12 Most Famous Dance Styles in the World

Dance is one of the most interesting forms of art.

It is a perfect synchronization between the body, mind, and music.

Another very astonishing aspect of Dance is the fact that it is practiced throughout the length and breadth of the world.

Today, we share with you 12 Most Famous Dance Styles in the World.

In fact, everybody loves to dance on hearing any music and this is the beauty and uniqueness of this art form called as “Dance.”

Dance is the most beautiful way of expressing yourself.

It represents spiritual manifestation and used for emotional expression.

Dance is the most subtle way of artistic expression that celebrates the human body.

It involves the movement of the body that is rhythmic and aligned to music.

Dance is often used to express ideas or tell a story.

Dancing is thoroughly entertaining.

It’s a passion for some people and profession for others.

However, there is one unique thing about dance.

Whether you can or you can’t, but you dance!

In fact, everybody loves dancing.

Moreover, Dance has remained an integral part of various cultures around the globe.

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Many dance forms such as folk dancing have roots that go back centuries.

Other styles, such as hip-hop, and ballroom dance are quite modern.

In different parts of the world, one can find various Dance styles.

There are some dance styles which have become so popular that they have cut across physical boundaries of regions and countries.

They have garnered international acclaim, and dance enthusiasts from all around the world love to learn and perform these dance styles.

In this post, we list out 12 Most Famous Dance Styles in the World.

Here you will get to see some very interesting, popular and famous dance styles of different cultures from all around the globe.

Over the period, dance forms have evolved and taken the present shapes which are loved by one and all.

We are sure that you must be familiar with some of these dance styles.

These are the most popular dances that are practiced in different parts of the world. These dancing styles have become so popular that they have cut across the barriers of boundaries, and regions.

However, this list is a comprehensive one and includes various dance styles which are most recognized and popular.

It features contemporary dance styles such as hip-hop dance, classical ballet, Latin dances, and many other dance styles.

These are the most famous dance forms.

If you are wondering how many dance styles are there in the world, then just read on.

The post lists out different styles of dance.

So, let us see these 12 Most Famous Dance Styles in the World.

We are pretty sure that you will thoroughly love and enjoy this post.

Let’s get to know the popular dance styles.

Here’s the list for you:

12 World’s Most Popular Dance Styles


1. Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop is considered to be one of the most energetic and tough dancing styles. It evolved as a part of hip-hop culture and mainly performed on hip-hop music.

This dancing style came into existence in the 1970s and was popularized by dancing crews in the United States.

It emerged from the streets of New York in the city’s African-American and Puerto Rican communities.

So, “Street Dance” is another popular name of Hip-Hop dance style.

It involves a wide range of styles such as breaking, locking, and popping. In fact, break-dancing which involves popping, locking, and athletic floor movements are regarded as the earliest form of hip-hop dance.

And moreover, this dancing style is hugely popular with young people as it does not involve any rules and protocol.

It provides you the freedom to dance the way you want.

Having said this, Hip Hop requires a great level of flexibility and constant practice to master this form of dancing style.

Famous Dance Styles

2. Tap Dance

Tap Dance is an African American dancing form. It has roots in the Juba Dance, English Lancashire Clog dancing, and also in Irish step dancing.

This dancing style originated in the mid-1800s during the rise of minstrel shows.

It is one of the most interesting forms of dance but hard to learn as it requires perfect coordination between rapid feet and leg movement.

In Tap Dancing, you need special shoes which have metal plates that are attached to both the ball and heel of dancer’s shoes.

The Tap dancers use their shoes to tap the floor. They use their shoes as a musical instrument and dance to the music at the same time.

The metal plates (attached to the shoes) are tapped against a hard surface thereby creating a percussive sound.

Tapping sound or music is created while the dancers harmonize their dancing steps by the tapping music. In this dancing form, dancers usually wear black suits and shiny shoes.

Famous Dance Styles

3. Salsa

Salsa is one of the most popular dancing styles in Latin America which has gained much acclaim in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Salsa dance style originated in Cuba and is considered a partner dance. Salsa requires a couple.

It is a syncretic dance genre that has its roots in Cuba.

However, there are also recognized solo forms and versions of this very interesting dancing style.

