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Der Kinderreigen
Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.

Dance also is used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain genres.

Choreography is the art of making dances.

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance disciplines exist in sports such as gymnastics, figure skating, and synchronized swimming, and martial arts kata are often compared to dance.

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Gaskell Ball
Ballroom dance, refers collectively to a set of partner dances, which originated in the Western world and are now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the globe. Its performance and entertainment aspects are also widely enjoyed on stage, in film, and on television.

While historically ballroom dance may refer to any form of formal social dancing as recreation, with the eminence of dancesport in modern times the term has become much narrower in scope, usually referring specifically to the International Standard and International Latin style dances (see dance groupings below). In the United States, two additional variations—"American Smooth" and "American Rhythm"—have also been popularized and are commonly recognized as styles of "ballroom dance".

The term "ballroom dancing" is derived from the word ball, which in turn originates from the Latin word ballare which means "to dance". In times past, ballroom dancing was "social dancing" for the privileged, leaving "folk dancing" for the lower classes. These boundaries have since become blurred, and it should be noted even in times long gone, many "ballroom" dances were really elevated folk dances.

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Paquita pas de deux
Credit: Paquita pas de deux, photographed by Lambtron

In ballet, a pas de deux is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together. It usually has five parts, consisting of an entrée (introduction), an adagio, two variations (a solo for each dancer), and a coda (finale). The pas de deux is characteristic of classical ballet and can be found in many well-known ballets. It is often considered to be the bravura highlight of a ballet and is usually performed by a leading pair of principal dancers.

Did you know

Stella Bloch

... that Stella Bloch (pictured) headlined in New York after she returned from learning Javanese dancing at the Prince of Solo's palace?

... that Rosina Galli was the prima ballerina at La Scala Theatre Ballet before she became the première danseuse at the Metropolitan Opera House?

... that LeRoy Prinz, who staged dances in dozens of Hollywood movies in the 1930s and 1940s, was more an "idea man" than a choreographer, using simple steps and dance routines?

... that Tatjana Gsovsky, ballet mistress at opera houses in East Berlin, Buenos Aires and West Berlin, first choreographed ballets by Henze and Nono?

...that the score of Giselle contains additions by Léon Minkus?

... that in 2008, the Romanian ballet mistress Mijaela Tesleoanu was one of only two non-Cubans on the payroll of the Cuban National Ballet?

Selected biography

Christopher "Lil' C" Toler (born January 19, 1983) is an African American dancer and choreographer best known for co-inventing the hip-hop dance style krumping. He has danced for several musical artists including Missy Elliott, Fall Out Boy, and Madonna, and was cast as a featured dancer in the 2007 art exhibit Slow Dancing. He has also choreographed for television programs and movies including Be Cool, Fox's Bones, the 2007 Teen Choice Awards, and the 2007 NAACP Image Awards.

Lil' C was featured in the 2005 documentary Rize, a film that documents the history of the krumping and clowning dance styles from Los Angeles. Along with Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis he is credited with developing krumping. He has been a judge and choreographer on the Fox television show So You Think You Can Dance since season two.

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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