Click here for my original collection of quotations about dance.
Figure dances make use of group movements
No complex stepping patterns or
Intricate body movements.
Social Dance rather than
George Marshall: "It seems to be hard wired into our pleasure centers to move to music".
Dancers are coming to socialize,
To meet members of the opposite sex.
Caller needs to provide dances
In which there are
Satisfying interactions with those people.
Emotion stimulates the body into movement.
Though civilization & conditioning have taught people
to suppress this natural response
the desire is still there.
A pleasant exercise of the body bringing into use
both mind and muscle
directing physical energy into a rhythmic pattern.
The closed circle was probably the earliest and simplest form of dance.
All present entered into the ritual of circling the object of worship
so that the power believed to be present in it would be preserved and used successfully.
The Celts are said to have danced
clockwise in circles on happy occasions
anticlockwise in circles when mourning.
Websters Dictionary says
the reel comes from ragla which means to stagger
incline or move in walking
first to one side then to the other.
Another source gives its origin as
the Anglo-Saxon rulla meaning to whirl.
Let foreigners brag and crow
That dancings their devotion
Tis little the craychures knoe
Of the poetry of motion;
Their polkas and quadrilles
Are nothing else but prancing,
An Irish jigs and reels,
The King and Queen of dancin.
In 1416, one famous master, Domenico de Pacienza,
said that a good dancer required
a sense of rhythm and space
a good memory, agility and grace.
Dancing is practiced in order to reveal whether lovers are in good health sound of limb
after which they are permitted to kiss their mistresses
in order that they may touch and savour one another
thus to ascertain if they are shapely
or emit an unpleasant odour as of bad meat.
Ladies were particularly likely to be denounced
if they were known to favour dancing.
A Parisian dancing-master named Cellarius
is said to have recorded one hundred cotillion figures in his booklet. Among the games included were:
La Conversation, where gents were invited
to speak a sentence to impress a lady
the winner dancing with her.
La Trompeuse, where a lady flirted with one gent
then danced with another.
La Paraplui, where two gents approached a lady
and she handed her umbrella to one and danced with the other.
The one with the umbrella had to hold it over the dancing couple
for the duration of the dance.
The French term, quadrille,
is derived from the Italian quadriglia
a group of horsemen who formed a square
when taking part in a tournament.
The first quadrilles had intricate steps and terms
developed by French dancing-masters
and nowadays associated with ballroom dancing.
French terms such as jetté, chassé, assemblé,
balance, and changement de jambe were used.
It would appear that these were beyond the capability
of all but the most talented and dedicated dancer
so the steps gradually disappeared
all except the easy walking step known as the pas marche.
Dancing is an integral part of life itself
Male birds don brilliant colors and dance
during the mating season
Anthropoid apes dance
sometimes forming circles
and parading around a tree post.
No primitive tribe has been discovered
in which dancing was not
an important of the tribal culture.
There is no ancient civilization
of which we have record
that did not know dancing.
A survey of married couples in England showed
that a large percentage of them
had first met on the dance floor.
Aristotle defined education as a blend of music & gymnastics
Socrates: Those who honor the Gods most beautifully in dance
are best in war.
Greek artist Lucian: the most noble & greatest personages
in every city are the dancers
The Roman Cicero: For no man, one may almost say, ever dances
when sober, unless perhaps he be a madman
Music washes away
From the soul
The dust of everyday life
Music makes people kinder, gentler,
More staid & reasonable
Enjoy Themselves (Nietzche)
Sex (Dance): An emotion in motion
The truest expression of a people is in its dances and its music.
Bodies never lie.
Music can open up spaces in our hearts that we didnt know we even had -- Sister Prejean
This juxtaposition of sounds can affect our souls
The whole point of being a serious musician
is to avoid verbalization whenever you can.
Freedom? To move inside what space confines
(Robert Frost: moving easy in harness)
Isadora Duncan: The Divine expression of the human spirit through
the medium of the bodys movement.
Figure dances use group movements & patterns.
No complex stepping patterns or intricate body movements.
Social dances rather than performance dances
Sociologists pointed out that Dance is seen as a profoundly important social experience -- a powerful rite shared by all members of the culture and essential to its well being.
Margaret Mead: Dancing is the only activity in which
almost all ages and both sexes participate
Among primitive peoples one of the great purposes of dance was to establish social unity and provide a means of collective strength & purpose.
Dance: The need to express oneself through rhythmic play
and through exploration of
ones bodily powers and physical environment
It has a unique capacity to blend the physical & emotional aspects of our
being in an integrated expression.
The ability to release ones feelings in this way
Is a deeply therapeutic and healthful function.
Psychoanalist Joost Merloo suggests dance is such a widely found form of
human expression and emotional release
that those who cannot dance are imprisoned in their own ego.
William Stafford: Kids, they dance before they learn
there is anything that isnt music
Dance lets man rediscover his body as a tool of expression
Enriching life, expressing mans deepest mood
Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life, it is life itself.
The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought
People who learn to dance well always have bigger bolder movements.
People who learn to sing well always have richer rounder voices
Nature gives us limbs and art teaches us to use them
A good dance should include respect and importance for partner
Flirtatious possibilities, plenty of activity, and above all grace
A smooth flowing statement emphasizing the dancers real life predicament
In short, an eight minute marriage.
It is possible to have a good time with:
A poor MC An awful hall
No refreshments or drinks.
You can never have a good time With Bad Music
Minuet: Nobody ventures unless he has been taught the Art
Contras: Pastime, Social Game -- A chance community
Without serious purpose Without Art
Charm of European dances: Contact of Man & Woman
Common Rhythm & Harmony of Movement
Physical Duet Unison of Motion
One dances for oneself Not for others
Something is missing from dancing today
A guaranteed sociability
Where the dancing provides a real opportunity
To enjoy the company of everybody else in the hall
Modern dancers give
A sinister portent about our time
They dont even look at one another
Just a lot of isolated individuals
Juggling in a kind of self hypnosis
Dancing with others only to remind themselves
That we are not completely
Alone in this world
These old dances have a
Really delightful social element
In that each couple progresses
To a new place in the set
With a new couple
At each repetition
Of the figure
Dances for a group of people
For couples alone
You still had a partner
But you were
In a Set
A big circle, A long line
With the rest of your friends
There were few steps
The patterns and figures
Couples must move
To the same melody
Over & over again
In the same figure pattern
Primitive Underlying Theme
To impose Upon a chance gathering
Of a few dozen guests
A communal feeling
Extinction of the world
Smooth interweaving of the figures
Harmonious cooperation of the couples
When the heart is glad
The feet are ready to dance
When the feet dance
The heart is glad)
Luminous manifestation of the soul
Its a wonderful thing
To be able to dance
Your body what you
Want it to do
Do the steps youve been shown
By everyone youve ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own (Jackson Brown)
Dance -- A little insanity
That does us all
A lot of good
You could be dancing
With your future
Dance is the only sport
Where a man can touch a woman
Over most parts of her body
She thanks you for it afterwards
The smile of the limbs
Life without Music Unthinkable
Music without Life Academic
When you perform you are out
Of yourself Larger more Potent
Dance Hidden language of
The soul of the body
Than dancing there is no species of exercise which can be taken
within doors more cheering to the mind, and renovating to the body
The music alone has remarkable power over many individuals
In soothing the mind and equalizing the passions.
Copyright © 2006