"Dance Misconceptions:It is a Sport"

Essay by atlgapCollege, UndergraduateA+, July 2004

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As a well-established and extensively trained dancer I find the long-term misconceptions of dance quite irritating. The definition of dance has become outdated and it is disheartening to recognize that the overall public's opinion of the subject is limited to what is assumed and not actually perceived. Dance is not just ballet. It has developed from its original form and has profoundly changed over time because of significant influences from people, society, and specified cultures. The general public's obsolete perception of dance reveals the hidden ignorance among most and must be changed before another dancer is overlooked as just another means of entertainment.

It is not wrong for a person to associate ballet with dance; however, it is not right for that person to confine his thinking to just that one technique. Ballet was the original dance form that was "made official" Louis XIV, an early patron of this art form, and its original purpose was to entertain kings and courts, but that was over three and a half centuries ago.

Like our vocabulary, dance has also developed and been modified to accommodate our society. With our world being more susceptible to change, our abstract ways of thinking and expression have been incorporated into dance so that it is no longer limited to the structured and formalized ballet style, but is more open to anything ranging from impromptu dance to dance focused primarily on the isolation of the lower body.

Developed in the twentieth century, primarily in the United States and Germany, modern dance resembles art and music in being experimental and iconoclastic. Modern dance began at the turn of the century. Some of its pioneers, Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, and Ruth St. Denis, each rebelled against the rigid formalism, pretense, and superficiality of classical academic ballet and against the...