Some musical genres have a parallel dance form such as baroque music and baroque dance; other varieties of dance and music may share nomenclature but developed separately, such as classical music and classical ballet.Rhythm and dance are deeply linked in history and practice.Many early forms of music and dance were created for each other and are frequently performed together.
On the other hand, some cultures lay down strict rules as to the particular dances in which, for example, men, women and children may or must participate.
Archeological evidence for early dance includes 9,000-year-old paintings in India at the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures, dated c. It has been proposed that before the invention of written languages, dance was an important part of the oral and performance methods of passing stories down from one generation to the next.
Other forms of human movement are sometimes said to have a dance-like quality, including martial arts, gymnastics, cheerleading, figure skating, synchronized swimming, marching bands, and many other forms of athletics.
Theatrical dance, also called performance or concert dance, is intended primarily as a spectacle, usually a performance upon a stage by virtuoso dancers.
Even a solo dance may be undertaken solely for the satisfaction of the dancer.
Participatory dancers often all employ the same movements and steps but, for example, in the rave culture of electronic dance music, vast crowds may engage in free dance, uncoordinated with those around them.
Given this alternation of left-right, of forward-backward and rise-fall, along with the bilateral symmetry of the human body, it is natural that many dances and much music are in duple and quadruple meter.
However, since some such movements require more time in one phase than the other – such as the longer time required to lift a hammer than to strike – some dance rhythms fall equally naturally into triple metre.
The use of dance in ecstatic trance states and healing rituals (as observed today in many contemporary "primitive" cultures, from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert) is thought to have been another early factor in the social development of dance.
During the first millennium BCE in India, many texts were composed which attempted to codify aspects of daily life.