14 Ways to Dance Around the World

From Bollywood to ballet, get ready for a whirlwind tour of some of the most iconic dance styles in the world.
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India: Bollywood

The final scene of the movie Slumdog Millionaire made this Indian dance style popular in the US. But it’s just a regular day in the life of Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit-Nene. She’s seen here performing at the International Indian Film Academy Awards.

Brazil: Samba

If you can’t move your hips, then you might want to watch and learn how to samba from the pros. Thousands of participants dance to the rhythm of Carnival beats during the Mangueira samba school’s colorful parade at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro.

China: Dragon Dance

Ring in the new year right — the Chinese way! In Beijing, Chinese artists perform a dragon dance at a local amusement park during celebrations for the Lunar New Year.

Cuba: Salsa

It’s the perfect time to brush up on your salsa dancing now that Cuba is becoming a hot travel destination.

Russia: Ballet

These Russian ballet dancers practice in a studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ballet developed as popular courtly entertainment during the Italian Renaissance and then as a world-renowned fine art in 20th-century Russia and America.

Switzerland: Traditional Folk Dance

Sometimes it’s OK to keep it traditional, as this couple does at the Ballenberg, an open-air museum in Brienz, Switzerland, that gives insight into the history of the country’s farming culture.

Argentina: Tango

Tango is a sensual partner dance that originated in Argentina. It is now performed as part of ballroom dance competitions around the world, but this couple is keeping it local on a street in Buenos Aires’ La Boca neighborhood.

Japanese: Kabuki

Kabuki, a classical Japanese dance drama, originated in Kyoto more than 400 years ago. In this photo, villagers perform Kabuki for farmers in Hinoemata, Japan, where residents have been performing the art for 200 years.

Austria: Viennese Waltz

The Viennese waltz was actually the first form of the waltz, a smooth ballroom and folk dance. It was originally the peasants’ dance but eventually gained acceptance in European high society. In this photo, young couples waltz at the traditional Opera Ball in Vienna.

Paraguay: Traditional Dance

Dance is another way to explore and gain some insight into the indigenous customs and cultures of a destination. Here, Maka natives dance during festivities marking American Indigenous People Day in Mariano Roque Alonso, a city 12 miles north of Asuncion, Paraguay.

United States: Contemporary Dance

Contemporary dance is often thought to be related to ballet and other concert dance styles, but it actually borrows from classical, modern and jazz dance. This dance form is characterized by unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed and direction.

Middle East: Belly Dance

The term “belly dance” comes from the French phrase dance du ventre, which translates as “dance of the stomach,” but the moves themselves arose from various dancing styles performed in the Middle East and North Africa.

New York City: Broadway

It’s all about jazz hands in New York, where Broadway musicals require performers to learn various dance styles. And even the world-renowned Rockettes have to practice to make sure their precise choreography is executed correctly for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

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