Types of Dance

Dance is popular all over the world. People enjoy expressing themselves through movement. The word "dance" conjures up different images for different people. Over the years, dance has evolved into several distinct forms. Different styles of dance are distinguished by many things such as shoes, music, and costumes. Dance seems to be a lot like ice cream flavors...it's so hard to choose just one. If you are thinking of trying out a new dance style, there may be a few you haven't even considered. Check out this list of dance genres and see which one appeals to you. There are many fun types of dance, you may need to sample a few to find your favorite.

01
of 12
Ballet dancers
Cedric Ribeiro / Getty Image

Ballet serves as a backbone for many other styles of dance, as many other dance genres are based on ballet. Ballet is based on techniques that have been developed over centuries. Ballet uses music and dance to tell stories. Ballet dancers have the ability to transport an audience to another world. More »

02
of 12
Dance type jazz
Jazz. Stockbyte / Getty Images

Jazz is a fun dance style that relies heavily on originality and improvisation. Many jazz dancers mix different styles into their dancing, incorporating their own expression. Jazz dancing often uses bold, dramatic body movements, including body isolations and contractions. More »

03
of 12
Tap Dancing
Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images

Tap dancing is an exciting form of dance in which dancers wear special shoes equipped with metal taps. Tap dancers use their feet like drums to create rhythmic patterns and timely beats. More »

04
of 12
Hip-Hop Dance
Ryan McVay / Getty Images

Hip-hop is a dance style, usually danced to hip-hop music, that evolved from the hip-hop culture. Hip-hop includes various moves such as breaking, popping, locking and krumping, and even house dance. Improvisation and personal interpretation are essential to hip-hop dancing. More »

05
of 12
Modern Dance
Leo Mason Split Second / Corbis via Getty Images

Modern dance is a dance style that rejects many of the strict rules of classical ballet, focusing instead on the expression of inner feelings. Modern dance was created as a rebellion against classical ballet, emphasizing creativity in choreography and performance. More »

06
of 12
Swing Dancing
Keystone Features / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Swing dance is a lively dance style in which couples swing, spin and jump together. Swing dancing is a general term that means dancing to swing music, or music that "swings." How can you tell if a song swings? Swing dancers know when a song swings because when they hear it, they can't stand still. More »

Contra Dance
Jeffrey Bary via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Contra dance is a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form two parallel lines and perform a sequence of dance movements with different partners down the length of the line. Contra dances are relaxed with family-like atmospheres. The dancing is excellent exercise, and dancers can set their own pace. Contra dancers are usually friendly, active people with a love of dance. More »

Country Dance
kali9 / Getty Images

Country and western dance includes several dance forms, usually danced to country-western music. If you've ever been to a country and western club or tavern, you've probably seen a few cowboy boot-wearing dancers twirling around the dance floor with big smiles on their faces. More »

09
of 12
Belly Dance
Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

Belly dance is a unique form of dance characterized by sharp, rolling movements of the hips and abdomen. The true origins of belly dancing are debated among enthusiasts. More »

10
of 12
Flamenco Dancers
Alex Segre / Contributor / Getty Images

Flamenco dance is an expressive dance form that mixes percussive footwork with intricate hand, arm and body movements. Flamenco is a Spanish art consisting of three forms: Cante, the song, Baile, the dance, and Guitarra, guitar playing. More »

11
of 12
Latin Dance
Leo Mason / Corbis via Getty Images

Latin dance is a fast-paced, often sensual, partner dance characterized by sexy hip movements. However, hip movements are not intentional in any of the Latin dances. The hip motion is a natural consequence of changing weight from one foot to the other. More »

12
of 12
Dance type folk
Folk dance. Guang Niu / Getty Images

Folk dance refers to a variety of dances developed by groups or communities, as opposed to being made up by a choreographer. There are several types of folk dance including clogging, English country dance, international folk dance, Irish dance, Maypole dance, Morris dance, Nordic polska dance, square dance, and much more. Folk dances are often performed at social events. More »