Dancers and their movements inspire, delight and entertain. It is an activity that most of us have done at some point in our lives, yet know so little about.
Enjoy these little known facts about dance that will inspire, delight and entertain you just as much as dancing itself!
Did you know?
- Martial arts legend Bruce Lee was also an accomplished dancer? He studied dancing as diligently as he did kung fu, keeping a notebook in which he had noted 108 dance steps. He even won the Hong Kong Cha Cha championship in 1958!
- When 18th century dance company managers had issues with their dancers missing rehearsals or performances, they could punish dancers by throwing them in jail!
- When Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents originally conceived the idea of writing a musical version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, they planned to call it East Side Story.
- The “Dancing Plague” of 1518 was a mania that lasted a month and killed dozens of people in Strasbourg, France through heart attack and exhaustion. People danced uncontrollably until they collapsed! Another famous case involved so many people dancing on a bridge that it eventually broke and they all fell into the river.
- In 2008 after 19 years in the ballet Don Quixote, a donkey named Monika retired from the Mariinsky ballet in St Petersburg, Russia.
- In 2000 over 4 million people took part in dance activities in their local communities.
- The origins of “break a leg,” (which means “good luck,” and is commonly said to performers before they go on stage), began in theater ballet productions when they came out for curtain calls. The rod that allows for the curtain to be raised and lowered is called the “LEG”. So “break a leg,” actually means to get so many curtain calls that the leg breaks in two.
- Jive (properly known as jitterbug jive) got its name from a 1930’s Mickey Mouse cartoon in which Mickey and Minnie danced a country style jitterbug. The name came from jitterbugs being the dancers and “jive” which meant fake or not right.
- The word dance comes from Sanskrit and means ‘desire to live.’
- A Hollywood executive’s comments on Fred Astaire’s first screen test were “Can’t act, can’t sing, slightly bald. Can dance a little.”