Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Dancing Charms

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The human spirit was born to move and sway to the beat of music. The inner dancer in all of us takes a variety of forms. Some prefer the sultry movements of the salsa, while others like a more graceful approach in ballet. However you choose to express yourself, make sure you do it with one of our dancing charms on your wrist while you’re grooving to your favourite tunes.

The history of dancing most likely started as a purely ritual exercise and evolved into the offshoots we see today, which are too numerous to count. Dance has been used in religious ceremonies, theatre and unspoken communication. There’s something primal about it that allows it to be used by any human being, whether or not they have any experience with dance. It’s instinctive.

Paintings as far back as 7000 BC have depicted ancient cultures drinking and dancing in celebration, most notably those found in India’s cave systems. The Egyptians used it in religious rituals. The Greeks used it as a form of entertainment and leisure. Many societies used dance as a means of courtship and seduction. The history of dance is far spread across the sands of time and continues to be a wonderful form of self-expression today.

We’ve attempted to capture the undying spirit of dance in our dancing charms collection. Let’s take a look at some of the history behind the different types of dance and significance of well-recognized symbols associated with it.

  • Ballet Slippers When it comes to professional dance, ballet is held in the highest esteem. The lithe, bending bodies of the dancers make even the most practised yogi envious. The origins of ballet date back to the 15th century Renaissance period. Catherine de Medici, the wife of King Henry II, introduced formal dances into the French courts. The style of ballet started out as a simple series of steps, but King Louis XIV refined it into an art form. The first ballet troupe in Paris opened in 1661, and the rest is history.

  • Hula Dancer Hula is an ancient dance form that commonly uses a combination of hand gestures, rhythmic movements and chants. The oldest form is called “kahiko” and originated in Hawaii. The legend of hula takes various forms, typically with an ancient Hawaiian goddess giving birth to the dance or beginning the dance herself. Hula was at one time banned by Christian missionaries who convinced converted Hawaiian royalty that the dance was heathen. Much like many other banned art forms, hula soon made its comeback. Present day sees both a traditional and modern version of the dance; hula is still considered a sacred heritage of native Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures.

  • The Limbo Limbo is the dance that is always about competition – the last person left wins the limbo round. Competitors must bend ever lower as the bar is brought closer and closer to the ground, forcing spines to twist in ways few thought imaginable. It’s hard to believe that this popular dance was once used as a traditional ceremony at a wake in Trinidad and Tobago. At funerals, rather than lowering the bar each round, the bar would go higher, symbolizing a graduation from death to new life. Entertainment troupes hijacked this ritual dance and popularized it with the song “Limbo Rock,” sung by Chubby Checker, in the year 1962.

  • Belly Dancer You must have an enormous amount of control over your body to be an expert belly dancer. Most commonly associated with gyrating movements centred at the waist that are controlled by the hips, belly dancing dates back to eras from long ago in the Middle East. Belly dancing can be used for performance or as a social dance. Countries like Egypt, Turkey and other regions of the Middle East. Though it is frowned upon in today’s Middle Eastern culture because of the open display of the female body, harems in ancient times would often have belly dancers readily available. The modern day version of belly dancing is highly stylized and has its roots more in social dancing than in performance art.

Whether you are merely an observer or an avid performer, dancing is a joyful experience that everyone should have at some point in their lives. There are dances for all ages and cultures; it’s simply a matter of choosing one to express yourself with, or you can simply enjoy learning a new dance for fun. You can check out more of our dancing charms on our website.

Dancing Charms

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