History of Dance
  • Argentine Tango - Originating at the ending of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.
  • Ballet - Ballet evolved from the courts of Renaissance Italy to the revival of interest in the 1960s.
  • Breakdance - Originated in New York predominantly amongst members of the African American community.
  • Cha Cha - Cha Cha is an offshoot of the Mambo.
  • Clogging - clog dancing or clogging, as it is sometimes known, takes its origins from square dancing. This is not where or how clogging began however.
  • Disco - Most Disco dances have strong roots in Swing, Samba, Cha Cha, Mambo, Merengue, Fox Trot and Tango.
  • Foxtrot - The Foxtrot originated in the summer of 1914 by Vaudeville actor Harry Fox.
  • Hip Hop - The first mention of hip hop dance dates back to the 70's when some new moves were introduced to the dance world to accompany the funky sounds of hip hop music that was also being discovered.
  • Hula and Tahitian Dance - Today, there are many different variations of the original hula dance but all have the roots grounded to some extent or another in the original hula dance created centuries ago.
  • Hustle - The Hustle started in the Big Apple.
  • Irish Dancing - There are many different styles of Irish dancing but for those who are only familiar with Riverdance and others, there is no question that this style of Irish step dancing is mesmerizing.
  • Jazz - Only one kind of music suited this generation - jazz, the vehicle for dancing the fox-trot, shimmy, rag, Charleston, black bottom, and various other steps of the period.
  • Jive - is a ballroom dance style that originated in the United States from African-Americans in the 1940s. Jive was influenced by the Boogie, Rock & Roll, African/American Swing and Lindy Hop.
  • Lindy Hop- evolved in the streets of Harlem and was developed as an African American ballroom dance considered to be the father of all Swing dances. Named for Charles Lindberg's flight to Paris in 1927.
  • Mambo - The Mambo dance originated in Cuba where there were substantial settlements of Haitians.
  • Merengue - Merengue has existed since the early years of the Dominican Republic (in Haiti, a similar dance is called the Meringue or Mereng)
  • Paso Doble - is one of the liveliest ballroom dances, originating in southern France and began gaining popularity in the United States in the 1930s.
  • Polka - Bohemian historians believe that the polka was invented by a peasant girl (Anna Slezak, in Labska Tynice in 1834) one Sunday for her amusement.
  • Quickstep- is a quick version of the Foxtrot. The Quickstep was developed in the 1920s in England.
  • Rumba - There are two sources of the dances: one Spanish and the other African. Although the main growth was in Cuba, there were similar dance developments which took place in other Caribbean islands and in Latin America.
  • Salsa - Salsa is a distillation of many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances. Each played a large part in its evolution.
  • Samba - The Samba originated in Brazil. It was and is danced as a festival dance during the street festivals and celebrations.
  • Swing - The history of swing dates back to the 1920's, where the black community, while dancing to contemporary Jazz music, discovered the Charleston and the Lindy Hop.
  • Tango - Originating in Spain or Morocco, the Tango was introduced to the New World by the Spanish settlers, eventually coming back to Spain with Black and Creole influences.
  • Twist - The song "The Twist" was written by Hank Ballard in 1959.
  • Viennese Waltz - The first record of a dance to 3/4 rhythm is a peasant dance of the Provence area of France in 1559, as a piece of folk music called the Volta.
  • Waltz - Waltz: a dance born in the suburbs of Vienna and in the alpine region of Austria.
  • Western - Modern western dance is part of this global language and its roots run wide and deep. They can be traced to the taverns of Ireland and to the ballrooms of Europe, to the Czarist palaces of Russia and further back still to the fluid tribal rituals of Africa.

Daily Tips

Dancing is a fun activity & it is great for your heart.

Mission Statement

SCOI's mission is to help in the fight against obesity and chronic illness by encouraging Arkansans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health.

SCOI envisions Let’s Dance 2 Health Day recognized and supported statewide for its value in bringing awareness to physical activity and healthier lifestyles for Arkansans.

SCOI’s goal is to increase the percentage of Arkansans of all ages who engage in Let’s Dance 2 Health Day and its’ opportunities for exposure to the arts, physical activity & health benefits.

S5 Box