List Of Dance Facts
Dancing has been around for ages. It is one of the oldest sports and art forms on the planet. While the first evidence of dance was found in India, dancing has spread across the world. From the foxtrot to ballroom to hip hop dancing, millions of people participate around the world in the sport. Dance is considered to be both a sport and an art form. With the centuries that dance has been around, there have been many facts uncovered about the sport. Here are some interesting facts about dancing.
- Breakdancing: Many people believe breakdancing was started in the Bronx, New York. It is thought of to be a way street gangs in the Bronx settled disputes as it was a “less lethal” version of doing so.
- The Dancing Plague: The dancing plague of 1581 was a period of time in the Holy Roman Empire where people danced for so long and so uncontrollably that hundreds of people danced for days without stopping. The cause of this plague is still unknown but is thought of to be a stress induced hysteria that spread across the empire.
- Tupac Shakur: Most people know Tupac Shakur for his rapping skills from the late 1900s. However, he was not always a rapper. Tupac Shakur also did ballet. In fact, he joined a Harlem based dance company when he was younger and studied it at the Baltimore School of The Arts.
- Elvis Presley: Early on in Elvis Presley’s career, cameras refused to show the musician and dancer from the waist down. His hip movements were thought of to be too raunchy for television. Therefore, television stations refused to show it.
- Egyptian Law: During the 1950s, belly dancing was declared illegal for women to perform in Egypt. While it is no longer illegal, there is still a big stigma around female belly dancers. Even so, the dance form is illegal in many Middle Eastern nations.
- Sweden Dance Law: In Sweden, it is technically illegal to move your feet to music. Bar and restaurant owners found without a dance permit can be fined if it is found that their customers are dancing to music. Even so, the country decided to keep the controversial law in place after voting on it in 2015. They voted to keep the law in place because it creates disorder and can lead to violence.
- King Louis XIV: King Louis XIV loved ballet so much he started his own dance academy. In fact, he founded the Royal Academy of Dance in order to establish ballet standards and keep the art from being corrupt.
- Pow Wows: A Pow Wow is a social meeting held by indigenous people and communities. At a Pow Wow, indigenous communities often dance and sing and it is a practice that has been around for centuries and was started by the Narragansett.
- Capoeira: When African peoples were brought over to Brazil and enslaved, they were not allowed to practice martial arts. As an alternative, they invented Capoeira. Capoeira combines both dancing and singing and is still widely practiced in Brazil today.
- Lion Dancing: Lion dance is a popular form of dance in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. It is thought of as bringing good fortune and warding off evil spirits. It also introduces some martial arts in the dance movements as well.
- First Signs of Dance: Archaeologists found the first evidence of dance in India. They found paintings located in the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka and in Egyptian tombs. These paintings depicted dancing figures and they were over 9,000 years old.
- Leotard: The leotard was given its name by its inventor: Jules Leotard. He was a French acrobat who also performed the first flying trapeze act. He wore the leotard in order to show off his muscles.
- Banned Dance Marathons: In the state of Washington, it was illegal to host a dance marathon. The law banning dance marathons was implemented in 1937 and it was not the only state to do so. However, the law was repealed in 1987.
- The Fox Trot: The dance the foxtrot was invented by Harry Fox who was a Vaudeville actor. While it was first danced to ragtime, when rock and roll music emerged, foxtrot was then danced to rock and roll music.
- No Eye Contact: In 1923, the state of Michigan passed a law that banned dancers from staring into each other’s eyes when they danced. The law is no longer in effect.
- Longest Conga Dance: The world record for the longest conga line was set in Miami, Florida. 119,986 people danced in the streets of Miami in 1988 in order to break the record.
- Chicken Dance: The record for the largest chicken dance was set in Ohio. 72,000 people gathered in Ohio at a fair to perform the modern chicken dance and eventually set the World Record.
- Curtain Calls: Curtain calls are when dancers appear at the end of performances and hold for applause. The record for most curtain calls in a ballet is 89. That occurred in Vienna after a version of Swan Lake was performed.
- Bourne and Swan Lake: Bourne’s version of Swan Lake is known to have traditionally female roles be played by men. In addition, it is also the longest-running ballet in London’s West End and on Broadway.
Facts About Dancers
- Early Retirement: Because of how physically demanding dancing is, most competitive dancers retire at a young age. The average age a dancer retires is in their mid 30s. The normal age of retirement for someone who is not a dancer is age 62.
- Expensive Tutus: Professional dance tutus can be very expensive with the average tutu costing about $2000 dollars apiece. In addition, dancers don’t just wear one in a normal show. They often own 2-3 pairs that they wear in a single recital.
- Superstition: Professional dancers are very superstitious. Oftentimes before a show or recital, dancers will say “break a leg” in order to wish their fellow dancers luck. While it is the opposite of what dancers wish on their friends, it is thought that if they don’t say it, they will, in fact, break a leg on stage.
- Healthy Habit: Dancing can be very beneficial for your health. In many studies, it has been found to help extremely well with heart problems, stress reduction, and improving brain function.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Every year for Thanksgiving in New York City, dancers and marchers march through the streets in New York City. During this parade, 6,000 tap dancers take the streets to perform.
- Sustainable Dancing: The world’s first sustainable dance floor was invented in Sweden. Located at Club Watt, the dance floor is held up by springs that are hooked up to generators. The harder that people dance, the more the springs move and the more energy that is generated.
- Honey Bees: Humans are not the only species that can dance. Asian honey bees and European honeybees can too. In fact, it was reported in an experiment that the two species can understand each other through dancing movements.