History is something that is so interesting to study. Learning about the origins of things really make us appreciate what we have in the present. Today, we see the art of ballroom dancing as fascinating as it could be, and it is clear that ballroom dancers really took the time to master their craft.
Time did allow ballroom dancing to evolve, and it now has different genres and variants. In fact, you’re here because you are wondering as to where it all came from. Luckily, you’ve found the right article! Here, we would answer where did ballroom dancing originated and how it all started.
Where Did Ballroom Dancing Originated?
In all honesty, it is rather surprising how diverse the scope of ballroom dancing is. Needless to say, folks do often say that everything has its own humble beginnings. And here, we are going to talk about the humble beginnings of ballroom dancing.
First of all, the etymology of ballroom dancing came from the Latin word ballare, which means to dance. Let us take a closer look at how it came to be through this timeline.
- 16th Century England
Originally, people from England would use ballroom dance to express love, courtships, exercises, beliefs, traditions, and even religions. Those were the foundations of ballroom dancing back in the 16th century. Later on, the audiences were divided into two: the not-so-privileged people or the commoners, and the aristocrats and royalties.
Ballroom dancing during this century was just limited to galliarde, pavane, and livelier brande. They were even popularized by Shakespeare in his famous stage dramas. People from today might not be familiar with it, but that’s where it started.
Apparently, Shakespeare is not the only one who made this popular across Europe. Even King Louis XIV has his own part in that he really loved the arrival of Minuet. In fact, he even danced to the rhythm of it.
So much of passion, he built a special school for dancing called Academie Royale de Musique et de Danse. This school became the home of great professionals. They have developed new steps just to please King Louis XIV. The dance, later on, became popular as ballet.
- 18th Century England
During this time, and for some obvious reasons, the passion for dancing just spread out like a contagious disease with no cure. By this time, everyone is in love with dancing, but not everyone loves the way it was being done.
Conservative people from the aristocrats and royalties complained about the involvement of physical touch. This is the very reason why ballroom dances such as polka, schottische, and mazurka were made.
Hence, we should thank all those conservative people, then. It is because of them that we get to choose from different genres of ballroom dancing now.
- 20th Century Revolution across America
Welcome to the 20th century where both the revolution and evolution became evident! People from the lower and middle class fought for their passion. They did things on their own even if aristocrats and royalties would sometime limit them!
Yup! By this time, dances are no longer that slow. In fact, dances were done with full energy, fast motions, and a bunch of independent moves.
The ballroom dances became so famous that even neighboring countries have managed to add their own cultural touch to it. Cuba has its own cha-cha; Brazil has samba; Latin America has tango; America has the American swing! These dances may be completely different from those from the 16th century, but they still do give a great impact for dancing enthusiasts.
- 21st Century Worldwide
This was the century when ballroom dancing became a sport too. That’s right! People wanted to be recognized for their hard efforts, which is why competitions and organizations were built.
Competition is healthy. Ballroom dancing did not inject the sense of envy as to who may be the best, but the dancesport allowed dancers to be not just contented with their skills but be driven enough to learn more and do better.
The Legacy of Dancing
Ballroom dancing has been through a long journey. Who would have ever thought that the dances intended for religious ceremonies or cultural traditions would be the reason why people today are enjoying. We owe it big time to those who made their contributions in popularizing it. Without them, and without their passion, there will be no ballroom dancing today.
Ballroom dancing made it possible for countries to have their national identity. Just by hearing the music beat, you’ll easily know if it’s waltz, polka, cha-cha, Samba, American swing, tango, or rumba. A tourist or even an avid learner can easily tell which country is associated with that beat and ballroom dance style.
Ballroom dancing also did give a lot of opportunities over time. We are not just talking about the opportunities to develop new sets of skills and talents, but we are also talking about the fact that ballroom dancing is a job and income generator.
Thanks to ballroom dancing, dance instructors can prove that there’s money in doing what they love. Thanks to ballroom dancing, lessors earn just by allowing people to create their own dance studios in their space. Thanks to ballroom dancing, cleaners would have jobs as they clean the dance studio after it used.
Ballroom dancing did not only contribute to the economy. It also gave people that sense of achievement they are longing for. Imagine all the time and devotion people gave just to master ballroom dancing; they sacrificed a lot with the hope of being recognized. And now, it is clear that their hard work has paid off.
Now that we know where did ballroom dancing originated and how rich its history is, we believe that it is safe to say that it would continue to live on no matter what. With creativity and dedication, we can expect more genres to be developed in the years to come.
Ballroom dancing will continue to inspire those who are now engaged with it never to stop and those who have never done it before to try and try until they have found the ballroom dancing genre for them.