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What Are Some Different Dance Forms?

It's never too late to learn how to dance. Whether you're a kid just starting or an adult wanting to experience the raw joy of dance classes for the first time, learning to dance comes with a massive list of health and social benefits. There are many different dance styles, from some old styles (ballet anyone?) to some of the more contemporary dance styles like hip hop. Before diving in, think about the kinds of dance styles that you like, the kinds of movements that appeal to you most, as well as the music that goes along with them. For example, if you don't like jazz music, jazz dance classes might not be for you.

Dance connects the heavenly and manufactured world. From worshipping the almighty to a modern-day dance competition, from Shiva's Tandav to Tango, it is all about dancing your heart out. It is all about going gaga over dancing. Dance is a language of expressing sentiments, but it has many dialects worldwide. There are different types of dances and dance styles across the globe. Let's start a journey from this moment and try to speak all the dancing dialects. In simple terms, let's know about the different dance forms.

Contemporary Dance Styles And Techniques

Contemporary dance styles and techniques combine the discipline, control and poise of traditional dance forms with the free movement and spatial expansion of modern, experimental dance modes. As a result, adults and children can gain movement fluidity, a greater understanding of improvisation, and the freedom to express themselves individually and in groups through Dance. 

Adults who have enjoyed classical dance styles, ballroom dancing, tap and jazz dance often report improved muscular flexibility and responsiveness when they participate in contemporary dance classes and groups. Children who learn modern dance modes and their studies of traditional dances strengthen their bodies while gaining an essential understanding of varied dance styles. While combining classical dance patterns and steps with free-form movement on smooth, open dance floors, they are encouraged to engage in creative, experimental Dance.

Dance AU is a multifandom trope. It covers fanworks in which characters are professional dancers or choreographers, students or teachers at a dance school, or enter dance competitions (when said characters do not do these things in canon). Generally, the dancing plays a part in the work's plot.

There are countless forms of Dance celebrated all around the world. Read on to discover more about 28 of the most popular types of Dance! Dance has been part of our culture for thousands of years. However, there are many forms of Dance performed worldwide today, from ballet to ballroom and salsa to street.

The Types of Dance

  • Ballet. Tutus, pointe shoes and men in tights come to mind when someone mentions ballet.
  • Tap. Tap is best described as "musical feet".
  • Jazz. Jazz is the most popular style of Dance among dancers.
  • Modern.
  • Lyrical.
  • Hip Hop
  • Contemporary
  • Highland Dancing.

There are countless forms of Dance celebrated all around the world. Read on to discover more about 28 of the most popular types of Dance! Dance has been part of our culture for thousands of years. However, there are many forms of Dance performed worldwide today, from ballet to ballroom and salsa to street.

Here is a list of the most popular types of Dance:

  • Ballet.
  • Ballroom.
  • Contemporary.
  • Hip Hop.
  • Jazz.
  • Tap Dance.
  • Folk Dance.
  • Irish Dance.

Students begin to investigate various choreographic forms exploring narrative form, binary form, ternary form, rondo form and the use of canons.

Choreographic Structures: The specific compositional forms in which movement is structured to create a dance (AB, ABA, ABAB, canon, variation, retrograde, call and response, chance). Choreography: Describes a dance sequence that has been created with specific intent.

FAQ's About The Different Dance Forms

Modern-Day Dance Styles And Techniques For Better Student Skills And Enjoyment

Contemporary dance techniques and forms that enhance and strengthen the skills, understanding and enjoyment of dancers of all ages include the following:

Hip Hop.

This lively, upbeat dance form invites and encourages students to use their unique, innovative skills and sensibilities to add creative style and spark to this creative form of choreography. Its varied, energetic rhythms inspire all, including beginning students, making it nearly impossible to stand still once the music starts. Both experienced dancers and new students find this dance style a delightful way to participate and learn on their feet, gaining limber muscles, movement skills and pure, free enjoyment while practising Hip Hop with their fellow students and friends.

Another distinctly North American style, with a history extending back into jazz and African Dance. It began in 1960s NYC alongside hip hop music, reaching its zenith in the 70s with the emergence of street dancers that locked, popped and did the robot all day long. By the 90s, they'd added recognizable dance moves like the Running Man and Cabbage Patch, with the Soulja Boy and the Dougie following in the naughties. It's fun and social without a formal structure – and it's excellent for increasing your natural sense of rhythm. What you'll learn: Isolations, popping, locking, breaking, improvisation, flips and competitive dancing.


