Are you interested in how dance inspires? The significance of diversity in this art form and its influence on culture? Dance has an incredible capacity to stir our hearts and souls, evoking profound emotions. In the world of dance, diversity showcases a spectrum of styles, each overflowing with emotions, history, and purpose. Moreover, dance holds the enchanting ability to unite people, nurturing understanding and respect for each other’s unique qualities. It’s a unifying force that celebrates the extraordinary legacy of our diverse world.
But, how can dance inspire people?
We’re here to spice up your life and take you on a delightful intercultural adventure. This time in this blog, we encourage you to diversify your tastes by immersing yourself in new and exciting experiences. For instance, try tuning into music from a country you’ve never explored before or dare to groove to the beats of a dance style you’ve never dared to attempt. As you dance and mimic these unique movements, you’ll begin to grasp the purpose behind these cultural expressions and the emotions they convey.
Consider this: Various cultures have music and dances that commemorate their victories in battle, while others use movements to convey deep sorrow and even physical pain. On the other hand, there are cultures where dance is a means to express hope, joy, irritation, or anger. As an example, in the platform “Dance for Diversity” we can see artists from diverse backgrounds create authentic cinematic works reflecting their identities, journeys of self-discovery, and personal experiences such as racial biases or prejudice. Another example is The Dream Catchers Academy (@enta_foundation), an NGO dedicated to making a difference in the lives of orphaned girls by providing them with education, dance, music, and life skills
The Drea Catchers Academy is an NGO and a home which transforms lives of orphaned girls through Education, Dance, Music, Life Skills and All Basic Needs.
— Entafield Foundation (@enta_foundation) August 24, 2023
According to The Juilliard School of Dance, dance is described as the language of movement. Their students are proficient in speaking this language, and it’s considered an artistic expression that transcends both time and culture. Through dance, we gain insights into the historical and cultural legacies of the dancers.
Let’s explore some outstanding examples from around the world. By comprehending these dances, we can foster a deeper understanding of various cultures, diversity, and the people in different countries, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive global community.
Today is World Folklore Day! ????
Our traditions, music, and dances are the spirit of our country and we proudly show them to the world as a symbol of our incredible cultural diversity. You are beautiful, #Peru! ???#MarcaPerú #WorldFolkloreDay pic.twitter.com/rRnXwODbL1
— Peru (@peru) August 22, 2023
African Communities and Dance
Dance is really important in African communities. When they do traditional dances, each dance has a special reason behind it, usually connected to what the community believes in and how they relate to each other. To tell the different dance styles apart, you need to know why each dance is done because they’re often about telling stories, making people feel better, or bringing the community closer together.
Salsa: Our Latin Thing
Speaking of culture, salsa is called “our Latin thing”, It originates from a deeply excluded segment of society and it achieved enormous fame and approval across various segments of the social order, not solely the lower classes. Salsa challenged this notion of being inferior and separate by being warmly welcomed in nearly every household in urban Latin America.
A New Era of Diversity in Tango
Argentinians refer to this as A New Era of Diversity in tango. Tango originated as an inspired art form designed to convey narratives that often diverged from conventional genres. This fundamental essence endures, but today, artists are pushing the boundaries of tango by incorporating stories, dancers, and performers who represent the concept of sexual diversity.
The Power of Hip-Hop Dance
As the Harvard Faculty of Art mentioned, Hip-hop dance explores and connects with different cultures, strengthens individual identities, and examines power and r dynamics. It encompasses music, dance, commentary, and revolution while representing a unique way of life and culture. Hip-hop’s origins trace back to the traditions of the African Diaspora. But, what does it signify to perform hip-hop dance as a cultural expression, whether you are part of that culture or not?
Zumba: A Fusion of Rhythms
The University of British Columbia implemented Zumba a fitness program. Zumba, a dance invented in Colombia, is the combination of aerobics with various dance styles of salsa and merengue and can be performed in African beats, jazz, pop, and hip-hop music. The primary objective of this project was to foster cultural diversity by creating a space where various groups could coexist harmoniously. Zumba allowed physical proximity and the co-presence of different dances, which were essential steps toward integration.
Reggaeton’s Evolving Influence
Although it is evident that nowadays the music business is taking a more inclusive approach towards diversity in ideas and people, there’s still work to do. We can see that more artists in Reggaeton are supporting the LGBTQIA+ community and including ideas and customs from different cultures. This new style is changing the traditional style of Reggaeton, which was often very focused on rough masculinity. Reggaeton is changing into involving new ideas, thanks to fresh young voices. This change is not only happening in South America; but all around the world, in places like the USA and Europe. New artists are adding their unique styles to Reggaeton, and now it is making it popular everywhere.
The Resilience of the Haka
Another traditional dance that still holds a strong cultural significance today is Haka. This is a traditional Maori dance, originally developed for war, and for this reason is commonly associated with strength and bravery. It has transcended its historical context and remains a powerful symbol of Maori heritage, resilience, and cultural pride, particularly in the rugby world for women and men. Its enduring presence over centuries underscores its significance and the values it represents.
— AMANYA STUART EDWARD JR ™ (@AmanyaStuartJr) August 31, 2023
As we groove through the colorful world of dance from all over the globe, one thing’s for sure: dancing together is like a secret handshake for promoting diversity. It’s like saying, “Hey, let’s celebrate our differences with some fancy footwork! To make diversity through dance happen, we just need to remember that dance can break through walls and bust up stereotypes. We can mix and match our moves, learning from all backgrounds. Dance is like a giant bridge-building party!
In this era of connectivity and awareness, let us heed the call to action. Let us step onto the dance floor of diversity, where every move we make echoes the harmony of inclusivity. It is up to each of us to contribute to this universal dance of cultural and diversity understanding, trying new steps and ensuring that it resonates across all corners of society. As we dance to the rhythms of diversity, let our collective steps lead us toward a brighter and more inclusive future.
- Learn Traditional Dances of Asia: https://www.secret-retreats.com/blog/general-info/traditional-dances-of-asia-a-kaleidoscope-of-the-beauty-spirituality-and-cultural-heritage-of-asia.html
Play This Fun Interactive Game:
- Engage in open discussions with friends and family, read the following article and discuss it with them https://www.jpmorganchase.com/news-stories/dancing-to-diversity
- Follow some hashtags on social media that support dance and diversity, such as #DanceForDiversity, #DanceUnity, #InclusiveDance, #DiverseDancers, #DanceTogether, #CulturalDance
By Andrea Clavijo