Mozillos, a professor emeritus of psychology, in the department of education at the University of Minnesota, says most people who teach the subject will admit that they are familiar with a particular set of movements, like leg lifts and hip thrusts. They will even sing a song.
Some academics, however, say that the most famous dance is a hybrid called breakdancing. They’re not sure how the break dancer, who wears a blue tunic like a wrestler, walks, but they do know how they perform.
The technique is fairly simple. A dancer wears a short blue skirt, a long white skirt and often a headdress, said Professor Mozillos.
“They stand and walk very closely in the middle of a step (with the heel of the foot directly on the floor),” said Professor Mozillos, who worked with the University of Pittsburgh, University of California, San Diego and other institutions to develop research that helped improve the practice of break dancing.
The students walk in a circle from which they then move to the center of the room. They move with their hips and the heel of one foot directly on the floor. The technique has been used to dance and to dance, but it is new to students. That makes instructors, dancers, and teachers a little wary, said Mr. Mozillos, who teaches a course called Dance in the Twentieth Century, which goes through the history of dance.
“The problem when you get into dance is a lack of experience,” he said. “How do you go out to a club or other place and break out of the routines?”
Mr. Mozillos said that his research has established that breakdancing has an important role in the performance of many different music styles, such as hip hop and contemporary country, and can be fun for dancers. However, a lot of research done on the technique has been limited by the low numbers of people who really do it, he said. In 2009, he was unable to find more than 100 students at a dance festival near Portland, Oregon, and last year he found only two people in the United States who do break dancing.
“Everybody who is trying to do it seems to be getting bored very quickly,” he said.
The first study on breakdancing has been published this month by researchers from the University of Texas and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Professor Mozillos said most people think
purpose of belly dancing, professional belly dancers, belly dancing music, belly dancing controversy, belly dancing history