A “happy dance” is thought of as any danced performed when somebody is in an emotionally happy state. One famous “happy dance” performer is Snoopy from the “Peanuts” comics and cartoon. In the television show, Snoopy is often seen dancing for joy.
There are many terms that associate happiness with dancing. Idioms include “dance on air” and “dance for joy”.
Another popular “happy dance” emerged in 2013 when singer Pharrell Williams released a song called “Happy.” To coincide with the release of the song, Pharrell also launched a website and a music video portraying people dancing around the streets of Los Angeles to the tune. The website runs the song on repeat for 24 hours, showcasing different people for each repetition of the song, including Pharrell at the start of each hour and multiple celebrity cameos.
Until the 18th century, happiness was not as desirable as it is now. In fact, religion in Europe at the time encouraged a melancholic demeanor. The Enlightenment of the following era brought about philosophies that encouraged positivity. Americans became known early on as advocates of happiness, publishing literature with names like “Happiness is a Choice” and “A Thousand Paths to Happiness.” In other cultures and religions, such as Buddhism, striving for happiness had been a goal since as early as the 4th century B.C.E.