Dancing Plays an Important Role in a Culture

Dancing Plays an Important Role in a Culture

Winnie Otieno


Dancing is a common practice in the diverse cultures around the world. It is a behavior that is used to express emotions and desires. Notably, dancing has evolved with time both in its functions and styles. Despite the lack of proper anthropological studies on dancing, in the modern cultures, it serves roles ranging from entertainment, exercise, religious worship, courtship, education, occupation and traditional functions (Grau and Jordan, 2000). This, therefore, makes it an important behavior of mankind that should be upheld.One of the dancing style that has existed since 1890 is tango. This dance has application in Europeans’ and Africans’ wedding ceremonies, and it is performed in fourteen styles that have developed around South America (Dils, 2001). According to (Grau and Jordan), tango is also applicable in gymnastics, synchronized swimming and skating among other functions (2000). Other than that, it has health benefits such as increasing flexibility, reducing depression and enhancing libido. Besides listening to music as a form of entertainment in cultures around the world, most often it is enjoyable when accomplished with dances. For example, in Congo, Soukous is a dance style used in rumba musics. Additionally, dancing is used to celebrate cultural ceremonies such as marriages, initiations, burials, weddings and birthdays. In the Kwazulu community of South Africa, an annual colorful traditional ceremony is held every early September where the Zulu men have the opportunity to choose brides for marriage. During this ceremony men have to display nice dancing moves to woo beautiful virgin ladies (Jomba contemporary dance, 2004). In conclusion, I concur with the fact that dancing plays an important role in different cultures. This is because it serves in fulfilling several functions in the current society. Other than different cultural function of dance, psychologists state that dancing is the best stress reliever because it takes attention away from the source of stress due to the concentration it requires. Though, in some case certain age groups or social classes have been associated with some dancing styles, it socioeconomic functions are overwhelming.

Works Cited

Dils, A. (2001). Moving history, dancing cultures: A dance history reader. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan Univ. Press.

Grau, A., & Jordan, S. (2000). Europe Dancing: Perspectives on Theatre, Dance, and Cultural Identity. London: Routledge.

Jomba contemporary dance. (2004). African contemporary dance?: Questioning issues of a perfomance aesthetic for a developing and independent continent : proceedings of the 7th Jomba contemporary dance conference held the University of KwaZulu-Natal, [Durban], 22-24 August 2004. Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal.