This collection of dance videos & materials to learn and enjoy are an attempt to revive wholesome music in our society, and find joy again in this ancient art.
A little disclaimer, other than being on a high school ballroom dance team for a quarter of a semester then leaving it to join the debate team, my experience with dance is quite limited.
Come enjoy with me an exploration of uplifting dance!
We will begin with some moral philosophy on dance, then get into many dance types.
Corruption is found in dance anciently as well as our time. The ancient Arabian belly dance and the various sexual gyrations in many modern dance forms (too numerous to list) remind us that humans have no qualms about using their bodies to gain inappropriate advantage of one another. But as Brigham Young taught, there is ultimately no song or dance in hell. I’m also wary of many Latin dances (though not all) which in my opinion overly emphasize sexual movements, albeit in a form that many consider beautiful. I would suggest that such things are too sacred for public display, even in simulations where some clothing is used (and usually not very much of it). The dance types listed in this presentation simply don’t include forms which I have deemed too questionable. One can throw in or take out inappropriate moves into just about any dance form, but certain types are inherently sexual, and are of no interest to me, and in my opinion, have no place in Zion.
The type of dance that music inspires tells us lots about the quality of that music! Dance is inseparably connected to music; it is the expression and human interpretation of the sound. Sort of a mirror. A society is on the “highway to hell” when their music doesn’t prompt them to dance righteously, or when they dance sensually to neutral or even good music.
Not even the BYU has a keen market on this topic, I remember being horrified by one of their dances, I had to sit out for most of it, the entire environment was akin to a den of thieves, a simple house of horrors, a place where no accountability was felt for one’s actions. Naturally the BYU is ahead of the curve on most moral issues, but unfortunatly in this and other worldly trends, they follow suit, even if aways behind, perhaps just far enough behind to where they think they aren’t seen, and won’t be identified with the big bad guys.
` Our day will be spoken of as one which had virtually no dancing. There is a twisted counterfeit of dancing in Babylon, now let Israel learn to dance! Song and dance originally belonged to Israel, but Satan has corrupted it and offered it in Babylon.
What remains of wholesome dance in our society is a subgroup, hardly taken seriously, or seen as a legitimate pastime for young people. Any participation in it is rather considered an exploration of ancient arts as they are so foreign to our time.
A sad sight is one that just hops around without really knowing what they are doing. This is the status quo of social dance today. Why do our schools cater to club dancing instead of teaching some legitimate dance, and host dances which call for such? We’re grooming children to become club hoppers by the type of song and dance we put on for them at our public schools and universities. As my competitive ballroom dancing friend put it, “Learning to dance in partnership teaches more value than club dancing ever will.”
Dance costumes can be immodest in even good genres, so watch out for that. Look for not only uplifting dance forms, but uplifting costumes. I’ve tried to present in my materials here examples of uplifting dance forms and costume. See my materials on beauty for discourses on the reasons behind the need for modest dress. When it comes to dance and technique and gripping one’s partner etc. there can be something of a need for different dress than is publicly common. I don’t have all the answers on this but here is an interesting read from a latter-day saint dancer on some reasons why dancers wear the costumes they do: https://www.ldsdaily.com/personal-lds-blog/modesty-heres-dancers-often-wear-less/
The dance forms which will live on without sinking into oblivion are wholesome forms, which do not inappropriately provoke sexuality or violent behavior. They are also forms which involve some skill and real talent. What the prophets have said about music can also apply to dance: There is so much good that you don’t need to bother with the bad!
Not infrequently have the scriptures spoken of holy dances of celebration of the saints! Not unfrequently did the early Latter-day Saint pioneers dance upon the plains and in Zion! It is said that Brigham Young wanted to dance longer one evening, and when the night bugle sounded, he said in essence, ‘away with the bugle, I want to dance!’ and proceeded to do so until around 3am. Humans need to dance. It could be argued that several animal species dance too.
-“Dancing can be fun and can provide an opportunity to meet new people. However, it too can be misused. When dancing, avoid full body contact with your partner. Do not use positions or moves that are suggestive of sexual or violent behavior or are otherwise inappropriate. Attend only those dances where dress, grooming, lighting, lyrics, music, and entertainment contribute to a wholesome atmosphere where the Spirit may be present.” (For the Strength of Youth Manual, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/for-the-strength-of-youth/music-and-dancing?lang=eng)
-…it must be admitted that the close embrace of the modern style of this whirling, giddy, seductive dance is not proper for the modest maiden, and it is not exactly the position in which a prudent wife should place herself” (Deseret News, 20 Sept. 1877)
-This is reportedly from William Clayton’s journal, from an article at this address https://bycommonconsent.com/2007/05/04/apologia-pro-saltando/ “The labors of the day having been brought to a close at so early an hour viz; half past 8, it was thought proper to have a little season of recreation, accordingly, Brother Hans Hanson was invited to produce his violin. He did so, and played several lively airs, among the rest some very good lively dancing tunes. This was too much for the gravity of Brother Joseph Young, who indulged in a hornpipe, and was soon joined by several others, and before the dance was over several French fours were indulged in. The first was opened by President B. Young with Sister Whitney and Elder H.C. Kimball with Sister Lewis. The spirit of dancing increased until the whole floor was covered with dancers. After this had continued about an hour, several excellent songs were sung, in which several of the brethren and sisters joined… After dancing a few figures, President Young called the attention of the whole company, and then gave them a message, of this import, viz; that this temple was a Holy place, and that when we dance, we danced unto the Lord, and that no person would be allowed to come on to this floor, and afterwards mingle with the wicked. He said the wicked had no right to dance, that dancing and music belonged to the Saints.
-Clogging vs. Tap vs. Irish Step (competition between the 3)
-Top 10 traditional dances
part 2 of 10 traditional dances (10 more): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igGEwbzE3V8
-The Difference between East and West Coast Swing Dances
(west more sensual, east faster. Explains time periods and other sub types of swing also.)
-Sky Dancing: How One Dance Group Defies Gravity (Bandaloop Dance Company)
-East coast vs west coast swing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P_o_ERFLwo see also westcoastswingonline.com
(west is slower and in a line back and forth, east is faster and in a cirular patturn)
I’m not a fan of belly dancing but I’ve not given up on the search for good Arabic dance.
For a Wikipedia article on Ballroom dance and subtypes including modern variations:
Yoganiyoga , India’s yoga anthem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LP3xyvkJEk
Tutorial from Monkey See: https://monkeysee.com/how-to-bollywood-dance/
-Flamenco Street Dancing in Spain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYwO3aeBLtQ
– 2016 IDO World Championships – “Spanish Flame” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCVtQirdNkc
-Georgian Dancers Push Their Physical Limits for Tradition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lObbGydVSg4
-Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem
-Y-Studs (A Capella) – Evolution of Jewish Music
-How to Shuffle (Dance Moves Tutorial) | Mihran Kirakosian
-SHUFFLE TUTORIAL | cutting shapes | BASE
-Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem
-Arther Duncan – “Tea for Two” – tap dance on The Lawrence Welk Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=homQ3kgI4Fo