Folk Dance, recreational or ceremonial dance performed usually by members of the community to which the dance is traditional. Varying criteria have been used to differentiate folk dance from other kinds of dance: For example, the dancers are said to belong to a certain economic level or come from certain locales; the steps are simple and repeated, so that any member of the community can participate; the dances require no audience; and they are passed down through many generations. Each of these criteria can be contradicted by dances that are indisputably folk dances, and in each of these criteria, folk dance overlaps with other kinds of dance.

I remember when I was in school I was in a folk group where we would dance at concerts and performed at school’s events. I loved it and we would move in time with the rhythms to the drummers beat.
Folk dance in its first existence is an integral part of community activities. The dances are learned by individuals as they grow up in the society. Each dance is a living form that changes over time. Folk dance in its second existence refers to dances that have been removed from their original context. No longer performed as part of communal life, they are danced in other contexts, either for recreation (perhaps in folk dance clubs in cities or in foreign countries) or as stage adaptations to entertain an audience. Not learned by the dancers as they grow up, the dances must often be taught through formal instruction. At this point in their existence, they may cease to change or develop variations–unlike the folk dances that flourish within a community. Because folk dancing is found throughout the world, and because it can be so broadly defined, it occurs with great variations in style and with many different floor patterns. Costumes and accessories also create various effects in the dances, and dancers sometimes contribute to their own musical accompaniment. In this diversity, some generalizations can be made, and every generalization probably has exceptions
Because most folk dances are meant for general participation, they tend to contain fairly simple movements composed of short phrases or patterns that are repeated many times. The dances of most societies, however, range from the simple to the highly complex. In European and European-derived dances in the western hemisphere and elsewhere, step patterns are emphasized, with little special movement given to the upper body. In Asia, Africa, and Oceania, dance movements involve more parts of the body or, sometimes, mainly the arms. Men\'s and women\'s movements are usually different: Men may stamp vigorously and execute spectacular leaps, as in the Norwegian halling and the Caucasian lezghinka. Women\'s styles are generally less energetic, calling for graceful movement, with smaller steps, and with fewer (and lower) jumps and kicks. Sometimes, however, as in American square dancing, men and women dance in the same style.







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