Classification of Dances and Examples

There are lots of dance styles and categories. Each style has its music and set of skills. Most of the dancers take dancing classes and keep learning until they get older.

Types of Dance

Most people don’t even think about categorizing the different dance styles out there as the list is too long and everchanging.

Nevertheless, we tried to cover major classes of dance under the below classifications based on difficulties to master (which seem the most logical way to classify dancing)

  • Expert 
    • Ballet
    • Contemporary 
    • Modern
  • Medium
    • Hip-Hop 
    • Concert 
  • Easy
    • Lyrical
    • Line Dancing  
    • Tap
    • Jazz


  • Ballet
  • Ballet

    It is the first dance that a dance class student learns. It is the most technical and famous among all dances. Ballet dance originated in Italy in the 15th century, and in no time, ballet dance gain popularity in Russia and France. It has gained immense popularity, so techniques used in ballet dance were also found in other dance styles as well. It remains as a cultural dance for many centuries around the world. 

    It is the most difficult style of dance to master. During ballet dance classes, students have to wear ballet shoes. Ballet is considered to be the best teaching and learning tool for teachers and students. It is a mixture of musicality, coordination, and technique. 

  • Tap
  • Tap Dancing

    Along with some other popular dances around the world, tap dance is considered to be the most unusual dance. It is a different dance style, and instead of focusing on a partner and body movements, it focuses on the creation of percussion-like music and then striking feet to the floor following the dancing music. 

    In this dance, dancers use their feet as percussive instruments. Tap shoes are designed with percussive metal plates on the heel and toe of a shoe called tap. There are lots of styles of tap dance, but the two major styles are Broadway tap and Rhythm tap. Broadway tap is mostly movement-oriented while the rhythm tap is musically driven. 

  • Jazz
  • It is the most common and popular type of dance among dancers. It is the most energetic dance style without boundaries. Dancers perform this dance for fun. Jazz dance is paired with hip-hop and upbeat music. Dancers who perform jazz dance have lots of unique moves, leaps, and turns. Jazz dancers usually have quick footsteps. 


    Jazz dance is mainly influenced by tap, hip-hop, modern, and ballet styles. Dancers use jazz shoes that contain leather split sole, which allows more freedom to foot to move and bend easily. Upbeat music and cool choreography make it a popular dance style. 

  • Modern Dancing
  • It is a movement style dance, and it was originated as a reaction against the ballet dance. In the late 19th and early 20th century, modern dance becomes freestyle dance and includes elements of release technique, performance art, contact improvisation, and improvisation. This dance shows the relationship of the dancer to the floor, release and movement, and dancer’s breath. 


    Unlike tap and ballet dance, the modern dance allows ease to the dancers to choose shoes that protect from the floor and freedom to feet. Although modern dance was originated against the classical ballet dance, still, both these dances are linked in the complexity of musicality, technique, and coordination. 

  • Contemporary Dancing
  • This dance originated in the mid 20th century as an alternative to ballet, jazz, and modern dance styles. It is a highly complicated dance style. Contemporary dance style focuses on free leg movement, disordered choreography, and improvisation. It also focuses on strong stress on the torso, multiple and simultaneous actions, non-standardized sets and costumes, lighting, and unpredictability. All these factors have made this dance as a modern dance style. 

    Contemporary Dancing

    Contemporary uses the techniques of ballet as fundamentals and creates many other movements that don’t contradict the rules of modern and ballet dance. It is categorized into two different categories, such as contemporary jazz and contemporary ballet. This dance can be practiced in non-traditional costumes and on all types of music. Contemporary dancers mostly wear lyrical shoes or no shoes at all. 

  • Concert 
  • Concert dance is also known as a stage dance. It is performed for a specific audience. It is performed in organized gathering or at the theatre on the presence of set music.

    Concert Dancing

    It is opposite to the social and participation dances. In this dance style, participants can’t dance according to their wishes. Currently, the most famous concert dances use a variety of dances like tap dancing, ballet, modern, and acrobatic dance. 

  • Hip-Hop
  • It is also known as a street dance. Hip-hop is the raw and edgy urban-type dance style. It is mostly performed on rap, urban, and hip-hop music. In hip-hop dance, dancers usually wear high-top dance sneakers.

    Hip Hop

    What makes it unique and different from others is its original street dance freestyle. In this freestyle dance, you don’t have to follow predefined choreography. Hip-hop dancers can interpret the dance in any way and have freedom of personal expression. This independence makes it an exciting and innovative dance style. 

  • Lyrical
  • Basis of lyrical dance was formed by merging ballet, jazz, and modern dance. In this dance, with the help of movements, dancers convey their emotions and feelings.

    Dancers perform this on popular songs that mainly emphasis on grief, love, and despair. Dancers use lyrical shoes, and shoes allow them to feel comfortable while touching the floor as much as possible. However, it is essential to learn proper dance techniques; but still, it is the best dance style to express your emotions through dance moves. 

  • Line Dancing  
  • It is a type of social dance, and it involves the sequence of repeated steps. Line dancing is associated with country-western music. This dance is performed in a straight line, follow the leader, or in a circular pattern. Line dancing is a solo dance.  No restriction of shoes in this dance. Men and women decide according to their wishes. Mostly men wear cowboy boots, and women prefer heels for this dance. Most of the women prefer to wear Cuban heel as it provides excellent support and perfect heel height for any age. 

    These are our general classifications of dance. There are lots of sub-categories as well which we might consider covering.

    Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
    Author: Sky Hoon
    Into Watching Tik Tok Dancing. He loved to watch creative Tik Tok Dancing that show a person's personality. Created this blog to learnt more about dancing.
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