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Victoria Talbot
Ed Austin
Dance 261
13 December 2015
The Beauty of Dance
Dance is more than a sport, or art, or form of movement. It is creating, engaging,
changing, and portraying. It is internal meeting the external. It is the feeling of being so
overwhelmed with a relative emotion that it cannot be restricted to writing or verbalism. Dance is
a form of expression. The definition of dance is ever changingbecause it is both unique to each
person and never remains constant. The world of dance is similar to the world of fashion, in the
fact that trends change and what is aesthetically pleasing to ones eyes is visually repugnant to
anothers. Or, it can be attributed to music, where the genres stay the same, and have different
enthusiasts, but the genres intermix and change slightly over the years. However, dance is truly
its own entity. Therefore, I have concluded that dance is a freedom of expression that appeals to
aesthetics and transcends social normalcies and expectations.
Dancing is conveying a message or emotion through movement, which usually cannot be
expressed by any other method. For example, artists can create a masterpiece by simply stroking
a brush on canvas, but the feeling behind the action is what is portrayed in the work. Musicians
can play simple melodies and, just as the artist, give the listeners a taste of the reason behind the
song. That is why art is so beautiful. It is creating beauty, simply, by expressing internal thoughts
and feelings. That is why dance evokes so much emotion. Often times, one may be surprised at
an overwhelmed viewer getting choked up at a dance performance. That is because the

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choreography, the song, and the movement, can make an implausible impact on those spectating.
And that is the purpose of dance. To create, astound, impact, and express. When one can fully
convey the emotions of their heart, it creates a special moment for both the dancer and the
There are many mental diseases and disorders that are difficult to be treated.
Many are hesitant to talk about their issues and problems and find it challenging to express
themselves to a doctor or psychologist. They have something to say, but cant put it into words.
That is why we are given the gift of movement. It is saying what we so zealously want to convey,
but without the strain and uncomfortableness of speaking or writing. I remember that as I was
going through a difficult family situation and move, I had many things that I wanted to shout, but
couldnt do it. I was filled with contradicting emotions and frustrating thoughts. However, near
our little apartment, was a community center, where, downstairs, an empty workout/dance room
was found. No one was ever down there, and the solitude was exhilarating. Whenever I was
struggling, I would run over to the room and dance out every internal emotion in my body.
Dancing helped me feel free, feel loved, feel heard, and feel. I would be in there for hours at a
time, dancing to loud music and finding control in uncontrolled movement. Leaving, I would
carry with me a sense of self-awareness and self-worth. It helped me to look inside of myself and
let the dancing uncover a solution for me, rather than my irrational mind. Without that little
make-shift studio, I dont know how I could have gotten through the hardships that faced me. I
know that through expression of movement, I was freed of my internal battle and torment.
Dance also appeals to our natural aesthetics. As humans, we look for beauty. The idea of
beauty is unique to every person, and can change with time. However, that beauty can come from
many places and ideas. Dance is beautiful. Its genres make it beautiful in its own exclusive way

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for everyone. The beauty of contemporary dance, and the story choreographed and played out on
stage can relate to many situations. It can empower you in a remarkable way. Ballet is definitely
aesthetically pleasing, with its long lines and unrealistic extensions. Pointe shoes revolutionize
dance, making the dancers lighter and more ethereal while dancing their steps. Folk dance can
instill a sense of culture into people, creating a patriotism and love of their roots. MerriamWebsters Dictionary defines aesthetic as appreciative of, responsive to, or zealous about the
beautiful. While watching a dance performance, one can react is several different ways, based
on aesthetics. The reaction could be that of amazement and awewonder at how the performers
on stage could carry out such a difficult movement, or reach such a high caliber of technique
showing appreciation for the dance. It could also be a response, whether emotional, personal, or
many others, that the dance initiates. This is the emotional connectivity one could feel while
watching a certain piece. Lastly, one feels zealous about the beautiful by watching dance
number. Lance Hosey, a writer for the New York Times, states that brain scan studies reveal that
the sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand
movement. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things; beauty literally moves us.
Therefore, were not just viewers, were interactors. Watching dance is different from watching
any other activity, because the overpowering beauty leaves us wanting more, searching,
pondering, and interrelating. Therefore, the beauty found in dance makes it aesthetically pleasing
to all, because of humans natural instinct to obtain that which is uniquely beautiful.
Dance transcends social normalcies and expectations in many ways. Modern dance was is
a fairly newer genre, considering the old roots ballet, ballroom, and folk have in society. Of
course, each genre has changed or been renewed, so to say, by society. Modern dance is
attributed to ballet danceit started from a modified ballet in America. That modern dance genre

