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Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.

Dance also is used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain genres.

Choreography is the art of making dances.

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance disciplines exist in sports such as gymnastics, figure skating, and synchronized swimming, and martial arts kata are often compared to dance.

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An elbow stand, performed as part of an acro dance routine.
Acro dance is a style of dance that combines classical dance technique with precision acrobatic elements. It is defined by its athletic character, its unique choreography, which seamlessly blends dance and acrobatics, and its use of acrobatics in a dance context. It is a popular dance style in amateur competitive dance as well as in professional dance theater, such as Cirque du Soleil. Acro dance is known by various other names including acrobatic dance and gymnastic dance, though it is most commonly referred to simply as acro by dancers and dance professionals.

Acrobatic dance emerged in the United States and Canada in the early 1900s as one of the types of acts performed in vaudeville. Although individual dance and acrobatic acts had been performed in vaudeville for several decades prior to 1900, it was not until the early 1900s that it became popular to perform acts that combined dance and acrobatic movements. Since the decline of the vaudeville era, acrobatic dance has undergone a multi-faceted evolution to arrive at its present-day form. The most significant aspect of this evolution is the integration of ballet technique as the foundation for dance movements, thus bringing into acro dance a precision of form and movement that was absent in vaudeville acrobatic dance.

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Paquita pas de deux
Credit: Paquita pas de deux, photographed by Lambtron

In ballet, a pas de deux is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together. It usually has five parts, consisting of an entrée (introduction), an adagio, two variations (a solo for each dancer), and a coda (finale). The pas de deux is characteristic of classical ballet and can be found in many well-known ballets. It is often considered to be the bravura highlight of a ballet and is usually performed by a leading pair of principal dancers.

Did you know

Stella Bloch

... that Stella Bloch (pictured) headlined in New York after she returned from learning Javanese dancing at the Prince of Solo's palace?

... that Rosina Galli was the prima ballerina at La Scala Theatre Ballet before she became the première danseuse at the Metropolitan Opera House?

... that LeRoy Prinz, who staged dances in dozens of Hollywood movies in the 1930s and 1940s, was more an "idea man" than a choreographer, using simple steps and dance routines?

... that Tatjana Gsovsky, ballet mistress at opera houses in East Berlin, Buenos Aires and West Berlin, first choreographed ballets by Henze and Nono?

...that the score of Giselle contains additions by Léon Minkus?

... that in 2008, the Romanian ballet mistress Mijaela Tesleoanu was one of only two non-Cubans on the payroll of the Cuban National Ballet?

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Twyla Tharp.jpg
Twyla Tharp (born July 1, 1941) is an Emmy award winning American choreographer based out of New York. She has won multiple Emmy awards as well as a Tony, and a Drama Desk award for her choreography/direction in the musical Movin' Out.

Twyla Tharp is the creator of what is now known as “cross-over” ballet: she is the first choreographer to create a dance work, Deuce Coupe, that utilized both modern and ballet techniques. Tharp has choreographed dances for many companies including The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance and The Martha Graham Dance Company.

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