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Both teenagers and adults find this type of Dance captivating and enjoyable. Zumba is based on Latin rhythms and movements at many parties and other social events. Advanced students of this dance form often perform strenuous moves that combine studied choreography and individualized dance patterns and steps. Due to the sometimes athletic stamina, skill and body strength necessary to perform some of the more advanced and complex moves and sequences of this Dance, it is often considered an ideal form of exercise.

Modern Improvisation.

This contemporary dance mode is designed to help students better understand the space around them as they move freely about the dance floor, experimenting with flexible, creative body shapes, movements and choreography. Modern music modes that accompany this improvisational Dance encourage dancers of all skill levels to reach new levels of achievement in using their bodies as fluid, unlimited instruments to form new spatial patterns and artistic statements with simple yet dynamic and ever-evolving forms of movement.

Modern Dance is a free expressive style of dancing that developed in the early 20th century as a reaction to the rigidity of classical ballet. Modern classes include work in both Contemporary and Lyrical styles. Modern Dance allows for free movement performance and the dancers' intuition and inner feelings to surface. Contemporary Dance works on versatility and improvisation and focuses on floor work, using gravity to pull the body down to the floor. Lyrical is a style that blends elements of classical and jazz. It often uses the technique of classical ballet with a greater free-flowing feel to the body's movements. Lyrical Dance should express the music and have a soft, floating quality.

Jazz Classes. 

This encompasses several dance styles that were first popular in the US during the early twentieth century. However, its roots can be traced back to early African and European traditions. Developed alongside jazz in New Orleans, jazz dance was a social event for the African American community on Sundays, who would gather in Congo Square to celebrate their heritage. Later, social dances like the Charleston (1920s) and the Jitterbug (1940s) inspired the formal jazz dance style beloved on Broadway. These days, Jazz classes might include street and theatre jazz. What you'll learn: Isolations (move a specific part of your body to the rhythm), syncopation (offbeat moves), and sensuality (sexy dance moves.

Classical Ballet

Our priority at Glen Iris School of Dance is to provide a firm foundation for children to adapt to any style of Dance. Classical Ballet training with a teacher dedicated to their class is the best possible way to achieve this. However, it requires regular attendance and dedication. A strong technique is a platform to achieving versatility in all areas of Dance.

With the introduction to ballet in the younger levels, we provide age-appropriate training in small structured classes to provide a nurturing yet 'correct' approach to ballet. When children reach Pre Primary or Primary level, they are introduced to the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Syllabus and encouraged to attend regularly to work towards a ballet exam. Classes become more structured, with the goal of the exam being a wonderful aspiration for children. As children progress through school, they generally split into two sections. First, they wish to continue with their ballet exams and the hours required. Alternatively, they may wish to continue their training with a less structured approach and no exams. This becomes an option from Year 7 onwards where students can attend the 'Open Classes Only' program.

Boys Coaching & Personal Training

At Glen Iris School of Dance, we are committed to providing our male students with everything they need to get the most out of Dance. This involves giving them a designated boys coaching class with our senior teacher Adrian Dimitrievich to concentrate on techniques specific to male dancers. We also provide personal training sessions with Next Level PT to enhance a male dancer's strength and muscle development.


Acro is a unique blend of dancing and gymnastic disciplines that takes the dance world by storm. Loved by both teachers and students alike, Acrobatic Arts is a multi-discipline blend known as AcroDance. Stunning moves from gymnastics is blended with steps and routines from the dance world for a unique and modern approach to Dance. Acrobatic Arts and modern AcroDance is based upon a style of dance that emerged in the 1900s in North America as part of vaudeville. This popular theatrical variety entertainment started in the late 1880s and brought together groups of different performers into a single act. This included singers, dancers, comedians, magicians and acrobats. 

Acrobatic Arts focuses on the five visions of AcroDance and has elements from many other dance traditions, including ballet, modern dance and jazz. It also uses fitness activities such as yoga and Pilates alongside physiotherapy principles to increase strength and balance. The Acrobatic Arts program used at KDS is designed to teach people a complete understanding of AcroDance and is based on the five divisions: Flexibility; Strength; Balancing; Limbering, Tumbling. This means that elements of the training program include drills to build strength, flexibility and improve cardio, and learning key elements such as handstands, splits, and bridges. It also involves partner work and learning the terminology of the art. The syllabus is currently based on 350 skills across 12 levels and is constantly updated to ensure comprehensive.

