Dance is the art ofmovement. It can express feelings, be an exercise, used to perform, and evenused as nonverbal communication. Dance is usually performed with music, butdoesn’t necessarily have to.
Sports sometimes incorporate a certain dance. Danceis also used in sports such as synchronized swimming, ice skating, andgymnastics. There are many types of dance, ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, modern,and contemporary etc. Most people see forms of dancing every day. Whether itsseeing a dance at a prom, a person jamming in their car, or simply turning onthe television, it’s something that we see every day. But have you everwondered where it all started? It was believed that dancing was a ritual inancient civilizations.
Priests would dance to harps and pipes to tell storiesto the gods. Around this time ballet also began to evolve in places like Franceand continued to spread through Italy, England, and Russia. It became a concertdance seen in movies and events all over the world. Dancing has continued to grow,and the best way to show how, is though film.One of the firstmovies that involved sing and dance was the 1952 film, Singing in the Rain. Themost famous part is when the main character, Don Lockwood, dances through thestreets with an umbrella as he twirls and sings the title song. He then grabsonto a pole and swings around it continuing to sing. During the filming of thisscene he had a 103-degree fever, but thankfully this scene only had to be shotone time.
After the production of this movie, dancing became the new trend.Dances such as, the Bop, the Stroll and the Swing became popular. Poodle skirtsand pony-tails were the style, and “Do Wop” music was what everyonewanted to hear.
The 60’s rolledaround and with a new decade, came new traditions. A brand new dance became thenew big thing. Chubby Checker released his song entitled “The Twist”in 1960”. A cheerful dance came out of it. The Twist was the first Rock& Roll dance in which partners didn’t have to touch each other.
Otherpopular dances emerged during this time. The “Baby Boomers”definitely played a role in the explosion of dance in the 60’s. Throughout theend of this decade many of these dances were seen in movies and on Broadway.Next we enter 70’s, whereKC and the Sunshine Band topped the charts, and Disco was the new craze. Everyoneknew that sooner or later the sex appeal of disco would make its way to thefilm industry. There isn’t a movie that shows this better than Saturday Night. Itbecame an instant box office hit with the famous dance by John Travolta to Stayin’Alive.
It wasn’t long before everyone wanted to be a part of the disco scene,eventually groups such as Kiss, and The Rolling Stones were all in on the fun. Towardthe end of the 70’s came the first big Broadway film to hit the box office.Grease hit the scene in 1978 and it soon became a dance sensation.
The dances areoften recreated in dance classes, recitals, shows and other events. Some ofthese dances are even trademarked. One of the most famous dance moves from themovie was “The Hand Jive.
” Since then there have been many differentvariations of how it is done. Through the years nothing compared to theAmericans love for Disco. It was the last popular movement driven by the baby boomers,but soon enough came the 80’s. With anew decade came new traditions, fashions, and of course brand new dances.The 80’s was thedecade for new moves.
From the musicals like Fame and Footloose, to the breakdancing skills showed in the film Breakin’. The 80’s was another step to furtherdancing and musicals. In the film industry of the 80’s one of the biggestsuccesses was Dirty Dancing. Something that most people don’t know was thatDirty Dancing was a true story based on the screenwriter, Eleanor Bergstein’sown childhood. Before release actors and creators were scolded saying this maybe the worst movie of its time. Little did they know that Dirty Dancing isconsidered today, “the best dance movie ever made”.
As of 2007 thefilm grossed $213.9 million worldwide. The 80’s has been said to be “thedecade of dance,” there was break dancing, the Worm, the Moonwalk andmore. During the 80’s the dancing took a stepon where we see it today.The beginning of the90’s dance styles was very similar to the 80’s. The same dance movies werebeing watched and most people were still stuck in the 80’s style. As the 1990’scontinued dance moves such as the Macarena, the Cha Cha Slide, the Running Man,and the Electric Slide emerged creating group dancing.
Moving forward buttaking a step back the 70’s and 80’s basedmusical Hairspray was the fourth highest grossing musical film in US cinemahistory, behind Grease, Chicago and Momma Mia! This film is set in Baltimore in1963; the story is about a plump teenager Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) whoseeks stardom as a dancer on a local television show. The 1988 original versionof Hairspray earned 6.6 million and was nominated for 4 awards, while the 2007version earned 188.8 million in the box office, was nominated for 3 GoldenGlobes, won 12 other awards, and had 18 other nominations. This was anenergetic musical, will make people want to get up and sing and dance. Thefinal and most recent successful 2006 dance movie Step Up. It is a perfectexample of what dance has become today.
Step Up is the story of a privilegedballet dancer who meets a free style dance rebel with a dream of dancingprofessionally In this film there was a mix of hip-hop, ballet, modern andbreak dancing to make this film perfect for this list of movies that helped ourstyled evolve today. This movie earned 65.3 million in the box office, won oneaward and was nominated for 3 other awards.Thingshave definitely changed from the 1950’s until today, but one thing in commonwith all of these movies is the real message; follow your dreams, and nevergive up on the things that you want. Also it just gives most people the urge toget up and dance.