“Dance is the language of the soul.”
No one could have defined dance as well as legendary modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham did. Indeed, dance has been a part of culture, shaping society in more ways than we could have imagined.
Not only does it reflect the people of its culture, but dance also represents time. It has become a billboard showcasing each decade’s unique genre, lifestyle, and even political and socio-economic issues. As surely as everything continues to evolve, so will dancing.
In the 1920s, dances were often wild and carefree, as they were mostly performed in clubs.
During this decade, dance contests in clubs called ‘marathons’ were a craze, wherein you dance until you can’t dance anymore.
It was also in the later part of this decade when tango and waltz became a thing.
It was followed by the age of jazz and swing dancing in the 1930s and 1940s.
Despite the chaos that overwhelmed the US during this era – the Great Depression and World War II – dancing remained very popular and became a form of escape for many people.
Even though the Germans banned dancing, it never stopped.
Fast forward to the 1970s, everything turned colorful and bright. The soulful disco era was born and with it came dances like the hustle, YMCA, and soul train lines.
This was the age of platform shoes and upbeat dances, with a lot of sexy songs like Macho Man, Love Machine and Foxy Lady. Movies like Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta were set on this decade.
Finally, in the 2000s, artists like Britney Spears, N’Sync, and Beyonce swept the charts with their hit singles and matching choreography.
This is the age that a lot of us can still remember, singing and dancing along to Britney Spears’ Toxic in the bathroom.
Dance has definitely evolved a lot, bringing with it a lot of memories that continue to shape our music today.
Watch this video to see the evolution of dance.