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Dancing
types of folk dances, traditional folk dances etc.

types of folk dances, traditional folk dances etc. types of folk dances, traditional folk dances etc.

The highly stylized traditional folk dancing of the East contrasts sharply with the freedom types of dances in the West

Dancing gives pleasure to many people as a relaxation, but it may also be considered an art (See Ballet). In Africa and Asia dancing may form a part of religious ceremonies.

All over the world, traditions of folk dancing have grown up over many hundreds of years. These traditional folk dances still survive today in many countries. In North America, square dancing is very popular, and in eastern Europe people regard folk dancing as something that everyone should be able to do. This is particularly true in Greece. In Latin America, traditional folk dances are less formal than in other parts of the Western world, and they are performed with great enthusiasm.

In many of the richer countries, however, people now prefer to dance in ballrooms. Ballroom dancing developed from folk dancing, but it is more formal. In the 1960's, young people have developed a much more individual way of dancing to the music of beat groups and pop groups.

 Polish folk dances

Polish folk dances

Folk dances vary a great deal from place to place. Square dances are performed by groups of people often in long lines or units of four. The music is usually very rhythmic. Eastern European dances are often danced to music with much more complex rhythms than the music of folk dances in the rest of Europe. In Greece, dances are performed by a long line of people led by one person. But solo dances are also performed by the men. Some folk dances are so exciting and entertaining to watch, particularly those of Russia and Spain, that troupes of folk dancers from these regions appear all over the world.

The types of folk dances of Latin America, such as the samba, rumba, tango, and conga, are among the few folk dances to be found in the ballroom. The most popular types of folk dances are the quickstep, waltz, and foxtrot. Ballroom dances are performed exclusively by couples, unlike most folk dances. Modern dancing, with its freedom of expression, has become a solo performance for every dancer taking part.

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