DANCE, derived from the French word danser, may be defined as an art form or a type of sport which involves intense expression of one’s emotions through rhythmic movements of the body. Dance may also be seen as means to vent out your creative outflows or a medium to communicate non-verbally. Dance may be figurative or abstract, depending upon the message it conveys. The beauty of Dance lies in the purpose behind it, the message that it sends across and the grace with which it is performed. In contemporary times, dance has been categorised and classified into hundreds of types depending upon origin, location, gender, number of performers et al. But the common factors that bind all dance forms are the grace, charm and poise with which they are performed, the expression of emotions and the beauty in the depiction of the message conveyed. The soul of any dance form is in the chemistry that the performers build up with the audience or with one another.
Dance, over the years, is one art form that has evolved tremendously. It may be noted that the origins of dance lie in ancient civilisations where it was featured in religious ceremonies and rituals, mostly to please the deity or Almighty. Excerpts from ancient Sri Lankan manuscripts suggest that dance, as a form of art, was used in magic spells during ethnic rituals and traditional ceremonies. Though nothing specific can be said about the genesis of various dance forms, it may be assumed that some forms of dance were used to impress or win over the beloved or to convey one’s feelings to the opposite sex. It is also believed that dance was used as a means of communication much before the use of written languages. Yet another important facet of dance was its use in various healing techniques.