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began to take root, however, because it described the culture of society in that day and place. It
did, still, defy social normalcies and expectations in many ways. In contrary to classical ballet,
modern implemented the misalignment of hips and body at times, creating new body shapes that
were unprecedented before. In addition, it allowed a freedom of expression, which was
extremely limited in ballet beforehand. Modern is a fantastic example of how dance both follows
the culture of that age, and also helps dancers and viewers alike to take a step into the unknown
while exploring genres and new choreography. Hip hop dance was regarded as evil when it first
came into play in the late 1960s, and early 1970s. Many argue and have argued in the past, that
Hip hop is an expressive cultural genre originating among lower- and often marginalized
working class African American youth. The genre includes rapping, and rap music, graffiti
writing, particular dance styles, specific attire, and a specialized language and vocabulary
(Hazzard-Donald 508). The dance style of hip hop created controversy and biased, because of its
revolutionary steps and culture. This happens constantly in the dance world. That is why dance is
so specialits ever-changing, ever-revolutionizingand setting new standards for dancers and
choreographers every day. This dance culture creates better dance artists, and more innovative
choreographers. It creates the merging and intermixing of styles and genres to expand the brain
and find beauty in the unexplored.
Many wonder whether dance is a sport, or an art. I say that it both, and more. Of course,
it must be classified as an intensive sportfor that ballroom dance has changed the name of its
competitions to be DanceSport because of its grueling athletic requirements. Dancers have to
remain in excellent shape and health, with a set diet that is balanced and constantly nutritious.
That is the only way a dancers body could withstand the rigorous day-to-day schedule of
technique classes, performances, and partnering practice. In addition to that, they also go through

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heavy conditioning, to remain both strong and flexibleand ideal combination. Therefore, it is
athletic in all aspects. However, dance is also considered an art. In the Encyclopedia Britannica,
dance is defined many times as an art, saying that dance is a powerful impulse, but the art of
dance is that impulse channeled by skillful performers into something that becomes intensely
expressive and that may delight spectators who feel no wish to dance themselves. These two
concepts of the art of dancedance as a powerful impulse and dance as a skillfully
choreographed art practiced largely by a professional feware the two most important
connecting ideas running through any consideration of the subject. In dance, the connection
between the two concepts is stronger than in some other arts, and neither can exist without the
other. Therefore, the art of dance is an impulse, and something that is internal, that the
dancers channel in order to connect with those viewing the dance. It is classified as art because it
is something that is connected to by the audience, and also because it is skillfully choreographed.
So, the emotion behind the dance and the high level of technique and skill portrayed combine to
create an art form. Dance, is unique, for it is both a rigorously athletic sport, and a skillful and
emotionally provoking art form.
Latter-day Saint culture and values play a huge part in why dance is so important. God,
the Creator of all things and the universe, is our Father. And therefore, we are His children. In the
Old Testament, a verse in the book of Psalms asserts, I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are
children of the most High. (Psalms 82:6). We, therefore, have the right to aspire to be like our
Heavenly Father, who is this omniscient and omnipotent being. One of His greatest powers is the
power of creation. Without the creation, we would cease to exist. The act of creating, therefore,
gives us a taste of the divinity and nature of God. So, it is no doubt that by creating something
beautiful in dance, we can feel of His Spirit, assuring us that we are on our path to becoming

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more like Him. I have felt of that Spirit many times in the course of my dancing, and I know it is
God telling me that I am developing essential attributes through the creation of that which is
In conclusion, dance is both an art form, and a sport, that is meant to inspire, connect,
feel, and express. It is displaying the emotion that is internal for an audience, or self. Dance is the
art of creating something beautiful and inspiring, opening the senses to new aesthetic pleasures
and experiences. Dance styles are constantly changing as society changes, and influences
cultures and public opinion. Dance is an art that draws us closer to our Creator, our Heavenly
Father, who wants us to find beauty in this life, to have a taste of the world to come. He wants us
to create just as He creates. Through dance, I have found my true identity, I have found my self
just by losing myself in a movement. That is the splendor of dance. It is finding yourself by
losing yourself.

Works Cited
"Aesthetic." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.

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Hosey, Lance. "Why We Love Beautiful Things." The New York Times 15 Feb. 2013,
Gray Matter sec.: n. pag. Print.
Forman, Murray, Hazzard-Donald and Mark Anthony Neal. That's the Joint: the Hip-Hop
Studies Reader. New York City: Routledge, 2004:13-20; 505-515.
"dance". Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopdia Britannica Online.
Encyclopdia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015
Psalms. King James Version. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.