Overview Global Dancing Traditions


Traditional Global Dancing - Irish & Greek

There are many global traditions for dancing around the world that you have likely seen. However, you may not know the name or its country of origin. Dancing is an inherent part of human beings that has existed for thousands of years. However, due to culture, environmental circumstances, and the belief systems of those groups, different dancing traditions of formed. Here are some of the top Global dance traditions such as Irish Dancing that are found worldwide that are practiced by millions of people every day.

The Samba

This is a dance that originated in South America. Specifically, he came from Brazil. It was originally known as the Brazilian Samba, a dance that is native to this country. It is the result of the indoctrination of the people from Portuguese, or rather the Portuguese colonization. By combining the cultural dance references of both cultures, which includes upbeat music, the use of drums, and also very exotic dancing, we now have what we call the Samba today.

The Dragon Dance of China

Heading on over to the continent of Asia, we come to what is called the Dragon Dance. It is one that is often performed during festivals, celebratory on such as those that represent the new year. This was thought to have originated in farming communities in China. This goes back as far as the Han dynasty. Initially, it was designed to prevent bad luck, and ward off evil, and at the same time welcome good fortune. This particular dance includes nine people, all of which will have some type of a pole which will be made of bamboo and fabric. This also involves the use of a makeshift Dragon, the only animal on the Chinese calendar that is said to have never been real.

Flamenco Of Spain

This dance, originating from Spain, is often played accompanied by guitar. It is also an upbeat dance, complete with handclapping, finger snapping, and people singing in the background. It is said to have an Andalusian style,
which means that it likely originated from the Romanis of Spain. Today, it is performed primarily in Japan and the United States, a colorful dance that everyone tend to remember.

The Haka Of New Zealand

The Haka is performed by people that are part of the New Zealand culture. It is derived from the Māori people. Traditionally, this dance was performed by those that would display unity, strength and pride. There are interesting aspects of this dance including the use of tongues, the stomping the feet, and rhythmic slapping of the body. These dances can also be seen in places such as Polynesia and even in the Hawaiian Islands. Today, this dances primarily used to represent that culture, but its first incarnation is designed to show the power and unity of the tribe.

Zaouli Mask Dance

Similar in nature to the prior dance, this one is performed as a result of African traditions. It can only be performed when a person is wearing a mask. Essentially, the belief was that the spirit of the performer would be replaced by a spirit taking over the dancers body. This was seen quite prominently on the Ivory Coast. It was often performed when they perceived that there would be a threat coming toward them. The masks, designed for aesthetic reasons today, were used to protect them from evil. Every mask is handcarved and may take as long as a week to complete. The objective is to perpetually dance throughout the ceremony, eventually ending with the dancer moving as fast as possible in a very choreographed way.

Adumu Aigus Dance

In East Africa, they had a very different type of dance. It was performed by the Maasai tribes. The dance would begin with warriors starting in a circle. Each one would begin to enter the circle, and would begin to dance and jump about. The objective was to keep your heels from the ground as you moved, and the dance would be done to clapping and music that was played during the ceremony. The objective was to jump as high as possible, matched by the high pitch of the boys in the dance that were performing this ritualistic performance.

The Ballet Dance

This dance is well-known worldwide because of its prominence and style. It is often seen within a classical setting. The ballet dancers can be both males and females. Each one is garbed in clothing that is very tight fitting, yet flexible enough to allow them to move about gracefully. It is often a choreographed dance, often involving dancers using only the balls of their feet, and assuming positions that are very flexible. It is a dance that is often representative of classical music and styles. Although ballet originates from the Italian Renaissance, it has still maintained its general form since the 15th century.

Ballroom Dancing

This is a dance that is also performed in a formal setting, yet it is not as technically demanding. You do have to remember very specific steps that are designed to mirror the other person you are dancing with. There are many types of ballroom dancing, some of which are very technically difficult. They have been given names including the Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, Rumba, and also the Swing. There are many competitions held today with people of all ages that are able to perform these maneuvers. It is elegant to watch, and if done properly, it is something that couples can use long into their golden years as a way to perform exercise. At the very least, they represent how culture, traditions, and the need to dance have inspired millions of people to create these memorable dancing traditions.

Dances have been created for centuries for various reasons. Initially, they may have been for religious or protective reasons. Today, dancing is more of a sport, often involved in competitions. Regardless of their origins, or why they are performed, they are inspiring to watch. When done properly, they are events that you will always remember because of the grace and form of the performers which have mastered each different style of dance.