Salsa dance is performed with salsa music. However, you can also perform Salsa dance with Latin American music as well.

It can also choreograph as a line dance in which a partner is not necessary.

Salsa is particularly famous for its flirtatious and lively steps.

All-in-all, this dance form is very beautiful, romantic and full of life. Salsa is very popular throughout Latin America.

Famous Dance Styles

4. Kathak

Kathak is one of the eight very famous classical dance forms of India. The name “Kathak” is derived from Sanskrit, which means story.

Moreover, Kathak has its origin in Uttar Pradesh, India and is considered to be one of the most ancient dance styles of northern India.

The dancers are usually referred to as ‘Kathakars’ or storytellers. In fact, Kathak was originally performed by the nomadic bards of ancient northern India.

As Kathak evolved down the centuries, it took traces of temple and ritual dances and got influenced by the Bhakti Movement.

Moreover, during the sixteenth century, Kathak was influenced by Persian Dance. However, Kathak can be compared with the Ballet Dance.

This dance style is very complicated and usually requires much training and practice. The Kathak dance form usually has a meaning to it. The Kathak dance style narrates some story.

Famous Dance Styles

5. Bhangra Dance

Bhangra is a Punjabi folk dance form which is very popular throughout the world. It originated in the Majha area of the Punjab region, India.

It is related to the Punjabi dance ‘bagaa’ which is a martial dance form of Punjab.

Bhangra is a very rhythmic and lively dance form which is usually performed with the beats of drums. Traditionally, Bhangra is performed in a circle using traditional dance steps. It is usually performed on the beats of ‘dhol’ drum.

It is mainly performed to celebrate the harvest and also in various cultural and religious events such as Baisakhi Festival. It is also performed during weddings and New Year celebrations.

It is mainly danced to a very specific kind of music which is tailored for Bhangra. Men and women sing traditional folk songs.

It involves very random dance moves together with rapid hand, leg and body movements. It is typically performed in a team and involves coordination, timing, and technique among the team members.

Bhangra symbolizes the talent, imagination, potential, and charisma of the people of Punjab. It is a dance form of enthusiasm and gaiety. It instantly captivates the attention of audiences of all ages.

Famous Dance Styles

6. Yangko Dance

Yangko Dance is one of the most popular Chinese folk dance forms. It is commonly performed in the Northern provinces of China.

It is the traditional folk dance form of Han Chinese.

In this dance form, dancers are required to sway their bodies to certain very specific rhythms and music. Dancers sway their waist and hip and also drive their feet by the played music.

It is smooth and compact in rhythm featuring jolly scene, exuberant gestures, and vivid performing styles. The Chinese use Yangko dance as a method of relaxation.

Yangko Dance has a long history of one thousand years and is usually performed in the Lantern Festival. It is also performed during other special celebrations including the spring festival.

This dance form was created by the farmers in the Song Dynasty when they worked in the rice fields. It was used to worship the god of farming and pray for harvest in the ancient times.

The Yangko Dance went on to absorb techniques from farming songs, acrobatics, and drama. By the time of Qing Dynasty, the Yangko Dance had become popular throughout the country.

In fact, there are various variations in the Yangko Dance.

Moreover, different kinds of Yangko Dances are identified by adding the name of the region ahead of the dance form. For example, the “Shanbei Yangko dance” in Shanbei Area and the “Manchu Yangko dance” in Northeast China.

Typically, Chinese Yangko Dance has three types of performances: the song-and-dance duets, Yangko on the ground and Yangko on the stilts.

Usually, various instruments are accompanied with the Yangko Dance such as the suona, small cymbals, drum, flute, and zhuban (bamboo clappers).

The Yangko dancers wear bright and colorful dresses. Their movements are swift and vigorous, with distinguished local flavor.

This dance form has considerably evolved since its inception, and the form that is currently prevalent happens to come from the late 1940s.

Famous Dance Styles

7. Break Dance

Break Dance also is known as B-boying or B-girling is one of the most famous forms of street dancing style which was popularized by Michale Jackson in 1980s.

A Break Dancer is also referred to as b-boy, b-girl or breaker.

It is very acrobatic and also involves certain elements of gymnastics in it. Its four primary elements are top rock, down rock, power moves and freezes.

