Dance is a part of almost every society and culture in the world, and is believed to have been performed by ancient man. Rock paintings in India dating back to 7,000 B.C.E. depict dancing. The Ancient Egyptians depicted dance in artwork in tombs as long as 5,300 years ago, and danced at funerals as an expression of the mourners' grief. The Kandyan dances are among the early ritual dances, and originated about 600 B.C.E. from a magic ritual. The Ancient Greeks performed ritual dances to the god Dionysius, in which the dancers were frenzied and often intoxicated. Ritual dances have been used to honor deities, to prepare for battle, and to enter trance states. The Ancient Greek dance the Choros was the centerpiece of Greek theater in the 600's B.C.E.
Dance is the movement of the body to rhythm or music, and is one of the fine arts. Dance encompasses everything from high art like ballet, to social dances such as square dancing and ballroom dancing, to hip hop. Dance is a natural expression of human emotions and can indeed alter our emotional and physical states. Rhythm is one of the key elements of music and also one of the key elements of dance, and while both may exist without the other, music and dance are and always have been inextricably entwined. Dance has been of great significance not only as an art, but as a social function. When music styles change, new dance styles are frequently invented to accompany them.
Dance has a long and interesting history, and is constantly evolving and still ubiquitous in pop culture--as evidenced by the popularity of dance movies and television. In fact, ballroom dancing has resurged in popularity due in part to Dancing With the Stars. Ballet is perhaps the most popular of choreographed dances. The first dramatic ballet was presented in 1581. In 1653, a young Louis the XIV performed in a court ballet, and was so enamored with the form that he established a royal dancing academy in 1661. In the late 1800's Tchaikovsky-scored ballets including the Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty were introduced, and remain staples of the ballet world. The foxtrot, considered part of ballroom dancing, exploded in popularity in 1913. Rock and roll changed the face of dance forever, as documented on shows like Soul Train. In 1971 hip-hop was introduced as a form of dance.