The Urban Dance scene did evolve, in certain aspects, from Hip Hop dance roots
. Several moves and grooves and concepts were inspired by Hip Hop and street styles. But in the past 2 decades or so, the Urban Dance culture and Urban Dance choreography developed its own identity. From competitions …
African dance occupies central place in cultures throughout the African continent, embodying energy and a graceful beauty flowing with rhythm. In Africa, dance is a means of marking life experiences, encouraging abundant crops, honoring kings and queens, celebrating weddings, marking rites of passage, and other ceremonial occasions. Dance is also done purely for enjoyment. Ritual dance, including many dances utilizing masks, is a way of achieving communication with the gods. As modern economic and political forces have wrought changes on African society, African dance has also adapted, filling new needs that have arisen as many African people have migrated from villages toward the cities.
African dance is connected to Africa’s rich musical traditions expressed in African Music. African dance has a unity of aesthetic and logic that is evident even in the dances within the African Diaspora. To understand this logic, it is essential to look deeper into the elements that are common to the dances in the various cultures from East to West Africa and from North to South Africa.
Africa covers about one-fifth of the world’s land area and about an eighth of its people. Africa is divided into 53 independent countries and protectorates. The African people belong to several population groups and have many cultural backgrounds of rich and varied ancestry. There are over 800 ethnic groups in Africa, each with its own language, religion, and way of life.
Dance has always been an indispensable element of life in African society, binding together communities and helping individuals to understand their roles in relation to the community. In spiritual rituals, dance helps people to understand and remember their role in relation to the divine. Dance in social ceremonies and rights of passage has helped keep community life vibrant, contributing to a sense of security, safety and continuity. As the shape of communities has changed with the passage of time, with alterations in the political climate, and with the application of economic factors, some specifics in the role of dance have also adapted and changed, but today African dance still remains an important supporting element in the spiritual, emotional and social well-being of African society.