20 Best Dances of the World That Express Happiness and Spread Energy

Kuch khushiyon ke thumke!

Vartika Srivastava

Vartika Srivastava

4 months ago|12 min read

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Dance is the language of the eternal soul. In this chaotic world, full of hustle, take a pause and caper around in the space near you, you will definitely feel more relaxed and energetic than before. Music and rhythm are some of the world's natural therapeutic wonders.

If you are searching for the best dance in the world or about the amazing dance styles around the world, then big high five to the inquisitive dancer in you! We have here marshalled 20 best dance of the world which may help you to prance around and enjoy reading about the interesting dance styles around the world.

1. India: Kathak

Salami!

Classical dance in India, which is among the best dances of the world, is based upon and influenced by the Natya Shastra, an ancient Indian text that is the foundation for performing arts. The word Kathak means to tell a story and this dance form is characterized by elements that tell the story emotional facial movement with elements of mime incorporated in the movements. 

The ankle bells or ghunghru are the souls of this dance form which comes in life with the brilliant foot works of the dancers and stylized gestures adapted from normal body language, will leave you stunned. Kathak is one of the best dance styles around the world and is traditionally regarded to have originated from the travelling bards of North India referred to as Kathakars or storytellers.

It is performed by both men and women. This performing art that incorporates legends from ancient mythology and great Indian epics, especially from the life of Lord Krishna and his eternal love Radhika or Radha found in texts like the ‘Bhagavata Purana’ became quite popular in the courts of North Indian kingdoms. 

Three specific forms of this genre, i.e., three gharanas (schools), which mostly differ in the emphasis given to footwork versus acting, are more famous names, the Jaipur Gharana, the Benaras Gharana and the Lucknow Gharana. 

2. United States: Broadway

Broadway is a place where a lot of theatres were present. So, the dance performed at Broadway theatres was highly professional. Here the question arises 'What is Broadway Dance?'.The answer to the question is, it is the combination of ballet, jazz and modern dance styles performed in theatres. This dance is a special amalgam of different dances and among the best dances of the world.

This dance was made famous by many of the dancers worldwide. This dance has its history joined with the Broadway Theater because it was the first time dance used in the play. The Broadway dancers are actors and singers also. This dance is a blend of acting and singing. 

The Broadway Dance Center was founded in 1984. It is located on West 45th Street west of Times Square in NYC. This is one of the first dancing training school in the world and so is the origin for the best dance styles around the world.

3. Indonesia: Barong

Mani Menari!

Barong dance is Bali’s most popular Balinese dance and among the interesting dance styles around the world, which usually takes place during the Temple Festival. Barong is a character in Bali’s mythology. In the mythological traditions of Bali he is the King of Spirits, the leader of the hosts of good, and enemy of Rangda. In Bali, each region of the island has its own protective spirit for its forests and lands. Each Barong for each region is modelled after a different animal. There is a boar, a tiger, a dragon (or serpent) and the traditional lion.

In this dance, the movement is coordinated to the rhythms of the gamelan, a percussion instrument specific to Bali and Java. 

Barong dances will typically be performed during the Galungan festival, but will also be performed when there is illness or misfortune in the village. The villagers believe that they will chase the bad things from their village by performing this dance. This is still a common practice in everyday life in Bali.

4. Spain: Flamenco

Vamos a bailar!

You must have danced on or listened to the song 'Senorita' of the movie, 'Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara', in which traditional Spanish flamenco artist María del Mar Fernández performed a fantabulous Flamenco dance.

Flamenco dance (baile) is a highly-expressive, Spanish dance form. The flamenco is a solo dance characterized by hand clapping, percussive footwork, and intricate hand, arm, and body movements. The dance is usually accompanied by a singer and guitar player.

Flamenco dance and the guitar music that accompanies it comes from southern Spain in the Andalusian region associated with the Roma or gypsy people. Flamenco dancers, known as bailaores and bailaoras, are serious and passionate.

5. Turkey: Sufi Whirling

Hadi dans edelim!

'Khwaja mere Khwaja' song of the very well known movie 'Jodha Akbar' has not only stolen our hearts but also it's Sufi Whirling has an elegant and auspicious bond to us as well.

Sufi whirling is a form of dancing worship in Sufism, an Islamic ascetic or mystic tradition that emphasizes the inward search for the divine (similar to yoga and Hinduism). The dance dates to the 12th or 13th century and to the followers of Muslim poet and mystic Rumi.

The dancing Sufis are also known as whirling dervishes. A dervish is a Muslim Sufi ascetic, who has taken a vow of extreme poverty and serves as a guide for others who have chosen a similar spiritual path. The dervishes wear long, white skirt-like apparel that visually enhances the whirling.

6. India: Bhangra

Aaho! Aaja nachle!

Beats of dhol can make anyone tap his/her feet and can make us dance from the soul. Bhangra, folk dance and music of Punjab (northwestern India and northeastern Pakistan) and the popular music genre that emerged from it in the mid-to-late 20th century.

