When we talk about dancing, images of tuxedos and elegant dress gowns come to mind, with partners swaying gracefully to the music. Many consider dance as a form of art, which is true. But what is unknown, is that dance is also considered as a sport - a sport so elegant and beautiful that competitions are formed around it.
Dancing as a competition is divided in two basic categories: The Latin-American dance form and the Standard dance form. Each category has been divided in five sub-groups. Let’s explore these categories to understand dancing as a sport competition.
In international competitions, Latin American dancing is judged in five categories:
1. The Samba
Considered as one of the most difficult dances, the Samba is a fast and lively dance with complicated dance steps. The body is in a constant motion up or down, with knees and joints bowed and outstretched to resemble the rhythm of the music.
2. The Cha-cha-cha
This type of dance comes from the music and dancing roots of the Rumba. This dance is considered less serious and a more ‘natural’ form of dancing, where dancing partners are in a playful mood.
3. The Rumba
Originating from Cuban roots, this dance originated in dark night clubs. The dance is characterized as passionate and erotic, with loyalty and rejection as the theme of most Rumba dances. This dance is about the attraction, independence and seduction between two partners.
4. The Jive
The Jive is livelier than all the other dances, with characteristics of aerobics and roll.
5. The Paso Doble
This is a two-step Spanish dance where the women, acting as a red mantle for the matador, dance around the invisible bull. The music is very vibrant which is represented by the steps of the partners.
Standard dances are considered the most old-fashioned dancing forms, which are much more challenging than their contemporary dancing forms.
1. English Waltz
It is a gracious and peaceful dance, that is known as the king of dances. The slow sways and sentimental music make this the most harmonious dance.
2. Viennese Waltz
One of the oldest and fast tempo dances is the Viennese Waltz. It is different from the English Waltz in terms of the rotating turns that the partners take.
It is an Argentinean dance that has been reformed by the English to have flexible, tough and firm dance steps. It represents the adversities of men and women.
Foxtrot is considered as a classy and ‘one of kind’ dance. The dance is characterized by fast turns and a pronounced poise, which is considered difficult.
Quickstep is a lively dance with fast paced and fluid steps, which almost resemble running.
These are the most famous dances that are considered as sporting events for many professionals. Different titles and medals are also won in such competitions. Dancing as a sport competition is becoming very famous because of the craze left behind by reality television dancing shows. Try your luck in one of these sporting competitions.
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Dancing is slowly gaining lots of popularity among the youth and adults alike. With all its benefits, now people give due importance to dance. More and more dance schools are being established every year and several international dance competitions have evolved in the past few years. Dance has gone international to cause cultural fusion, better understanding of other cultures, evolution of several dances, and several other reasons. For professional and amateur dancers, dance festivals are a treat. Not only do they get to share their talents with the world, but are also audience to various dance forms and dancers from all over the globe.
The most famous and internationally recognized dance festivals of this decade are:
Edinburgh International Tango Festival:
This festival features several workshops related to assorted dance forms especially the tango dance. Workshops engage beginners and professionals alike. A special guest workshop is done by the very famous Horacio Godoy. This festival comprises of an entire weekend. By the end of it, you will be filled with cherishing memories of several dance nights and workshops!
International Tango Festival in Ireland:
This festival is particularly famous among the Tango dancers of the world. Ireland, where beauty and art combines, hosted this festival in 2010. The festival is cramped with lots of workshops, cultural events, guest speaker sessions, live music, cultural comedy, and brilliant dance performances.
Tango Rojo Festival:
This is another International Tango festival. It’s held in London near the famous Hype Park by the Rojo Y Tango Negro School, founded in 1995 for the protection and promotion of Tango dance. This festival is solely related to tango; several tango paintings, art, tango shoes, tango movies, tango dance performances, lives music and tango food are featured as part of the festival.
Hathor Dance Festival
This famous dance festival is held in Berlin Germany. It brings together several international dancers and performers to one platform so that they can share their thoughts and participants can learn and put forth questions to the dance celebrities. The festival also involves small competitions, some sightseeing, and a few other cultural dance activities.
Massilia Salsa Congress:
Held in the South of France every year, this is one of the biggest and most popular Salsa Dance festivals. It is scheduled at the end of Easter and brings several Salsa dancers and admirers to one platform. In 2010, the number of attendees was 2500 which is a huge figure! The three days of Salsa Congree are all about Salsa workshops and guest speaker sessions. Each year a special guest is invited.
Several other dance festivals hold importance to dancers, professionals and amateurs alike. Dance festivals have gained significance among dancers and dance admirers because of the networking options, rich learning experience, and international exposure they provide a person with. In case you’ve never been to one, it’s time you browse through magazines and find one that suits your choices. Not only will you learn through it, but you’ll also be able to teach and share, and eventually form network connections.