The origins of Dance can be traced back to India about 9,000 years ago through cave paintings. The third millennium BCE marked a time when more civilizations began to adopt dance for a variety of reasons. At this point, dance was used by people as a way to enjoy themselves, perform for others, and for ritualistic purposes.
Dance is a difficult definition to pin down, but can be described as the moving of one's body to a particular rhythm. It is an artform that is generally set to music, though it does not need to be.
The two most prominent forms of dance are social dance and theatrical dance. The former describes dancing in an amateur sense. In other words, dancing for enjoyment at a social gathering of some kind. In more structured scenarios, dance has proven to be a good source of both physical and mental exercise, even at a more casual level. The latter is performance-based and involves dancing for an audience.
Although some dance is performed without preparation, such as freestyle dance, much of performance-based and competitive dance is done with prior choreography put in place. This gives dancers a chance to learn or come up with more complex dances that will make for a better routine.
Competitive dance usually involves choreographed moves in which dancers are score based on their performances. Numerous categories of different competitions exist in the world of dance including, jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, dancesport, or ballroom dancing, and many more. While some categories involve a solo dancer, others may call for duos, trios, or entire dance squads. These can take place at the regional and even the national level.