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From medieval to contemporary dance forms, every style has its own meaning and reason of origination. Dance is regarded as the best stress reliever and also helps in keeping one's health and fitness in check. For centuries, people around the globe have expressed themselves through dance, where the practice still continues, today. Let us have a look at a list of all the dance forms that existed and still does.

Timeline of Dance Styles

Dance Styles of all time
400 BCE Indian Classical Dance
15th Century Ballet
1600-1750 Baroque Dance
Early 16th Century Capoeira
Late 16th Century & Early 17th Century Masque
1795-1918 Vintage Dance
1795-1925 Classical Persian Dance
1790-1825 Regency Dance
Late 18th Century Bolero, Flamenco
Mid 1800s Tap Dance
1876 Cake Walk
1890s Tango
1892 Calypso
1895-1918 Animal Dance. Includes:
  • Horse Trot
  • Kangaroo Hop
  • Turkey Trot
  • Duck Waddle
  • Chicken Scratch
  • Grizzly Bear
1898 Merengue
19th Century English Country Dance
Late 19th Century
  • Samba
  • Argentine Tango
  • Modern Dance
1900s
  • Acrobatic Dance
  • Black Bottom
  • Jazz Dance
  • Bounce
1910s
  • Texas Tommy
  • Foxtrot
1911 Texas Swingout
1920s Swing Dance, Balboa
1926 Charleston
1927 Lindy Hop
Early 1930s Jive
1930s Moonwalk
1940s
  • Samba de Gafieira
  • Mambo
  • East Coast Swing. Includes:
    • Boogie Woogie
    • Rock and Roll
    • Modern Jive
    • Jive
    • Collegiate shag
1945 Bebop/Bop Dance
1948 Line Dance
1950s
  • Skanking Dance
  • Hand Jive
  • Contemporary Dance
1953 Cha-cha
Early 1960s Detroit Ballroom
1960s
  • Swing Dance
  • Locking
  • Popping (Includes: Strobing, Waving, and Tutting)
  • Turfing
1960-1970 Liturgical Dance
1967 Robot Dancing
1970s
  • Salsa
  • Chicago Stepping
  • B-boying
  • Crip Walk/Clown Walk
  • Electric Boogaloo
  • Hip Hop Dance
  • Liquid and Digits
  • Disco Dance (Includes: House Dance, Waacking, and Hustle)
1972 Contact Improvisation
1980s
  • Jacking
  • Voguing
  • Moshing
  • Zouk
Late 1980s Melbourne Shuffle, Leroc
1982 Twerking
1987 Cabbage Patch Dance
1990s Memphis Jookin', Zumba
1997 Jumpstyle
Early 20th Century Jitterbug Dance
Mid 20th Century Contemporary Dance, Rumba
Early 2000s Krumping, Electro Dance
Mid 2000s Jerkin', Electro Dance
2003 Flash Mob
2008 Single Ladies Dance
2012 Gangnam Style

Each decade injects a completely different influence to these dance styles. In tandem with these, the types of music one dances to, also undergoes a radical evolution. For instance, the dance styles of the 1920s and 1930s were more or less marked by simplicity and groovy moves like the Lindy Hop, Jive, and Moonwalk. In the 1980s and 1990s the influence is derived from pop culture and street dancing.

One can often see strong, exotic influences in some styles. For instance, most Brazilian styles incorporate African rhythms and influences similar to America's improvisation of many Latin dances. Indeed, it would not be untrue to state that the dance styles of each decade reflect the overall feel of that time, which encompasses a collective influence of arts, economy, societal norms, and culture peculiar to that decade. This fact is famously quoted by Kristy Nilsson as, "Dancing is the world's favorite metaphor."