Dance can be defined as the art form that involves human movement which acts as the medium for understanding, sensing, communicating ideas, experiences, and feelings. Dancing is an important activity since it provides a means of acquiring knowledge. This is true since dancing develops problem solving techniques, creative and critical thinking skills, kinesthetic abilities, and communication abilities. The objective of dance education is to occupy students in artistic feels by the processes of response, creation and performance (Ann, 2008).
The elements of dance are the concepts and expressions for building up movement skills and also to enable dance understood as an art form. Elements of dance include body, space, time, action, and energy. These elements work together and must be present in a dance simultaneously. Changing or doing away with one of the elements of dance then there will be no meaningful dance.
The body in a dance is the movable shape which can be seen by audience and felt by the individual dancer. At times the body may be quite still or sometimes shifting during when the dancer is moving or travelling through the area of dancing. Some times dancers emphasize particular body parts in a dance expression or their entire body. Looking at the entire body of the dancer one may consider the general shape design as either symmetrical, twisted or some other design employed by the dancer at that time. Considering the body systems is also another way of describing the body in dance for instance, breath, muscles, balance, organs, bones and reflexes (Schrader, 2005).
During dancing the dancers may stay in particular position and move their body parts only or move the whole body, or they can as well move from one place to another in the space provided. The dancers may change the level, pathways, size, and direction of the movements they make. They may also focus their attention and movement outwards into space or inwards towards themselves. The travelling line may be somewhat direct headed for one point in space, or indistinct and winding. Spatial relations involving dancers themselves or dancers and the surrounding objects are the center for design constructs such as in front of, beside, through, over, near, around or far (Cone, 2005).
According to Hawkins (1988), the movements in dance may also depict different relationships of timing for instance, sequential or simultaneous timing; or rapid to slow speed; or short to long duration; emphasizes in expected or random intervals. As well time may be coordinated in other way for instance, sensed time, event-sequence, and clock time. Dancers may use a collective sense of sensed time to bring dance to a halt.
According to Schrader (2005), action is defined as human movement of whichever kind, included in dancing. This can include facial movements, dance steps, lifts, catches, and carries, and even daily movements for example walking. Dancers may decide and make movements which have already been done, or may decide to add original movements to the dance movement archive already existing. It is possible that dancers may amend the movement that they have copied from other dancers. Dance consists of streams of pauses and movement, therefore apart from sequences and steps; action also refers to movements and pauses of relative immobility.
Hawkins (1988) defines energy in dancing as the strength of an action, and can as well be the psychic and physical energy that characterizes and causes movement. Options regarding energy consist of differences in flow of movement and use of tension, weight, and force. Energy may vary instantaneously, and a number of energy types may be along with in play. Energy options may also bring out arousing states. For instance, a powerful thrust might be violent or teasingly energetic depending upon the purpose and condition. A subtle touch might prove uncertain or affectionate, or possibly suggest concern.