Around the World as a Dancer
By Ashley Lipman
One of the best parts of traveling is combining your passion for exploring the world with other hobbies that fuel your soul. Dancing has long been a symbolic cultural practice that conveys the emotion and spirit of a place.
If you love dancing and want to travel around the world as a dancer, here are some destinations you won't want to miss.
Turkey is one of the most underrated travel destinations on Earth. Not only is it home to incredible otherworldly landscapes, but it also offers such a rich and unique cultural experience.
Head to Istanbul to belly dancers in the heart of the Middle East, where this sultry, captivating dancing style originates. While you're there, stop by the Hodjapasha Cultural Center to watch a Sema ceremony. In this dancing ritual, the dancers (typically all-male) wear long skirts and twirl non-stop. The motion is symbolic of the orbiting planets and signifies bringing blessings from above, down to the Earth.
Be sure to take your favorite dance clothes with you, as many areas in Turkey have a vivacious nightlife and offer dance lessons.
Hula is one of the world's most recognizable styles of dance. It invokes visions of beautiful beaches, tiki torches, and drinking out of a coconut. However, the dance is a sacred, cultural tradition to the Hawaiian people.
In ancient times, Hula was used as a form of storytelling among Native Hawaiians. When explorers came to Hawaii, it was banned as an immoral practice. Fortunately for everyone, the banishment was overturned as people became more aware of the persecution of this culture. While visitors view Hula as a fun tourist attraction, knowing that this dance is a symbol of perseverance makes it an emotional, breathtaking experience.
Flamenco has long been associated with Spanish culture. While it's become a tourist attraction in many areas, the dance originates from the Andalusia region of Southern Spain. Andalusia is one of the most unexpected experiences for travelers, as this area is still largely influenced by the Arab people.
Head to Seville or Granada to partake in Flamenco dance classes and watch the professionals at work. The foot-stomping men and beautifully adorned women in layered skirts create a visually-stimulating work of moving art.
No one knows how to party like the Scottish. Celtic celebrations, known as Ceilidhs (pronounced kay-lee), are lively events that incorporate fiddle music, bagpipes, and drums. Celtic dancers are recognized world-wide by their tartan skirts.
Visit Scotland to see sword dancing and the Highland fling. The sword dance is especially unique, as the dancers move lithely over crossed swords. This traditional dance represents victory in battle.
If Europe is out of reach, head to Nova Scotia, Canada. Nova Scotia is Latin for "New Scotland." In the highlands, traditional Celtic culture has endured for hundreds of years. Drive through the breathtaking Cabot Trail and take part in a Nova Scotia Kitchen Party for a blend of traditional and modern fun.
Dance is a great communicator. It overrides language barriers and cultural differences. Participating in or experiencing dance rituals from other places is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in a culture and have the trip of a lifetime.
Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion in providing creative solutions for building brands online. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches.