In a communications course I took as a freshmen, my professor told us that scientists cannot figure out why do we actually dance. It is something that is not understood and has been practiced and performed in different cultures throughout history. It also changes our understanding and connects us. It inspires, entertains, and is performed globally.
Pop singers and performers are idolized for their ability to dance and sing live. Amazing performers like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, etc. use their choreographed dances in tours, music videos, and are able to become more powerful household names. There is always something extra attractive about these kind of performances, that I believe they sometimes do not get as much credit as they should for them. It is hard to sing live and dance at the same time but they are able to do this easily in front of millions. I guess most of these artists get criticized for their singing abilities a lot of times, because sometimes the critics feel that these artists are “made” into what they are. Everything is set up for them, even the concept for the dances is made by a team of experts and the artist a lot of times only follows what the company tells her or him to do.
However, when a dance is easy enough to be learned by the public, it changes everything. The popularity of the Macarena soared in the 90’s. No one can forget about that in their childhood. It was a global phenomenon, no matter what country one went to the people there were dancing it and knew it. It was simple and catchy. The same can be said about the 2012 hit Gangnam Style. The “horse” dance was also very popular every where around the world, giving Kpop or Korean Pop real exposure in the West and the rest of the world. However, many argue that Psy is known as the Asian guy to Americans and are essentially making fun of him and not taking his music seriously.
THe highly successful show “Dancing with the Stars”, has been emulated around the world in different versions, such as the UK, Lebanon, Korea,etc. These have all made people the more interested in dance. Also, there was America’s Best Dance Crew, and many more rising talents through these reality shows, showing average individuals dancing and trying to reach the success of the artists mentioned above and become established.
With the help of the internet the rate of the popularity of these performances and dances being passed down from country to country is immense. Gangnam Style became known because of of the internet. When it went viral, it broke into the U.S. market, something that was not planned by Psy or his entertainment company YG Entertainment.
So what is it that always makes these dances popular? Is it the silliness of the movements and the simplicity matched with a happy tune? Or are there other more artistic kind of dances that individuals enjoy to watch, but not necessarily try to copy? The answer to all of these questions do not matter anymore, or to be more precise, the different dancing techniques and styles will always have a market no matter what. Why you ask, because the internet has made it so easy that anyone with a basic web camera and internet can do anything. For example the Harlem Shake that went viral this year was started by five teenagers from Australia.
Thousands of videos have been made by different individuals to emulate this dance all over the internet.
Dancing is also used to touch indiviuals from around the world, without the need to learn all different languages. This is depicted in” Britain’s Got Talent” auditions. A Hungarian dancing group called “Attraction” showed this brilliantly. Nowadays dancing is not only a method of expressing one self, it is also a story telling method that touches individuals around the world. It bridges gaps, and thanks to the internet it is a lot easier to share, emulate, and recreate it.