Flashback Friday; The History of Dance

Dance has a mysterious background.

No one can say for sure exactly when people began dancing. Dance leaves (pardon the expression) no footprint, no artifacts, but we know that dance existed as far back as 9000 years B.C., where the earliest records of dance show up in India and, later, around 6600 in Egypt. But dance surely could be older, and likely is.

Historians and anthropologists say dance likely began as a ritual, to appease a god or perhaps to find a mate. Dance seems to have become more of an entertainment spectacle by around 1400 B.C. in its depictions in Egyptian paintings. Combining rhythmic music, drumming and dancing was at the very least ceremonial and an integral part of community life.

How do we know dance is fun, sexy and exciting? It has been criticized for exactly those elements by various cultures and religions and often banned. Or, as part of religious or cultural ceremonies, the dances are single-sex – men with men.

Europe became a bastion of classical dance styles after the Renaissance and these stylized expressions would eventually give way to more vigorous styles.

Dance exploded in the United States in the early 20th century, bringing such styles as the Charleston and the Foxtrot. The Roaring 20s were a hoot with so many different styles. Later came the tango, and disco and more line dances (remember the Alley Cat?).

All of this history has led to what we now think of under the heading of ballroom dancing. It is the distillation of what has come before. It is a perfect packaging of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation, and it can bring so much to your life. That’s one reason the great Fred Astaire founded this business more than 50 years ago.

Let’s enumerate some of the good things that we talk about often at Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios. Dancing is a great workout; has documented physical and mental health benefits; can enhance your social life and self-confidence; reduces stress and depression; promotes relaxation; is a wonderful outlet for self-expression and creativity; and it’s fun. Given all these reasons to start dancing – we challenge you to find a good reason NOT to.

Your local Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio offers the best in ballroom dance instruction, whether you prefer group ballroom dance classes or private lessons with one of our expert instructors. Our practice parties offer prime opportunities to polish your craft while dancing with different partners.

What’s your preference? Cha-cha? Rumba? Smooth? Tango? We teach them all, we love them all and we hope you will stop by your local studio and become part of the family. Many of our events are open to the public with no commitment or fee, so feel free to visit for one of our special events.

We’re going to bet you stick around.