The term bhangra originally designated a particular dance performed by Sikh and Muslim men in the farming districts of the Punjab region of South Asia. This among all the energetic dance styles around the world was associated primarily with the spring harvest festival Baisakhi, and it is from one of the major products of the harvest—bhang (hemp)—that bhangra drew its name.

7. United States: Tap Dance

This American form of dance,  among the amazing dance styles around the world, incorporates metal taps on the bottom of the shoe to create complex, rhythmic percussion. There are two basic variations of tap dance: Rhythm (jazz) tap and Broadway tap. 

Broadway tap, or show tap, is lighter and uses more arm work. It has been influenced by ballroom dancing and ballet. It is usually performed in theatrical dance routines. Rhythm tap focuses more on the sound of the footwork. Practitioners of rhythmic tap consider themselves part of the jazz music tradition.

8. Middle East: Belly Dance

Salaam Waal-e-kum!

The origin of the name ‘belly dance’ comes from the French Danse du ventre, which translates as “dance of the stomach”. In the Arabic language, it is called Raqs Sharqi (which means "oriental dance"). Belly dancing is the oldest and best dance in the world and has been practised for thousands of years. 

Belly dance is primarily a torso-driven dance, with an emphasis on articulations of the hips. Unlike many Western dance forms, the focus of the dance is on isolations of the torso muscles, rather than on movements of the limbs through space.

9. Egypt: Raqs Sharki

Egyptian Raqs Sharqi (or raks sharki), also called  Egyptian cabaret, has its roots in Egyptian social and folkloric dances but has been influenced by western dance genres. It developed in Cairo in the 1920s in nightclubs such as Badiaa Masabni’s ‘Opera Casino’.

Generally, the Egyptian cabaret costume, called bedlah, is the one that many people today associate with Raqs Sharqi. That is the two-piece with bra and hip belt (although nowadays a lot of Egyptian cabaret costumes have beads sewed directly onto a tight skirt rather than a hip belt).

10. Nigeria: Yoruba

Yoruba cultural dance is called ‘ijo-ibile’ which is translated as ‘local/traditional dance’. The Yorubas dance to musical instruments such as bata, gangan (local talking drum), sekere, agogo (gong) and so on. The dancers are mostly dressed in aso-oke with which the male adorn Buba and Sokoto. 

A cap is also a major part of their attire. Females are dressed in wrappers tied to the chest region and coral beads on the neck, waist, wrist and ankle. Horsetails are also held by the dancers which flow with the rhythmic movements.

There are also dances that have magical stunts such as the Obitun dance in Ondo state. Here, a female dancer will hold a breakable plate with her two palms and then turn it 360 degrees, several times, without the plate dropping. There are other stunt movements by the Yoruba dancers.

11. United States: Contemporary Dance

All of us who admire dance and strive to become better at it must have encountered that petite and sprightly silver wigged girl doing a spookily intense and amazingly weird dance on Sia’s “Chandelier”.

Contemporary dance is a genre of dance performance that originated in Europe and America, modern dance boomed in New Zealand in the later 20th century.  It is an amalgamation of several dance genres like classical ballet, modern, lyrical & jazz styles.

Contemporary dance was founded by US dancer Isadora Duncan (1878–1927) who broke away from ballet and developed her own, more natural style. Contemporary dance has many different styles, some of them closely linked to music, such as jazz, rock and roll, and hip-hop.

12. Germany: Waltz

The lovers must have performed this romantic dance style around the world, in their personal space or in public. The Waltz is a smooth dance that travels around the line of dance. Characterized by its “rise and fall” action, the Waltz includes a step, slide, and step in 3/4 time. Dancers should move their shoulders smoothly, parallel with the floor instead of up and down. Dancers must strive to lengthen each step.

Waltz is the oldest of the current ballroom dances and the best dance of the world. First waltzes were danced in the location of today's Germany and Austria, back in the 13th century. The style was immediately picked up by other nations, who each created its own form and style of the dance.

13. Japanese: Kabuki

Odorimashou!

The term kabuki originally suggested the unorthodox and shocking character of this art form. In modern Japanese, the word is written with three characters: ka, signifying “song”; bu, “dance”; and ki, “skill.”

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama, the often-glamorous costumes worn by performers, and for the elaborate kumadori make-up worn by some of its performers.

Kabuki was developed by a shrine attendant named Izumo no Okuni around 1603 in Kyoto. Originally performed by women, it was a popular art for the masses with flamboyant and irreverent dances.

At present, regular performances are held at the National Theatre in Tokyo. The city was also home to the Kabuki Theatre (Kabuki-za), which closed in 2010. An office tower—which includes the theatre—was opened on the site in 2013.

14. Argentina: Tango

Amo Tango!

One of the most fascinating of all dance styles around the world,  the tango is a sensual ballroom dance that originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the early twentieth century. The tango dance is usually performed by a man and a woman, expressing an element of romance in their synchronized movements.

Tango is a vibrant and playful dance between two people. It is often described as a passionate dance, because of the close connection partners can have, the character of the music, and also relating to some of the dance's history.

