The history of dancing began many centuries ago. Dancing has been part of societies as a social activity that people get involved in for different reasons. For every generation, there is always a motive and direction that people take in dance. Different dance styles have come along as people develop new song genres over the years. This is evident from the three generations that I have discovered through my interviews. Dancing has been changing with every generation from that of my grandparents although, there are still significances that are related to the same. Dance has been part of social identification while others have used it as a career to make ends meet. It has also been part of the entertainment, and it has been used as a cultural presentation within different communities. Although dances from the 40’s have been used for cultural practice, presently, they have changed significantly to entertainment and career pursuit.
From ballroom dancing to break dance, there is an indication of how social dancing has transformed from the 1940’s. As every decade passed, it was evident that dances reflected cultural practices and this could be seen from the societies that embodied various perspectives regarding social dancing. A better understanding of social dancing began in the 40’s and 50’s, a time when my grandparents were in their youth. From the information obtained from my interviewee of what used to happen during those times and how social dance influenced the society, it is notable that our society has undergone great influence from European, African as well as American movements.
During my grandparents’ time, tap dancing was the order of the day. This was a social dance that many people would gather and compete during their leisure time. Furthermore, in the 40’s, another popular social dance was the belly dance, and ballet. The second generation that I understood through my interview is that of my parents in the 60’s and 70’s. This was the time of salsa dance. It was danced in pairs, in that, one would dance with their partner. Salsa involved lively and flirtatious forms of movements. From the interview, I learned that a Cuban individual introduced salsa dance. Moves engaged in salsa dance are challenging, and that explains why those who mastered these movements were recognized and could be invited to dance before groups of people as part of the entertainment. Salsa movements involve one standing tall, and they speedily twist and twirl their partners on their tiptoes.
Jazz became prevalent at the time of my parents, and it was introduced from the African American culture. It had great moves, and with time more additional dancing styles have been added. My generation from the 80’s marked the beginning of Hip Hop culture. The dancing movements involved in the Hip-Hop culture include break dancing, crumping, popping as well as locking. These dances were performed in social settings as part of the entertainment. There are also a lot of freestyle movements in Hip-Hop dance. Dancing has always had a common influence on every generation. In most cases, it has brought people together, and that explains why different cultures share the same dancing styles like in the case of salsa.
Social dancing has evolved right from the time of my grandparents, through the generations of my parents to my generation. It reflects the culture of different societies which can be seen from their dancing perspectives. Dance moves from different continents have spread and have greatly influenced societies. Some of the dance styles from the early generation were tap dancing, the salsa together with jazz from the African American culture. Hip-Hop dancing such as breakdance and crumping are among the latest social dancing moves in my generation.