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The Iowa Homemaker

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Since the dance is one of the oldest forms of art and responsible for much of the beauty that surrounds us today, it is only deserving of the greatest respect. It is not new, for it has always been a life force, a heritage common to all mankind. Primitive man danced his very life away. His stories of love, war, religion, nature and all those forces effecting a feeling of self were told through the dance. The body being the only known medium, rhythmical movement was born. This was the beginning of the dance. Gradually, as man became conscious of his environment; a his mental life became more complex, he found other means of expressing his emotions. Music then came. The sound produced by heating a skin stretched tightly over a hollow tree trunk added to the rhythmical bodily motion and became a necessary part of every ritual dance. After the creation of sounds came words, then poetry which followed the dance in its form and the shaping of phrases into measures. With such means of emotional outlets, the dance took on a different form. It became more moderate, more beautiful, less emotional and highly symbolic.

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