It is certainly not an easy dance style and calls for strength, skill, balance, and technique amongst other things. It involves stylized footwork and plethora of athletic moves such as spinning on the head, knees, or hands.

It originated in the New York City during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It evolved from the martial arts moves developed by street gangs.

Originally, the moves were a form of self-defense against other gangs which later evolved into complex and athletic moves that characterize modern break dancing.

Break Dancing is mostly improvisational, without any ‘standard’ moves or steps. Moreover, Break Dance is a dance form that mainly involves energy, movement, creativity, as well as an element of danger.

Break Dance requires a particular style of dress such as the baggy pants or sweat suits, baseball caps (worn backward or sideways), and sneakers. Break Dance is performed on continuous dancing beats by mixing sounds from records.

Famous Dance Styles

8. Ballet Dance

Ballet Dance originated in Italy during the fifteenth century and considered as a performance dance.

This dance form later developed in France and Russia and began to be performed as a concert dance.

It is one of the most complicated forms of dancing style and usually taught in different ballet schools all around the world.

It is a highly technical dance form with its vocabulary based on French terminology.

It is mostly choreographed with orchestral or vocal music.

Trained ballet dancers choreograph and perform ballet dances.

The modern ballets are performed in simple costumes without using elaborate sets or scenery.

Moreover, Ballet Dancing involves very precise flow and acrobatic movements. It is very hard to master and requires intense practice.

Stylistic variations do exist in ballet dancing.

Some of the most popular variations include classical ballet, neoclassical ballet, romantic ballet, and contemporary ballet.

Famous Dance Styles

9. Belly Dance

Belly Dance is an Arabic dance form which is also referred to as Middle Eastern Dance as it originated in the Middle East.

However, Belly Dance has also become very popular outside the Middle East including North America, United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain.

It is an Arabic expressive dance form that originated in Egypt. It has evolved to take different forms both in costume and dance style and varied from one country to another.

In Arabic, the Belly Dance is known as Raqs Sharqi (“Eastern Dance”).

In this dance style, the most featured body part is the hips. It is a torso-driven dance with an emphasis on the movement of the hips.

Some of the movements that are characteristic to Belly Dance include shimmies, shivers, and vibrations. It also involves percussive and fluid movements.

It is one of the most sensual dance forms in the world which is mostly performed in nightclubs.

Dancers adore bold costumes that reveal their belly region is a signature of this dancing style.

To master this dance form, one has to possess or develop extremely flexible body and require practicing it regularly under the supervision of a Belly Dance master.

Famous Dance Styles

10. Line Dance

Line Dance is indeed one of the most famous dance styles in the world.

It is mainly a choreographed dance form in which dancers repeat sequence of steps at the same time.

It involves a group of people who dance in one or more lines or rows without regard to the gender of the individuals.

One particular characteristic of Line Dance is the fact that line dancers do not come in any physical contact with each other.

For example, in one of the Line Dance styles, all dancers follow a leader on the dance floor.

Famous Dance Styles

11. Jazz

Jazz is another very lively dancing style.

This dance form relies heavily on originality and improvisation.

Jazz is originally an African dance form that was popularized by the slaves that were brought to the U.S.

Gradually, it evolved into a style of street dance, and by the early 20th century it moved into the jazz clubs.

It incorporates bold and dramatic body movements with body isolations and contractions. It is usually done to jazz music. Jazz is a dance form that is performed with a lot of attitudes.

By early 1940s, jazz dancing had become very popular in the United States. It has evolved from being street dance to a theatrical dance that is performed on stage by professionals.

Jazz Popular Dance Style

12. Tango

Tango is yet another fascinating dance form that is very popular throughout the world. Tango dance style originated in South America.

However, credit goes to Spanish settlers for introducing this unique dance form to the world.

It is a sensual ballroom dance that was originally performed only by women. However, it later turned into a dance for couples as it began to gain popularity in Argentina.

Tango is a very passionate and vibrant dance style that offers much room for expression, improvisation, and connection. It is still very popular throughout the world.

Moreover, along with tango dance, tango music is also considered a great music genre throughout the globe.

Tango Popular Dance Style

Here, we have included Most Famous Dance Styles in the World.

How many of these dance styles have you ever tried?

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