Travel the World Through These Dance Tutorials
Do you have itchy feet after all these months of lockdown? Now could be the time to do a little homework on the world of dance. And dance does span the globe, with genres found all over that are historically integral to their communities, cultures and regions.Of course, being culturally engaged is not the only advantage of learning to dance. Moving your body can provide great comforts, both emotionally and physically. Not only does dancing provide health benefits, improving everything from cardiovascular strength to bone density to brain activity, moving your body has also been proven to reduce stress and anxiety — which everyone could benefit from right now.Here are eight cultural dances that you can learn at home through online tutorials or mobile dance apps. Take a look (or a spin) and you might be well equipped when the world is ready for globe-trotting, street parties and celebrations with no limits.
ORIGIN Egypt. Also commonly danced in Turkey, the Middle East and India.
When Egyptian women gathered to socialize in the 18th century, they would belly dance. It was a celebration of the feminine, a dance form that distinguishes itself through sharp hip movements, belly rolls and tricky flutters, especially when paired with shimmies, torso isolations and wavelike movements of the hands and arms.Nowadays, it’s danced at celebrations of all sorts, including weddings and birthdays, and is synonymous with colorful, intricate outfits and coin-laden hip scarves that chime to typically high-tempo music. Belly dancing may take a long time to master, but the dancer Iana Komarnytska’s YouTube channel is full of drills and tutorials that help whether you’re a beginner or more acquainted with the style.
ORIGIN Cuba. Also commonly danced throughout West Africa and the Americas.At a comfortable tempo between not too slow and not too fast, salsa is one of the most popular Latin dance styles worldwide. It’s commonly performed with a partner, but it can certainly be danced solo, too.Salsa found its popularity in Cuba’s old casinos and community halls. It’s a joyous dance, full of dynamism. It has also spawned many subgenres thanks to the Cuban diaspora, including Cali style (Colombian salsa, which is more up-tempo, with faster turns) and New York-style (a little smoother, influenced by the mambo). Salsa can be sensual or family-friendly — it simply depends on whom you’re dancing with. Learn everything from basics to more complicated sequences with the Pocket Salsa app.