Dance the night away!
Most of us love a good boogie on the dance floor, even if we don’t like to admit it! From house parties to weddings, from weekend festivals to grand ballrooms, dancing helps us express our emotions, release energy and have a really good time.
And like any form of artistic expression, different cultures have put their own spin on it, from the celebratory to the ritualistic. This leads to unique practices and forms arising all over the world. If travelling this year, put your dancing shoes on and get involved!
The Flexicover Team taps into some great regional dances.
Hula; Hawaii, USA
This uniquely famous Hawaiian dance is fantastic and extremely prominent at festivals, bars and restaurants across the islands. The dance has a long history in Hawaiian culture, with variations depending on the purpose of the dance be it to entertain royalty or for a family feast. Traditional hula (hula kahiko) is often considered to be a religious performance to a local deity, eschews modern instruments and is performed in more revealing costumes than modern hula (hula ‘auana). Whatever the form - it’s a great dance to partake in when touring this tropical archipelago. And August is a great time to visit if you’re looking for some sunshine!
Irish stepdance; Ireland
The Irish stepdance is a form which has its roots in traditional Irish dancing and involves intricate, rapid leg movements whilst holding the rest of the body stiff. Whilst Michael Flatley and his Riverdance may make it look impossible for novices, there are many styles that can be performed at varying levels of competencies, all the way up its very own World Championship! This graceful dance has a major showcase on St Patrick’s Day and at Irish festivals the world over. If you’re in Ireland this year, watch out for stepdancing outside many pubs, throw off your inhibitions and enjoy!
Known for its colourful nature and passion, flamenco is an Andalusian art and musical form incorporating many Romani stylistic elements. The form covers various components such as the song (cante), the dance (baile), guitar playing (toque) and clapping (palmas). Flamenco mixes percussive music with intricate and florid hand and body movements to convey the message of the piece. In 2010 UNESCO even assigned it the status of a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity! Flamenco is gaining in popularity all over the world, and if you’re holidaying in southern Spain, it’s great to join in, even if you think you have two left feet!
Haka; New Zealand
Traditionally this chest beating, foot stomping and chanting dance was a war cry performed before battles by Maori warriors to put fear into their enemies and invoke their gods of war. Now most people are familiar with the haka in the context of New Zealand sports teams, particularly used by the All Blacks national rugby team before the start of each game! Over the years the haka in its various forms has become a national expression and helps cement New Zealand’s identity the world over, distinguishing it from its more prominent neighbour, Australia!
The samba is not just a dance in Brazil; it has become a symbol of the Brazilian people and fully ingrained in their cultural expression! With its distinct and energetic rhythms, this dance of celebration is performed as a major component of Brazilian festivals, particularly the massive Rio Carnival. And when accompanied by its attendant music, art, street-food and elaborate costuming, it becomes a huge spectacle and a real treat for all the senses! When visiting Brazil, try it out; a samba partner is never far away!
Whichever dance you are lucky enough to try this year,
Flexicover, the travel insurance specialists are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.