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Dance 101

Your Introduction to Dance!

Why People Dance

It's Part of Life. Rhythmic bodily movement is instinctive. Dance springs from a human desire for personal expression and social connection... and it feels good.

Dance Forms & Styles

Movement is integral to culture. Over time, it has become codified into thousands of different dance forms and styles from all parts of the globe. Social, folk, classical and modern styles of dance exist, and continue to evolve.

Dance Facts

Did you ever wonder... Who invented pointe shoes? Where break dancing started? What happens at a Pow Wow? Why you tell someone to "break a leg" before they go on stage?

It's Actually Very Safe

Dance professionals train long and hard to be able to do the movement you see on stage, and yes, it can sometimes be a little risky. To experience a performance though, all you have to do is sit and watch.

View the video A Very Dangerous Pastime.


Talk the talk. Walk the walk. Dance the dance. Learn the meanings of more than 150 terms found on Dance, including dance terminology, theatre terminology, stage directions, eras and 'isms'.

Glossary of Human Anatomy Terms

The body is the dancer's instrument. Become savvy about body systems, bones, muscles, joints and common dance-related injuries.

Links & Resources

Keep travelling the world of dance on the web. Take advantage of over 130 links on the following topics and more:

Companies, Artists, Schools, Media, Libraries, Resources, Services

By the Way…

Did you know that Canada's National Arts Centre is developing dance programming for youth?

Learn more about the NAC-CGI Youth Commission for Dance, a partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts.


Gaya from Dralion™; ©1999 Cirque du Soleil Inc.; Costume by: François Barbeau; Photographer: Al Seib