The tango is the result of a combination of Rioplatense Candombe celebrations, Spanish-Cuban Habanera, and Argentinean Milonga. The tango was frequently practised in the brothels and bars of ports, where business owners employed bands to entertain their patrons with music. The tango then spread to the rest of the world.

15. France: Ballet

A classical dance form characterized by grace and precision of movement and by elaborate formal gestures, steps, and poses. The history of ballet begins around 1500 in Italy. Terms like “ballet” and “ball” stem from the Italian word "ballare," which means "to dance."

When Catherine de Medici of Italy married the French King Henry II, she introduced early dance styles into court life in France. Compared to other dance styles around the world, ballet might be considered the hardest because the technique is the least natural for the human body (with a greater emphasis placed on aesthetics).

With no definite storyline, its purpose is to use movement to express the music and to illuminate human emotion and endeavour. Today, ballet is multi-faceted. Classical forms, traditional stories and contemporary choreographic innovations intertwine to produce the character of modern ballet.

16. Cuba: Salsa

Salsa is an amalgamation of Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban dances that were popular in the ballrooms and nightclubs of San Juan and la Havana by the end of the 1950s (e.g. "casino", mambo and pachanga), as well as American jazz dances. 

The roots of salsa (Spanish: “sauce”) are in the son. Combining elements of the Spanish guitar-playing tradition with the rhythmic complexity and call-and-response vocal tradition of African musical sources, the son originated in rural eastern Cuba and spread to Havana in the first decades of the 20th century.

Salsa music is a generic term for upbeat, danceable Latin music with a strong, distinct beat called the clave. For lovers of music, salsa may be just the spice you need.

17. China: Dragon Dance

Chinese Dragons; pinyin: lóng) are luck-bringer, they are venerated in the Dragon Dance (Chinese; pinyin: wǔ lóng), also called "Dragon Lantern Dance", it is a traditional performance of the Han people. By the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and the Song Dynasty (960–1279), it had become a common ceremonial activity in festivals like Chinese New Year.

Dragon Dances are performed in almost all special festivals to scare away evil spirits. Chinese dragons are believed to have control over water, rain, hurricanes and floods. They also represent power, strength and good luck. 

The Chinese believe that performing the dragon dance during festivals and celebrations drive away evil spirits and ushers in good luck and blessings for the community.

18. Brazil: Samba

Have you ever watched the splendid moves of gorgeous Shakira in her song 'Hips don't lie'?  Or 'Baby boy' of Beyonce? That's what we call Samba dance form, a sensuous dance style around the world. Samba, ballroom dance of Brazilian origin, popularized in western Europe and the United States in the early 1940s. 

Characterized by simple forward and backward steps and tilting, rocking body movements, it is danced to music in 4/4 time with a syncopated rhythm. Samba, an old Brazilian style of dance with many variations, is African in origin. It has been performed as a street dance at the carnival, the pre-Lenten celebration, for almost 100 years.

The Samba is an energetic and lively dance that is currently popular in many parts of the world. Syncopated rhythms, bouncing actions, and rolling hip movements characterize the dance. It may be danced with or without a partner

19. United States: Hip Hop

Hip-hop dance is a vibrant form of dance that combines a variety of freestyle movements to create a cultural piece of art. Through its three main styles of popping, locking, and breaking, hip-hop dance has evolved into one of the most popular and influential styles of dance.

Hip-hop dance began during the late 1960s and early 1970s, originally inspired by the movements of African dancing, and flourished as a new style of dance performed on the street for the people. Hip-hop incorporates aspects of modern dance, tap, and swing, integrating music and complex movements to form artistry.

The Five Elements of Hip-Hop: emceeing, deejaying, breakin', graff and beatboxing. Perhaps the most popular hip hop dance move of them all is the moonwalk. This dance was created by the king of pop, Michael Jackson, during his performance of Billie Jean in 1983.

20. China: Yangko

The Yangko dance also called "twisting Yangko dance", is a folk dance most representative in China and a unique collective singing and dancing art. The Yangko dance is smooth, happy and compact in rhythm. Thanks to its jolly scene, abundant dance language, exuberant gestures, and vivid performing style, it is always favoured by the Chinese people.

The Yangko dance was created by the farmers when they worked in the rice field in the Song Dynasty and is used to worship God of farming to pray for harvest in ancient times. Some dancers dress up in red, green, or other colourful costumes, and typically use a red silk ribbon around the waist. 

They will swing their bodies to music played by a drum, trumpet, and gong.  Some dancers use props like the waist drum, dancing fan, fake donkey, or litter. In different areas, Yangge is performed in different styles, but all types express happiness.

Fanciful!

These different but the best dance of the world must have made you feel like a feather to fly into the musical air and frolik on the floor. While going through these amazing dance styles around the world, you must have concluded a lot of things. 

One of them is that even in the old days, people used to dance around with their near ones or in their personal space just to express their own happiness and celebrate life and festivals. So, keep rocking and keep dancing on the rhythm of this musical life!

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Vartika Srivastava

If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideas of beauty would be. So, let's connect our souls to experience this divine world through this enticing platform of Feeding Trends.

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