What Is Group Dance? With 5 Top Examples & History
Ever wondered what group dancing is? Well:
Group dance refers to simultaneous choreographed dances performed in groups of three or more people. In other words, the dancers do the same moves at the same time.
In this article we’ll explore group dancing more, and look at the different types of group dance.
Generally, group dances coordinate from start to finish. So, all the participants dance using the same steps at the same time. You’ll frequently see group dancing on television and in movies. You may also see them at sports events, pep rallies, or in a spontaneous flash mob.
Flash mobs also do group dancing. They participate in coordinated group dances in public spaces. Usually, the flash mob seeks no permission from the people managing the public spaces. The flash mob dance incorporates a performance costume theme, such as zombies or pirates. Alternatively, the group can re-enact a well-known dance sequence like the one found in Risky Business.
The inspiration behind group dances comes from the dance moves in music videos, TV shows, and movies. For instance, the film Footloose inspired the line dance, which copies the dance moves in the movie. Another popular line dance from the movie musical Hairspray is called The Madison.
Examples of Group Dancing
Anyone can participate in Group Dance, no matter their skill level! Here are a few examples of group dances that are common in Western cultures.
Also known as chain dance, this style of social dancing gets performed in a circle. Circle dances can also happen in semicircles and a curved line to a musical supplement. This may involve rhythm instruments or singing.
Any person can join in circle dances without necessarily having a partner. Also, dancers come into physical contact with one another. The contact can be hand-to-hand, finger-to-finger, or hand-on-shoulders.
While dancing, the dancers follow their choreographer around the dance floor. Besides, the group dance ranges from moderate to lively performances. So, circle dances serve as an uplifting group experience or a form of meditation.
A maypole refers to an elongated wooden pole mounted as part of various folk festivals in Europe. It's around this wooden pole that maypole dances happen.
These European folk festivals take place on 1st May or Pentecost. Some countries mount the maypole at Midsummer. In some regions, the maypole gets mounted permanently but is only put to use during the festival. In other places, the maypole gets mounted to serve the purpose and then taken down after the festival.
Unlike circle dances, line dance is short and involves no physical contact. Line dance involves a repetitive sequence of dance moves performed to country music or disco music.
Line dancers stand in a single line while performing. However, if there are more dancers in a limited amount of floor space, line dancers might have to perform in a succession of parallel lines. Although these dancers don’t come into contact, they perform similar moves at the same time.
These types of group dancing involve four couples, totaling eight square dancers. Each couple takes one side and faces the middle of the square. Through repetition and preservation, some nations have awarded the squared dance the status of a folk dance.
The popular North American types of square dances are traditional and modern square dances. Other common types of square dances in England, Scotland, and Ireland include Irish set dances, Scottish country dances, and Playford dances.
Modern Group Dance
If you’ve ever been to a school dance, you have probably done a modern group dance. People dance to popular songs that often include instructions in the song to direct dancers. They include:
- The Macarena
- The Cha-Cha Slide
- The Cupid Shuffle
- Bunny Hop
- The Time Warp
Group dances are beneficial in many ways. First, group dancing helps to build social connections. As people dance, they interact and make new friends.
Also, group dances provide plentiful opportunities to learn from one another. This helps to build personal confidence and develop a better dance crew.
What Is Group Dance? Final Thoughts
What is group dance? As seen above, group dances refer to coordinated types of dances performed by three or more people.
Group dancing performances are not for Western cultures alone. The Japanese also have a ceremonial group dance called the Bon dance and most Indian dance is done in a group, especially the raas style, which involves clapping sticks together with partners.
Group dance offers a sense of community and fun that many people enjoy. Find a dance floor in your town and get grooving!
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