Doesn’t matter in which country of the world you are in, whether or not you understand their language, your feet automatically start tapping and your hands start swaying to the music. People dance to celebrate, to elude happiness and joy or to show appreciation. Often music and dance are combined to tell a story and celebrate cultural roots. To celebrate the beautiful art form of dance, International Dance Day is celebrated every year on 29th April. People around the globe celebrate International Dance Day to raise awareness and call on people to engage in dancing. 

An initiative by the International Dance Council, International Dance Day has been celebrated since 1982. “Celebrated annually on April 29, the International Dance Day spreads the need to encourage participation and education in dance through various events,” International Dance Council stated. Millions of dancers around the world get involved in special performances, dance classes, public dances, TV or Radio shows about dance, etc. 

From Ballet to Bharatnatyam, here are 10 different Dance Styles in the world from different countries:

1. Bharatnatyam, Ghoomar, Bhangra and Bollywood (India)

India is such a culturally diverse country that it is nearly impossible to pick one dance to represent. 

Bharatnatyam – It is India’s oldest classical dance from Tamil Nadu. Full of diverse footwork, mesmerising expressions and graceful gestures, it often depicts a story or theme. 

Bharatanatyam dancer- International Dance day
A Bharatanatyam Dancer on stage
Image Credit: JN STUDIO

Ghoomar – Native to Rajasthan, Ghoomar has specific hand and waist movements which adds grace. Performers have their faces covered with chuneris and long skirts forming graceful pirouettes.

Ghoomar dancer- International Dance day
Ghoomar dancers with pots on their head
Image Credit: manoj_kulkarni

Bhangra – Originating in Punjab, Bhangra is full of energy and flamboyance. It’s performed usually at social events and programmes. 

Bhangra dancers- International Dance day
A group of Bhangra dancers
Image Credit: shalender

Bollywood – Used in Bollywood movies, the songs and dance is usually highly eccentric and a mix of various dance forms like Kathak to Jazz. Bollywood dance numbers are known for their glitz and glamour.

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2. Samba (Brazil)

Samba dancer- International Dance day
Samba Dancers at the RDJ Carnival
Image Credit: Celso Pupo

Usually performed in carnivals, Samba first originated in Africa and later grew in Brazil. ‘Samba’ roughly translates to ‘invitation to dance’. Dancers wear colourful outfits and large headgear. Movements mainly include swaying your hips in the right way. 

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3. Salsa (Cuba)

Salsa dancers- International Dance day
Salsa dancers- International Dance day
Image Credit:
Billion Photos

One of the many couple dancing styles in the world, Salsa is sensuous and romantic. Born in Cuba, the dance form also has Spanish and African roots and was stylized in New York City. 

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4. Kabuki (Japan)

Kabuki dancers- International Dance day
Kabuki performers on stage
Image Credit: Kobby Dagan

A theatrical production of dance and drama, Kabuki originated in Japan. Depicting suggestive themes, with elaborate costumes and dramatic make-up, Kabuki is quite captivating. 

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5. Tango (Argentina)

Tango dancers- International Dance day
A Tango Couple
Image Credit: Artem Bruk

Tango is another one of the sensuous partner dance styles in the world. The dance form is famous internationally especially because of pop culture. 

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6. Belly Dance (Middle East)

Belly dancers - International Dance day
A group of female belly dancers on-stage
Image Credit: Gordana Sermek

What originated as Raqs Sharki is now known worldwide as ‘belly dancing’. The dance emphasises on complex movements of the torso and swaying the body in an utterly elegant way. Over the years with the style, even the costume has evolved. Now it is prevalent all over the world. 

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7. Break Dance and Contemporary (USA)

There are various dance styles popular in the United States and most of them are said to have a modern style. 

Break Dance – Also known as B-boying, it is a popular street dance style that is quite popular among the youth worldwide. Many a times, dancers gather around in a hurdle, improvise and challenge each other to dance battles. 

Break dancers- International Dance day
A break dancer doing a handstand
Image Credit: Master1305

Contemporary – This dance style uses a mix of classical, modern and jazz music. There are unpredictable and free-flowing changes in the rhythm, speed and direction of the dancers making it unique. 

Contemporary dancer- International Dance day
Contemporary dancer girl
Image Credit: Prostock-studio

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8. Flamenco (Spain)

Flamenco dancer- International Dance day
A Flamenco dancer accompanied by a guitarist and singer
Image Credit: Marcin Krzyzak

In movies and shows, you might have seen ladies with red flowing gowns, swirling in spectacularly perfect motions. It’s also combined with the sound of the guitar, singing, finger-snapping, clapping and stomping of feet. Many believe that Flamenco emerged from Andalusian gypsies who migrated to Spain. However, today it is popular worldwide. 

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9. Ballet (Russia)

Ballet dancer- International Dance day
A Ballerina on stage
Image Credit: Nomad_Soul

The Russian Ballet is said to be very graceful and needs to be performed with utmost precision and formality. Ballerinas train for years to perfect their ballet forms. Their tutus and pointe shoes add to the dance’s appeal. Along with Russia, Ballet is also popular in France. 

Ballet shows are held in theatres all over the world and it is even studied professionally in top dance schools. Getting a Russia Visa for Indians is easy and it is easier to plan a vacation there with our Russia Tour Packages

10. Step-Dance (Ireland)

students perform their Irish Step Dancing
Students perform their Irish Step Dancing
image Credit: rblfmr

The Irish perform the step-dance either in a group or solo. With a stiff upper body, the entire focus is on the swift and intricate footwork. It is a very common sight in the local pubs or in the streets of the Irish cities. 

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Apart from these, some other popular dance styles across the world are Dragon Dance (China), Waltz (Austria), Cossack (Ukraine), Adumu (Africa) and Yoruba (Nigeria). This International Dance Day, all countries plan on honouring and performing their respective traditional dances, giving them an international platform. 

How will you be spending International Dance Day 2023? Our suggestion- put on your dancing shoes, enrol yourself in a dance class near you and dance like no one’s watching. Because dance is what truly sets the soul free!

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