Historians find it difficult to believe that there was ever a time when man didn’t dance. Two sticks struck against each other create rhythm and rhythm and dance are inseparable. Here are some of the early evidence that man has always enjoyed dance – and how dancing was used.
- The first evidence of dance is found in old cave paintings that are 9000 years old. Found in caves in India, they depict hunting, childbirth – and communal drinking and dancing. They knew how to have fun even then!
- Dance advances with the Egyptians. Tomb paintings from the third Millennia BC show that dance had become an integral part of Egyptian religious rites. Tomb paintings depict Egyptian priests using musical instruments and dancers in stories of gods and the pattern of moving stars.
- Those Egyptians understood the provocative nature of dance, too. Dance could be used by ordinary people for entertainment, celebration and seduction. 1400 BC paintings showed scantily clad girls dancing for a wealthy male crowd – these same dancing girls made it to the wall of tombs where they could cavort enticingly to entertain the male occupant into the afterlife.
- Wine, women and dance. Dance is about the release of cares and worries – and celebration. The villagers of ancient Greece understood this. After the successfully brought in the grape harvest, it was time to rejoice. The stomping dance is a favorite of Greek vases.
- Dance before sport. The Greeks used dance – by the temple virgins – to open the games at Olympia in the 8th century BC. One would have to wonder what they would think of the spectacular opening ceremonies of today’s modern Olympics.
- Dance doesn’t die. The beautiful and formalized hand movements of priestesses in Hindu temples are described in documents coming from the 1st century AD. The subtle significance of the gestures from the classical dance known as Bharata Nhatyam and it is still performed today.
If you love dance, keep it alive in your life! Come to Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Paradise Valley and meet new friends while you polish your footwork. The joy of dance – the rhythm of movement – lifts our spirits, builds our confidence and exercises our bodies – all while you’re having fun! Call today to find our more!