Acrobatic Arts are essentially two skills in one program – the art of Dance and the skill of the acrobat. It combines many classic dance elements with physical conditioning to undertake the complex acrobatic moves that are part of the style. One of the reasons it is so popular is that it builds strength in the dancer. Alongside becoming stronger, dancers also vastly improve their flexibility and balance. While Acrobatic Arts is a serious dance discipline, it is also great fun and the health benefits that dancers can get from it make it worth considering for a variety of age groups.

Aerial Dance

The Aerial Dance was first recognized in the United States in the 1970s and then travelled worldwide. The choreography is done with an apparatus often attached to the ceiling that allows performers to explore the three-dimensional space. Strength and expression are everything in this type of dancing. I can feel how amazing it would be to play with expressions while swinging in the air.

Dance Styles Across The Globe

Shaolin Monk Dance

Shaolin monks are Chinese monks famous for their martial arts skills. These monks have combined knowledge, discipline, and kung fu to make a special and popular dance type known as Shaolin dance.

Cossack Dance

The cossack dance is a Ukrainian national dance. It is performed mostly as a concert dance by professional Ukrainian dancers or folk dance performers. Modern-day cossack dancing involves solo dancers, usually males. They perform amazing acrobatic feats. These feats include jumps and spins. This Dance shows the tradition of Ukrainian around the world, and it is such a bliss to be able to see this type of dancing. 

Latin Dance

Latin Dance was originated in Latin America and later travelled to different parts of the world. It is a type of ballroom dance performed with partners. The five Latin dances are the Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive.

Tap Dance

Tap dance is a form of Dance performed by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. Tap dance has its roots in the fusion of several ethnic percussive dances, including African tribal dances. As a result, tap dance has made its place in world dancing.


It is a partner dance. It originated in the 1880s in some parts of Argentina and Uruguay. It is a combination of waltz, polka, mazurka, etc. Starting from Argentina, it spread to the rest of the world. Many variations of this Dance currently exist around the world. Tango dance is one of the most famous dance styles worldwide. It is practised across the globe.


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The ballroom is any partner dance done socially and competitively around the world. It has many types and subtypes. Some of these are tango, rumba, cha-cha, swing, jive, samba, paso doble, Argentine tango, polka, west coast swing, lindy, salsa and many, MANY more! It originated in England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Earlier, the upper and elite classes performed it at balls and parties.

Health Benefits Of Dancing

Dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits, including:

  • improved condition of your heart and lungs
  • increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
  • increased aerobic fitness
  • improved muscle tone and strength
  • weight management
  • stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • better coordination, agility and flexibility
  • improved balance and spatial awareness
  • increased physical confidence
  • improved mental functioning
  • improved general and psychological wellbeing
  • greater self-confidence and self-esteem
  • better social skills.

General Tips For Dancing

If you are thinking of taking up dancing, suggestions include:

  • See your doctor for a check-up if you have a medical condition, are overweight, are over 40 years of age or are unfit.
  • Wear layers of clothing that you can take off as your body warms up.
  • Do warm-up stretches or activities before you begin a dance session.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after dancing.
  • Make sure you rest between dance sessions.
  • Don't push yourself too far or too fast, especially if you are a beginner.
  • Wear professionally fitted shoes appropriate to your style of Dance.
  • Check with your dance instructor that you are holding the correct form.
  • Sit and watch new dance moves first. Learning new moves increases your risk of injury, especially if you are already tired.
  • Perform regular leg-strengthening exercises.
  • Move as fluidly and gracefully as you can.
  • Cool down after a dance session, including stretching.


By enrolling in the many and varied dance instruction classes offered by Southcoast Dance School with locations in Rye and Tootgarook, you or your children will gain strong dance skills while improving your physical fitness, acquiring new friends and thoroughly enjoying the wonderful and diverse art of Dance. This exciting, innovative dance school expertly combines traditional dance forms and techniques with modern choreography and the free-form movement of contemporary dance modes to instruct, encourage and delight dancers of all ages and skill levels as they join in performing the beautiful, stylish and intriguing art of Dance.

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