Essays About Dance: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

If you are writing essays about dance, see our essay examples and prompts below to inspire and guide you for your next essay. 

Dance refers to a sequence of rhythmic body movements, usually in sync with a beat or music. The earliest historical dance records can be found in cave paintings and are suggested to be associated with religious purposes. Today, one can dance for several reasons. It can be a channel to express their emotions and ideas, release energy, conduct a ritual, celebrate a tradition, or simply exercise. 

Check out our round-up of five great essays that can inspire you in writing your piece about dance: 

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1. Are Humans The Only Species That Enjoy Dancing? by Jason Goldman

“Snowball became famous on the internet when videos were uploaded of the twelve-year-old cockatoo appearing to dance to a Backstreet Boys song. He seems to bob his head up and down in sync with the beat of the song… Could it really be that humans aren’t unique in their abilities to dance?”

The article amusingly explores certain animals that are proven to have a beat for dancing. While videos of dancing animals are a rave on social media, the article reveals that the discovery of dancing animals may have been as early as the time of Charles Darwin. The naturalist discovered and theorized that birds use dance to pick their mates, a process that a study showed is more common in humans than we thought. 

2. Ballet And Modern Dance: Using Ballet As The Basis For Other Dance Techniques by Helen Kantilaftis

“Ballet is like the mother of all dance techniques. Most Western dance styles today can be traced back to ballet, and its codification has been extremely influential in all styles of dance.”

Ballet can improve one’s musicality, awareness, tempo, strength, and agility. Kantilaftis explains that other dances borrow many techniques and moves from ballet. For example, if you take hip-hop or jazz class, chances are there will be movements that could be enhanced by learning ballet first. The author then provides tips on how dancers can incorporate ballet to enhance their routines and be well-rounded dancers overall.

3. Bollywood Dance Explained by Lucy Townsend

“Bollywood dance is easy on the eye. Dramatic facial expressions and cinematic pizzazz mean any viewer, dance aficionado or not, can follow the story. But beneath the fizz is a series of historic symbols and traditions, which originate in India’s numerous traditional dance forms.”

No good Indian film is complete without the famous Bollywood dance. In this article, the author uncovers the symbolisms behind the hand gestures, facial expressions, neck movement, footwork, and vibrant costumes in Bollywood dance. It turns out that each movement and accessory contribute to telling a story with themes ranging from weather to animals and destinations.

4. Essay: When I Broke Up With Ballet by Stephanie Wolf

“After 12 years of fighting for my dance career, it became clear this was not an injury from which I could bounce back. My body had already been through too much, and I felt fatigued from chasing my dreams. While I had always had outside interests, I was now forced to really look at what life would be like post-dancing.”

A former ballet dancer talks about her heartbreaking story of ending a dance career over two decades ago. The breakup was the inevitable consequence of an irreversible injury, causing emotional shock over a loss of identity. Several years forward, Wolf admits that she remains to grieve over the end of her dancing chapter but continues to find new sources of hope to continue living.

5. Explained: Breaking Rules, Moves and Format by Aarish Ansari

“From the streets of New York in the 1970s to the grand stage of the Olympic Games, breaking has charted a course not many would have thought was possible… breaking has evolved into a proper dance sport, with a fixed set of rules that make for fair competition.”

The article celebrates breakdancing’s breakthrough to be part of the Olympic 2024 as a silver medal event. In addition, the article dives into the signature moves that define breakdancing and judges’ criteria for selecting the winning breakdancers. 

10 Prompts On Essays About Dance

Essays About Dance: Dance as a passion
If you have a passion for dancing, write your story about how you have discovered this passion

For more essay ideas, take a pick from one of our prompts below:

1. Dance As A Passion.

If you have a passion for dancing, write your story about how you have discovered this passion. Describe what dancing does to your mind and body. Write about your dance style, how often you dance and what kinds of music you love dancing to. If you’re not into dancing but know others who are passionate about this art form, interview them instead. 

2. Types Of Dances. 

Research about the different kinds of dances. There are many popular ones, such as ballroom, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop and jazz. To narrow down the scope of this prompt, pick five that interest you the most. Then, describe each and elaborate on their influence on art, culture, and society. 

3. Health Benefits Of Dancing.

Dance can strengthen cardiovascular health, reduce stress and improve balance and flexibility. Cite other physical and mental health benefits of dancing. Explain how each of these contributes to one’s overall well-being. For example, some communities have been promoting dance to fight obesity and strengthen heart muscles. You can also add how your community encourages dance in its health programs. 

4. Preserving Traditional Dance.

Modern dance is so pervasive that it is feared to bump off folk dance from the stage. Recount the ways your country or community is preserving its traditional dances. Describe these dances and provide a brief historical overview of their importance to your country or community’s culture. Finally, think and write about what other efforts should be taken to allow traditional dances to share the spotlight with modern dance.

5. The Most Iconic Dance Moves Of All Time. 

Many of us have witnessed different dance crazes, from the moonwalk popularized by Michael Jackson to the shimmy dougie and the fierce hair whip. Analyze what makes this dance move iconic enough to bring the whole world to dance to one beat and movement. 

6. Protecting Choreographic Works.

Choreography is protectable copyrighted work. Provide dancers with a guide on how they can best protect the copyright of their dance masterpieces. Outline copyright protection issues, such as cross-border jurisdictions and digital piracy. Then, provide tips on how performers can best enforce their copyright. For example, one way is to register their work at the intellectual property office of their country. 

7. Dance As An Expression Of Culture.

Waltz across several traditional dances and show how each of these dances helps express a community’s culture, identity, and belief system. Research the kinds of dance that are deeply embedded in a tradition. Describe the movements involved in this dance and how they symbolize the community’s beliefs and ideals. Then, add how communities pass on the dance to preserve it from generation to generation. 

8. Animals That Dance.

Build on our essay example on dancing animals. List down the animals that studies are found to possess some dancing prowess. Describe their dancing styles and discover the factors that entice them to dance. For example, is dancing for them mere entertainment, or does it serve a more practical purpose, as with birds? 

9. Dance As A Source Of Livelihood.

Find out what the average income of a dancer or choreographer is. Interview dancers and ask about their level of satisfaction with their current income. Dive deep into the barriers that prevent their incomes from rising and what reforms they would like to see in choreographers’ and performers’ livelihoods. You can also write about how entertainment platforms have expanded the industry’s earning opportunities. 

10. Life Values Learned From Dancing.

Dancing is not just a skill or a hobby. It could be a way to learn essential life lessons that will help you get ahead and conquer challenging experiences. Enumerate the lessons one can learn from dancing. Discipline, determination, and creativity are just a few. Explain how one develops these traits from dance and why it makes for a great extracurricular activity for children.

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining how you can achieve persuasive writing.

If you’d like to learn more, our writer explains how to write an argumentative essay in this guide.

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  • Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.