1940s.
Pasodoble is the liveliest ballroom dances that originate from southern France. This dance gets its rhythm from the music played during a bullfight. The rhythm is modeled after the drama, movement, and sound of the bullfight.
Quickstep resembles foxtrot although it is a bit quicker. It is composed of syncopated feet rhythms, quick-stepping, and running. The quicksteps are difficult to master although it is exciting to watch the movements.
The Rumba is a Latin ballroom dance that is considered by many to be the most sensual and romantic. It is mostly described as the grandfather of all Latin dances where the ballroom version is derived from Cuban son. The music is repeated at intervals of 4/4 beats.
Both old and young enjoy dancing the samba because it is the most popular Brazilian dance. It is can be performed with a partner or alone.
The tango originated from Argentina in an estate called Buenos Aires in the 19th century and it is the most fascinating dance of the ballrooms. The dance is used in competitions although it is different from that of Argentina.
Viennese is considered by many to be difficult to learn as it involves quick rotational dance with a slight rise and fall. It has slightly different steps and it is fast compared to the slow waltz.
Waltz is considered to be the smoothest ballroom dances. It is marked by long, continuous turns, flowing movements, and a fall and a rise such that the dancers seem to slide on the floor helplessly. In a ballroom appearance matters a lot and therefore the shoes should be shiny, stylish and supportive.
Dance should be appreciated across the world because it is an art that involves a lot of practice as it takes time for one to perfect. In most cases, dancing is taken as a hobby and seems to be more fun and exciting. However, dancers should choose their shoes based on their foot anatomy as well as the type of dance they are practicing.