Popular Types of Dance

Musical Note


Ballet, developed in Renaissance Italy, evolved into a technical concert dance with subgenres and six core methods studied worldwide


Originating in France, ballroom dance has evolved into two main subgenres, standard/smooth and Latin/rhythm, with popular competitive events


"Hip-hop dance originated in the 1970s and includes Breaking, Locking and Popping, with improvisation and dance battles. It's now performed worldwide


Popular and technical, contemporary dance draws on various styles with emphasis on strong torso and legwork, floor work and rhythmic shifts.


Jazz dance has African roots and developed in US jazz clubs. Improvisational with dramatic body movements, it includes the Lindy Hop and the Charleston.

Tap Dancing

Tap dancing is a percussive style often seen in musical theatre, with metal taps on shoes creating sound. Includes various subgenres.

Folk Dance

Folk dance, celebrated worldwide, portrays emotions, history and daily life. Examples include Bharatanatyam, Samba and Hula, held at public events

Irish Dance

Irish dancing, with its iconic footwork, originated in Ireland and is popular worldwide. Includes group and solo dances, often accompanied by music

Modern Dance

Modern dance arose from western countries as a rebellion against the limitations of traditional dance. It relies on interpretation of music and feeling to guide movements, and allows for unconventional expression.


Swing dance developed in response to swing jazz, with fast and rigorous movements. Popular forms include Lindy Hop, Jitterbug and Charleston.