Q:

What is ethnic dance?

A:

Quick Answer

Ethnic dance refers to a dance that comes from a specific cultural group, such as polka or flamenco. Any dance that is connected to a particular ethnic group is considered an ethnic dance.

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What is ethnic dance?
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Full Answer

Ethnic dance has various subcategories, such as folk dancing. Folk dances are activities that are an intrinsic part of a culture. This includes dances such as the Mexican hat dance or the Argentine tango. It is not just that the dances come from a particular ethnic group but that the dances help to define that group. A dance that originated with a particular ethnic group from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the United States or anywhere else counts as ethnic. However, if it is not popular or well-known, then the dance often does not count as a folk dance.

Dances that are outside of the scope of ethnic dance include ballet and jazz. Any type of dance that is theatrical does not count as ethnic dance because it exists across cultures. Sites like Phantom Ranch argue that even swing dance might count as an ethnic dance because it came out of a certain ethnic tradition at a certain time in history. There are some forms of theatrical dance, such as those from Japan, that are ethnic since they are deeply rooted in ethnicity.

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