Just as the history of the United States encompassesa broad array of complex influences, so do its dance forms stem from a richpool of diverse forms. While the ballerina is likely the popular image ofdance, the reality is that dance in the United States has embraced and incorporatedindividual, cultural, and stylistic elements in an ever-changing kaleidoscopethat draws from and contributes to artistic, social, religious, cultural,and even political realms. Dance can have many purposes including expression,communication, education, therapy, recreation, or entertainment and may functionin personal, political, social, religious, and spiritual environments. Thisessay cannot fully address all of the implications of dance in the UnitedStates, but it offers a look at the breadth of dance in a country whose musicand dance reflect and incorporate diverse influences.


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