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Who was the first human to dance?

Dance is an artform that leaves no physical traces so sadly it there is no evidence of mankind's first attempts at moving for the sheer fun of it.

Still, it may be certain that the first humans found their dancing feet shortly after they first learned to stand upright.

Fred Astaire & Ginger RogersDance has served a variety of purposes through the ages with motives as diverse as praying for rain, summoning battles, invoking health cures, instilling national pride, and inspiring romance (or simply because it felt good.)

From ritual tribal dances in Africa, to the alluring rythmic dance movements of ancient India, dance would evolve in Western civilization at the royal courts of Europe where the first choreographed ritual of ballet took shape during the Renaissance.

Evolving with the more formal aspects of the art form were more popular dance steps emerging from traditional folk dancing invented out in the countryside. The most famous of these still survive today in circle dances, Irish step dancing, and in America, square dancing.

Later, the Jazz Age (who wants to jitterbug?) ushered in what would eventually lay the foundation for all modern forms of popular dance including disco and the current urban craze for hip-hop and breakdancing.


More about dance history around the Web:

Around the Web, step back in time at these Eastern and Western dance history sites for a a further look at dance in all its variety....



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Musicals - Dance Films - The whole history of dance as it evolved from Hollywood with looks at some of the most famous landmark movies and directors of the genre including photos, related resources.

Renaissance Dance - RenDance is a complete resource. Music, choreography, costume and more are covered. Everything for the medieval feast, except the knights in shining armor, are covered.

The Calendar of Early Dance - Stefan Kühn's love of historical dance and surfing the Web combines into a user friendly, multilingual site with upcoming events, classes in your area, clean links and a wonderful picture gallery.

A History of Irish Dance - Going back to the Celts and ending with RIverdance, this site covers it all. Links to more Irish cultural coverage including music and songs (not to mention a delicious Irish Soda Bread recipe).


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