Dance Styles Timeline

Dancing is one of the most common forms of expression. Numerous dance styles have evolved over the years and each style has a history behind it. Let's take a look at how dance evolved over the years.
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 BCEIndian Classical Dance
15th CenturyBallet
1600-1750Baroque Dance
Early 16th CenturyCapoeira
Late 16th Century & Early 17th CenturyMasque
1795-1918Vintage Dance
1795-1925Classical Persian Dance
1790-1825Regency Dance
Late 18th CenturyBolero, Flamenco
Mid 1800sTap Dance
1876Cake Walk
1895-1918Animal Dance. Includes:
  • Horse Trot
  • Kangaroo Hop
  • Turkey Trot
  • Duck Waddle
  • Chicken Scratch
  • Grizzly Bear
19th CenturyEnglish Country Dance
Late 19th Century
  • Samba
  • Argentine Tango
  • Modern Dance
  • Acrobatic Dance
  • Black Bottom
  • Jazz Dance
  • Bounce
  • Texas Tommy
  • Foxtrot
1911Texas Swingout
1920sSwing Dance, Balboa
1927Lindy Hop
Early 1930sJive
  • Samba de Gafieira
  • Mambo
  • East Coast Swing. Includes:
    • Boogie Woogie
    • Rock and Roll
    • Modern Jive
    • Jive
    • Collegiate shag
1945Bebop/Bop Dance
1948Line Dance
  • Skanking Dance
  • Hand Jive
  • Contemporary Dance
Early 1960sDetroit Ballroom
  • Swing Dance
  • Locking
  • Popping (Includes: Strobing, Waving, and Tutting)
  • Turfing
1960-1970Liturgical Dance
1967Robot Dancing
  • 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)
1972Contact Improvisation
  • Jacking
  • Voguing
  • Moshing
  • Zouk
Late 1980sMelbourne Shuffle, Leroc
1987Cabbage Patch Dance
1990sMemphis Jookin', Zumba
Early 20th CenturyJitterbug Dance
Mid 20th CenturyContemporary Dance, Rumba
Early 2000sKrumping, Electro Dance
Mid 2000sJerkin', Electro Dance
2003Flash Mob
2008Single Ladies Dance
2012Gangnam 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."