Ah, performance arts – the art forms we do with our bodies! When you think of a movie, or a magic show, or a big concert with dancers… That’s all performance art!! It delights us and keeps us endlessly entertained to watch, but it’s also super fun to do! Dancing and drama are both types of performance art. Dancing lets us feel the music and move our bodies to the beat, while drama is acting, pretending, and having fun playing different roles to tell stories and entertain people.
TV shows and movies, plays and musicals… That’s all acting – it’s drama! They’re people playing a role and acting out a story.
If you love musicals, check out this fabulous compilation of show clips from Broadway.com!
Expressive reading is a kind of drama you can do just with your voice! Check out these examples.
Some people think that only fully able-bodied people can dance, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Anyone can dance: even just a finger or toe tap is dance… It’s about feeling the music, and letting your body move in anyway that it wants to. It can help us express emotions and communicate in a way that words don’t, or it can just bring us joy to move along to the beat.
Dancing has been around as long as humans have been around, and was often used in rituals, religious ceremonies, and celebrations. It seems that humans just have a desire to move and groove! There are LOTS of types and styles of dancing that have evolved, and they come from different cultures all around the world. From carefree movement, to social dancing, to partner dancing, to choreographed routines… Dance helps us to express, connect, and have fun.
Dance is for people of all abilities. These girls are proving how much people with diverse physical abilities can bring to the dance floor! Check out tons of videos from the wheelchair dancing dream team, “The Rollettes”
Infinite Flow is another fabulous dance crew out of LA made cup of dancers with and without disabilities! They aim to prove that dance is for anyone and everyone, and want to be a big part in the conversation around inclusion, equality and equity.
How fun is this video of the evolution of pop culture dance styles in North America?! Check out how popular North American dance styles have changed over the last 70 years.
Which dance styles did you recognize? Which was your favourite?
Are you looking to try your hand (or feet) at dance? Here are some fabulous beginner lessons. These lessons are all demonstrated by more physically-abled individuals, but you can adapt the movements to your own abilities.
(Remember: dancing is a type of physical activity! You should always warm up first, and listen to your body. Be safe, and if something hurts or doesn’t feel good, it’s best to stop)
Ballet is a classical dance form, full of grace and beauty. It originated in Italy in the 15th century (600 years ago!) to entertain in Renaissance courts.
Jazz dancing is fun, quick, and sometimes a little sassy! Its roots go all the way back to 17th century (400 years ago) African folk and celebratory dancing.
Hip Hop is a cool, fun dance form that gets down dirty. It’s a newer dance form from the last century, that evolved from African American and Latino American street dancing.