2010’s Decade dance
Emily Sumner explores the past decade dances coming to salient conclusions on our generation and the dance culture we are ratifying
Is the age of the dance dead? Although we are inundated with shows promoting dance, such as Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent or BBC One’s recent success The Greatest Dancer, our generation’s idea of ‘dance culture’ seems to be getting drunk and mindlessly flailing their arms around in a club until the lights come on. Compare this to the organised dances at dance halls in the 50’s, or the disco dancing that everyone loved in the 70’s – it just doesn’t seem the same.
Arguably, we are missing out on a great way for face-to-face interaction through the medium of group dance
Nowadays, we have so many platforms on which to receive dance trends that there is simply too much content out there to encourage everyone to embrace the same thing. In the 80’s, MTV was the main way of viewing music videos, and with almost nowhere else to see them, everyone would have been viewing the same ones at the same time, thus learning the same dances. However, with YouTube, Netflix, TV, and a multitude of other viewing platforms, we cannot keep up with the amount being produced. Therefore, the medium by which popular dance crazes and styles were shared and popularised no longer exists in the same way it did.
Novelty dances such as Gangnam Style, Twerking or the Cha Cha Slide are all that we see today as true ‘dance’ crazes in a public setting. Yet, despite Strictly remaining a hugely popular programme, with more than 8 million people tuning in to watch the new 2019 series, how often do you really see your friends practicing their ballroom or their salsa? In the past, whole towns would gather in communal dances to socialize. They would drink, eat and make merry together whilst bands played and they enjoyed their square-dancing or polka. This used to be a great way to meet people and catch up with friends, but without this, we get sucked into the modern way of socialising, through technology.
We might just have forgotten how to dance
It seems unfortunate and sad that such a sociable event has come to a close. Arguably, we are missing out on a great way for face-to-face interaction through the medium of group dance, whilst we substitute it for screen time and scrolling thoughtlessly through our phones. However, with the rise of fitness through dance such as Zumba, we are seeing a different type of craze enticing our generation into group dance participation. Promoting exercise and wellbeing through something as fun as dancing is harmless and enjoyable, proving that there may be other ways in which dance pulls through in our generation.
Nevertheless, on the whole we seem to have lost our ability to let loose and forget our inhibitions, as a result, we might just have forgotten how to dance.