Kick up your heels with Irish step dancing. This intriguing form of folk dance accompanies jigs and reels at nightlong dances regularly enjoyed by the Irish community. Everyone is welcome at these events, called cèilis (pronounced kay-LEES), where beginners learn the basic steps and join in the fun with seasoned dancers. This centuries-old tradition entertained peasants and noblemen alike.
he hypnotic rhythms and undulating torsos of belly dancing are no longer relegated to Middle Eastern nightclubs and Hollywood harem fantasies. This traditional dance of North Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East has taken root across North America, and is being practiced in venues from church halls to dance studios and health clubs. Suburban mothers, professionals and students from all walks of life are discovering the graceful beauty and serious toning benefits of belly dance. And while belly dance is a fascinating art form, its popularity is another reflection of the local emergence of world culture.
Liturgical dance is a Christian expression of prayer or worship through body movement. Such dances can be accompanied by many different types of music. The dancers will respond with an appropriate dance which flows out of the music and enhances the prayer or worship experience. This dance may either be spontaneous, or have been choreographed ahead of time. If it is choreographed it is generally fitted to the song's lyrics or to religious concepts. Most often this is performed by women.
Liturgical dance is a relatively recent practice in the West, being virtually unpracticed until the twentieth century. However its antecedants go back to accounts of dancing in the Old Testament. An example is the episode when King David danced before the Ark of the Covenant. In other parts of the world dancing as a form of worship is much more popular.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | Date: 2008..
folk dance primitive, tribal, or ethnic form of the dance , sometimes the survival of some ancient ceremony or festival. The term is used also to include characteristic national dances, country dances, and figure dances in costume to folk tunes. Many children's games, such as "London Bridge" and "The Farmer in the Dell," are traditional folk dances.
More elaborate examples are the Spanish fandango , the Bohemian polka , the Hungarian czardas, the Irish jig , the Scottish Highland fling , the Hawaiian hula, and the English morris dance , sword dance, and Maypole dance. American barn dances, such as the Virginia reel, are largely derived from European sources. Early in the 20th cent. Cecil James Sharp , founder of the English Folk Dance Society, made a notable collection of English folk songs and dances. The American Folk Dance Society has done much to preserve the knowledge of old American country dances, and a similar interest has developed in other countries. A popular form of recreation, folk dancing is often taught in schools.
Bibliography: See M. D. Lidster and D. H. Tamburini, Folk Dance Progressions (1965, repr. 1978); A. S. Duggan et al., Folk Dance Library (5 vol., 1948, repr. 1980).
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