Types of Dance

The following is a list of dance forms you may use in an educational setting. Keep in mind that there are a vast amount of different types and styles of dance that are continuously being developed.

Creative Dance –  Creative Dance provides the opportunity for expression through movement which is stimulated by the teacher, much like creative writing.  Poetry, stories, objects and music may be used to evoke movement, which students choose with the teacher’s guidance.. Contrary to what some believe, technique is important, and the effective teacher will infuse technical suggestions in the lesson when relevant.

Folk Dance - Folk dance refers to a variety of dances that reflect a particular culture.. There are numerous types of folk dances including Aboriginal dances, urban dances, clogging, English country dance, Irish dance, Polish Dances and Quebec square dances.  Folk dances are often performed at social events. By Treva Bedinghaus, About.com Guide

Social/Ballroom - Ballroom dance usually refers to traditional partnered dance forms that are done by a couple, often in the embrace of closed dance position ("ballroom dance position").  These include waltz, swing, tango and salsa and can readily be enjoyed by adolescents and older students who have a dance foundation. Richard Powers http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/ballroom.html

Contemporary/Modern - Modern dance is a dance style that rejects many of the strict rules of classical ballet, focusing instead on the expression of inner feelings. Modern dance was created as a rebellion against classical ballet, emphasizing creativity in choreography and performance. Very often, modern dance found in the high school is an extension of creative dance in the elementary school. By Treva Bedinghaus, About.com Guide

Jazz Dance - is a fun dance style that relies heavily on originality and improvisation. Many jazz dancers mix different styles into their dancing, incorporating their own expression. Jazz dancing often uses bold, dramatic body movements, including body isolations and contractions. By Treva Bedinghaus, About.com Guide

Hip-Hop - Hip-hop is actually a folk dance style, usually danced to hip-hop music, that evolved from the break dance culture of the inner city. Hip-hop includes various moves such as breaking, popping, locking and krumping,. Improvisation and personal interpretation are essential to hip-hop dancing. By Treva Bedinghaus, About.com Guide

Ballet - Ballet serves as a backbone for many other styles of dance, as many other dance genres are based on ballet. Ballet is based on techniques that have been developed over centuries. Ballet technique is very disciplined and takes many years to develop. By Treva Bedinghaus, About.com Guide

Tap - Tap dancing is an exciting form of dance in which dancers wear special shoes equipped with metal taps. Tap dancers use their feet like drums to create rhythmic patterns and timely beats.  By Treva Bedinghaus, About.com Guide

Novelty Dances – Novelty or “Fad” dances are dances that have set gestures and movements to accompany the lyrics or musical phrases of a song. These dances are usually repetitive, are very simple, and are often seen in music videos, movies etc. Examples include the Macarena, YMCA, The Chicken Dance and The Bunny Hop.

Stomp – Stomp is a unique choreographed percussion performance; which includes elements of dance, comedy and musical theatre. Although Stomp does not use set music, they are creating their own music by experimenting with percussion rhythms normally using household objects such as garbage cans, brooms, buckets etc. http://stomponline.com

Musical Theatre – Musical Theatre combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. Throughout the song there may be elements of acting, conversations as well as choreographed dance steps.

Note: Teachers with minimal dance experience may feel most comfortable teaching Creative Dance while teachers with more dance experience may feel comfortable trying a more specialized form of dance.