Modern dance is…

What is modern dance ,it’s the most pure and simple form of movement to music you’re ever likely to experience. It can be fast, slow, high impact, gentle, loud, silent, frantic and still.   It’s a mix of all the dances – it’s every type of movement, tempo and feeling you can imagine.

Therefore it is an absolutely excellent way to get a great workout to a huge mix of music and also try out lot of different styles of dancing that you may never otherwise attempt. There’s something for everyone here, old and young, dancers and non-dancers alike. It’s one of the best exercises around and yet it’s also great for people who are less able-bodied or are recovering from injury and have limited movement.

Put simply, it is an evolution from classical ballet. It breaks the rules of classical ballet and creates new ones of its own. It therefore has fewer restrictions, and can be seen as a fusion of many dances. So, in one single modern  dance class, you may get to try out lots of different dances. You could find yourself dancing a routine that has elements of African dance, tango, salsa, jazz, ballet and so on. You name it, you’ll probably find it in a modern dance class.

Modern dance has developed many styles and techniques. The beauty of it is that it allows a freer dance, which can be initiated by music or by an internal theme or inspiration. It is suitable for anybody and everybody.

And there are countless benefits…

  • It allows you to express yourself, to be aware of and use your body’s movement capabilities
  • It will improve flexibility and fitness levels, it will tone the body, improve co-ordination, and sharpen your musicality skills
  • It can be intensely physical, enhancing strength and stamina
  • Or it can be lyrical and calm, inspiring suppleness and fluidity
  • It can both relax and exhilarate you.

More about the history of Modern dance.

Born in the early 20th century, modern dance is a dance style that focuses on a dancer’s own interpretations instead of structured steps, as in traditional ballet dancing. Modern dancers reject the limitations of classical ballet and favor movements derived from the expression of their inner feelings. While strongly influenced by classical ballet, the movement of modern dance can be quite different in dynamics and style; many movements are weighted and close to the earth. 

 Modern Dance is very diverse and generally cannot be categorized as any specific dance style, although many dance styles influence much of the movement. Modern Dance in the twentieth century not only broke free of the constraints of traditional dance forms but provided important social commentary to the upheaval and turmoil of the century’s greatest changes. During the 1900’s, European dancers began rebelling against the rigid rules of classical ballet. Turning against the structured techniques, costumes, and shoes of ballet, these dancers favored a more relaxed, freestyle form of dancing. For example, modern dance pioneers often danced in bare feet and revealing costumes.

In the United States, several dance pioneers paved the way for American modern dance, including the legendary Martha Graham.

Martha Graham is considered one of the foremost pioneers of American modern dance. In order to express the passion, rage, and ecstasy of humans, she developed her very own language of movement.

Graham created a new dance technique similar to classical ballet, but with several differences. She focused heavily on basic human movement, concentrating on the movements of contraction and release. Instead of striving for long, fluid movements, Graham’s movements were sharp and jagged. Her dancing aimed to expose basic human emotions through movement, and her brave vision for modern dance earned her several awards and honors.

Many dancers today enjoy Modern Dance because it can allow them to be more expressive and free in their movement. While there definite technical elements, Modern Dance gives the dancer a freedom of expression that ballet sometimes cannot. Modern Dance offers dancers a chance to explore their creativity through movement. It also builds a lot of strength! From floor work, to jumps, to partnering and improvisation, a Modern Dancer uses his/her entire body and must learn to go from one level to another quickly and seamlessly.

Modern dance encourages dancers to use their emotions and moods to design their own steps and routines. It is not unusual for dancers to invent new steps for their routines, instead of following a structured code of technique, as in ballet.

Another characteristic of modern dance, in opposition to ballet, is the deliberate use of gravity. Whereas classical ballet dancers strive to be light and airy on their feet, modern dancers often use their body weight to enhance movement. This type of dancer rejects the classical ballet stance of an upright, erect body, often opting instead for deliberate falls to the floor.

Modern Dance Routines Today 

Modern dance has become a huge genre in the dance world today and is typically listed as a class offered on the schedules of most dance studios. Some dancers feel that modern dance gives them a chance to enjoy ballet dancing  without the strict focus on their technique and turnout.

Many dance competitions throughout the nation judge dancers on their modern dancing ability and dancers take this opportunity to use their dancing to express their innermost emotions and get closer to their inner-selves. Watching a modern dancer can sometimes become emotional, especially if the dancer is trying to convey a series of sad emotions, such as death or grief.

For any dancer, being exposed to as many different styles of dance as possible is always a good thing. Incorporating Modern Dance into a young dancer’s training is essential if you are wanting to develop a well-rounded dancer and performer. The more versatile a dancer can be, the better chance that dancer has of having a sustainable career.

Taking Local Dance Classes 

To learn modern dance. For dancers attending their first modern dance class, there are certain types of shoes and clothes to wear. While some studios don’t have a set uniform for the classes others have strict dress requirements, most dancers will be safe showing up in black tights and a leotard underneath a top or skirt. As for shoes, many modern dancers prefer to wear leather or canvas modern shoes, foot undies and some like the feeling of bare feet.