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From an analysis of the many different types of dances that were performed and practiced by the students in the class, it is clear and apparent that there is much more to “African dance” than just a simplistic set of movements of emotions expressed through movement. As the teacher of this class noted, the African cultures from whence these dances originally came tended to use dance as an outlet to express human emotions that otherwise would not be reflected within the tribe or group themselves. Within such an understanding, the highly physical and emotionally charged dances allow the participant, as well as the viewer, to note how dance was and is used as a means of greater personal expression within the African culture as compared to the manner through which it is employed in so many other cultures around the globe. Although true that African dance fulfills the traditional requirement of providing a forum/platform for courtship and sexual energy to be represented, the way in which the culture represented history, told stories, staged miniature exhibitions, and celebrated religious festivals or even funerals are all uniquely tied to the many types of cultural dances that are represented under the umbrella term “African dance”.
Another element beyond the scope of these dances and the sheer physicality involved that should be noted is with respect to the fact that the focus of the dance is not on the individual; instead, the invariably focus on the community. Evidence of this can of course be seen due to the fact that there is no clear differential between the “audience” and the “dancer(s)”; as either one can become the other at almost any point during the dance. This is of course a culturally distinct element of African dancing that is not represented in many other forms of dance represented throughout the globe. With all
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