African Dance Types
African dance mainly refers to the dance forms of ‘Sub Saharan Africa’ and is performed mainly by different indigenous tribes. Each dance type is distinctly different from the other because of cultural differences in melodic and movement styles. Most of the African dance forms exhibit the social pattern prevalent among local tribes. These dance forms depict the life forms of the community more than that of individuals or couples. Almost all African dances are accompanied by constant rhythmic music that typically includes the constant beating of different types of drums, vocals and stomping of the feet. Some of the most popular African dance types include “dances of love”, “warrior dance”, “coming of age dances”, “dances of possession and summoning”, “dances of welcome”, etc. If you are fascinated by these out of the ordinary dance forms of Africa, steer through the next segment to learn more about the different African dance types.
Types Of African Dance
Summoning And Possession Dance
Summoning and possession are the most common and popular forms of African folk dance. Most of the indigenous tribes perform this dance for “calling a spirit.” These “spirits” are worshiped by many tribes. Some tribes also perform this dance type during the time of war or a drought in the belief that this will bring them good fortune.
The warrior dance is a typical African dance form that is a fusion of warfare movements and artistic movements of the body. This dance form consists of many aggressive movements like “stabbing” with drum beats.
Coming Of Age Dance
This dance form is meant to celebrate the coming of age of a young person. “Coming of age” is an important ritual in many African tribes.
The welcome dance is performed to greet guests. This dance is meant to exhibit the tribe’s culture as well as to express the feelings and happiness of the tribe due to the arrival of the guests.
The love dance is also known as the celebration dance. This type of dance is performed to celebrate different festivals and happy events like weddings, tribal rituals and anniversaries. Trained dancers perform this dance in front of other tribal members.
Other African Dance Types
This is a popular dance form from Nigeria and the Western African regions. In this dance form, "The Beaded Gourd Rattle" called ‘Shekere’ in the native language, is thrown in the air to indicate the rhythm changes.
This dance form is performed with a horse’s tail at the time of funerals. This dance form also has its origin in Western Africa.
Adumu is the traditional folk dance of the Masai tribes.
This is another popular African folk dance that is performed by the ‘Ga’ ethnic group of Ghana. The dance is accompanied by a special drum known as ‘Kpanlogo’.
This is also known as the shaking dance as this dance form includes rigorous movements of the abdominal area of the body. This dance form is commonly seen in the Xhosa tribe of South Africa.
Indlamu dance is popularly known as African Zulu dance. The dance form is practiced by the Zulu tribes of South Africa. The dance is also known as Zulu war dance and is one of the main attractions of a Zulu wedding. In this dance form, the dancers lift their legs to the height of their head and bang them down hard against the ground.