The Place of Dancing within Culture and Society and Its Relationship to Health and Wellbeing

Dance can be defined in various ways depending on cultural and social norms. However, for the purposes of this paper, the subject will basically be defined as the movement of an individual’s body in response to music. In most cases, the movement is rhythmic. Dance is performed in almost every culture and is done for various reasons including to express ideas, entertainment, social interaction, to express emotions, exercise, and for spiritual purposes (Markula 2006). Apart from the above functions, in some communities, dance is used as a means of communicating non-verbally between animals or animals. There are various genres and styles of dance including tango, ballroom, break, step, and slide (Daly 2002, p.64), the list practically being non-exhaustive. While people remain uncertain as to the origin of dance, some scientists claim that it was designed by natural selection processes as far back as the initial stages of hominid evolution (Markula 2006). Dance holds a special place in various cultures and societies. In this case, culture is a people’s way of life. In fact, archaeologists suggest that during prehistoric (before the invention of writing) times, dancing was part of human culture as depicted by the Egyptian tomb and ancient Indian paintings that contain dancing figures. It has been a vital part of rituals, entertainment, rituals, and ceremony. Dance in many cases is often accompanied by music and may involve an individual, 2 people, or a group of people. In other cases, it is performed without music as in the case of the tap dance. Dance is often associated with costumes which are elements of culture. Costumes in this case relate to the distinctive dressing style adopted by a particular group of persons. For example, in some traditional communities, dancers wear skirts made of sisal fiber and headgear made of bird feathers which are are elements of culture.Culture as a people’s way of life includes dance.