Motion is a distinguishing feature between living and non-living things whereas dance is that form of motion which distinguishes a moving body in rhythm from just an unsystematically moving body. There are innumerable types of dances, but all have flexibility and body movement as a common factor. A gross deviation from the standard practice for any dance may be injurious. More currently known styles of dancing include: break dance, krumping, hip-hop, rock, pop and disco. Ballet, ballroom, waltz, tango, Kathak, and bhangra are classical dances. Electric slide and square are step dances. Dancing is perhaps the most prevalent social activity among human beings, plants, animals, flames, and even twinkling stars also seem to be dancing to ambitious eyes and receptive hearts. Beautiful dancers of the 21st century are exquisite expressions of balance and motion.
1. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was born to Katherine Esther Scruse and Joseph Walter ‘Joe’ Jackson in Gary, Indiana, U.S. on August 29, 1958 and died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50 in Los Angles, California, U.S. His birth name was Michael Joseph Jackson, but he is most popularly known as MJ and the King of Pop. His genres include: rock, pop, disco, funk, R&B, and New Jack Swing. He did not have a pleasant relationship with his father. Jackson was, however, highly inspired by James Brown since his childhood and said, ‘And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I had never seen a performer perform like James Brown, and right then and there I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown.’ Jackson earned numerous honors. And listing just a few of them are: His induction onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1980, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009. He is the only pop and rock ‘n’ roll dancer who has been inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame. He has many Guinness World records and Grammy Awards.
2. Britney Spears
Britney Jeans Spears was born to Lynne Irene and James Parnell Spears in McComb, Mississippi, U.S. in 1981. Britney is an international icon of pop, and her very first two albums: ‘Baby One More Time’ and ‘Oops! I Did It Again’ were record hits. The Guinness World Records lists her as ‘The most searched person’ and her albums as the ‘Best-selling album by a teenage solo artist.’ In the first decade of the 21st century, she was the number one, best-selling female artist. Her genres are: pop, teen pop, and dance. She is a professional dancer, singer, artist, and author. She has been starred on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and earned 530 nominations and won 450 awards.
3. Whitney Elizabeth Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born to John Russell Houston and Cissy Houston in Newark, New Jersey, U.S. on August 9, 1963 and died in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. Her genres are: dance, soul, Gospel, pop, and R&B. She has been recorded in the Guinness World Records book as the most-awarded female act of all time. In 1990 she met with President George H. W. Bush in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C. to participate in the Youth Leadership Forum. Houston was found dead in a bathtub on February 11, 2012. Police reported ‘No obvious signs of criminal intent.’
4. Brenda Bufalino
Brenda Bufalino was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts on September 7, 1939. She is considered the number one tap dancer in the world. She started dance training at the early age of six years. She got training in rhythm from Brown’s Show Business School in Boston. She is the founder member of the Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center. She has appeared at world-famous platforms like Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, The Apollo Theater, and the Kennedy Center. She has won many awards and a few of them are: Folbert Award, the Tapestry Award, and National Endowment Fellowship. She developed ‘The Last Rehearsal American Tap Hall’ in 2010. She teaches master’s degree classes and conducts workshops for the Tap Dance Foundation in New York City.
5. Wayne McGregor
Famous for his unique choreographic style on Random Dance, Wayne McGregor was born in Stockport, England in 1970. He received his education in dance from the Jose Limon School in New York and Bretton Hall College at the University of Leeds. In 1992 he founded his company, Wayne McGregor Random Dance. His works include choreographing for high-profile films like Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire. In recognition of his services to dance, he was honored with Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011. Dance Magazine listed him in their ’25 to Watch in 2001.’ Wayne McGregor won numerous awards and a few of them are: Critic Circle National Dance Award, Movimentos Award, South Bank Show Award, Laurence Oliver Award for Best New Dance Production, and he was recognized as Ballet Tanz’s Choreographer of the Year 2009.
6. Gregory Oliver Hines
Gregory Oliver Hines was born in New York City, New York on February 14, 1946 and died in Los Angles, California, U.S. on August 9, 2003 at the age of 57. He was a well-known dancer, choreographer, singer, and actor. He worked for a long time and won many awards some of which are: Black Reel Award, Network/Cable Best Actors-Bojanglesin 2001, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2001, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Special; The Red Sneakers in 2002, and a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program The Red Sneakers in 2002.
7. Peter Gennaro
Peter Gennaro was born in Metairie, Louisiana, U.S. on November 23, 1919 and died in New York City, New York, U.S. on September 28, 2000 at the age of 80. He was a famous dancer and choreographer. His daughter, Liza Gennaro, is also a well-known dancer. Gennaro worked in television for a long time and appeared in numerous memorable shows like Your Hit Parade, The Polly Bergen Show, Judy Garland’s CBS and Kraft Music Hall. In 2002 (two years after his death in 2000), he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
8. Henry LeTang
Henry Le Tang was born to Clarence and Marie LeTang in New York City, New York on June 19, 1915 and died at Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on April 26, 2007 at the age of 91. He was a famous choreographer and dance instructor. Tang liked playing violin in his childhood, and he opened his studio with a piano at the age of 17. He learned from many great dancers and taught many more, and a few of them are: Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Lola Falana, and the Hines Brothers. The Oklahoma City University honored him with the Living Treasure in American Dance Award in 1995 and an Honorary Doctor of Performing Arts in American Dance degree in 2002. He had been teaching the master’s classes in Las Vegas and
9. Leanne Benjamin
Leanne Benjamin, the well-known ballet dancer was born in 1964 in Rockhampton, Australia. In 1983, she joined Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and was promoted to soloist within two years. In 1990 she joined Deutsche Ballet, Berlin followed by her joining the Royal Ballet in 1992 as First Soloist. Leanne Benjamin was trained at the Royal Ballet School. She has won many awards including: Adeline Genee Gold Medal and Prix de Lausanne. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005. She Partnered with Robert Curren as De Giroux in 2008.
10. Misa Kuranaga
Misa Kuranaga was born in 1982 in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.She had been attached with the Boston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Misa Kuranaga got her early education from Hinushi Kaoru Ballet School and received further education from the School of American Ballet in New York City. In 2005 she was a soloist in 2005 and the principal dancer in 2009. She had won a gold medal in the Moscow IBC. She won many awards including a gold medal in the USA International Ballet Competition. She was nominated in the ’25 to Watch’ by Dance Magazine.
Anything that passes the test of time proves its being the fittest according to the theory of the fittest for survival. Dance has evolved in human history in so many variations and among so many cultures and communities that in the world of sports it may be identified as a living fossil. Dancing is indicated in the oldest archeological finds of the Egyptian tomb paintings, Indian Bhimbetka rock shelters, and many other sites. Ancient Greek terracotta figures from 150 -100 B.C. indicate traces of dancing.