Monday, February 2, 2009

Classification Essay

Deprece Washington
Mrs. Boresen
Classification Essay

A woman named Agnes De Mille once said, "Toe dancing is a dandy attention getter, second only to screaming." No matter what you might use dancing for, everyone dances. Most people see dancing as being social, expressive, cultural, or even as just a way to lose a few pounds. Even so, most people don’t realize is how many different types of dances that people use today or even how many types of dances that they do themselves. Many of those dances can be categorized as folk dancing, ballroom dance, ceremonial dance, and street dancing.

When I hear folk dancing, I think of country line dances. It may not be the first type of dance that comes to your mind. What you may not realize is that you have probably done more folk dancing than you know. Folk dancing is any type of dance that comes from a certain area or lifestyle. These dances are usually performed in a group and have certain formations. A folk dance might include dances such as the Hawaiian Hula dance, clogging, polka dance, and line dancing. Fad dances are also be a type of folk dancing. They come from a particular area or lifestyle and they do have certain steps or movements that are followed. Everyone loves a good folk dance like the YMCA, the Macarena, or the Cupid Shuffle.

Ballroom dance is an additional form of dance that most people find "unpopular." Even though it may seem uncommon to average people it is a growing type of dance around the world. Ballroom dance is a very formal dance that follows a strict tempo. Five basic holds, or positions, are used in this couple’s dance. Using the web site,, I found that three of these holds are there to keep a specific placement of your hands and the other two are for contact between the shoulders and the elbows (Treva Bedinghaus). This makes ballroom dancing more structured than other types of dance. It uses a pattern of predictable steps ( The waltz and the tango are both types of a ballroom dance.
Ceremonial dance is usually "a dance that is a part of a religious ritual" ( This dance usually has a predetermined pattern of steps or movements. In the United States, ceremonial dancing is very hard to find. But, in other countries and cultures these dances are a part of everyday life. They perform a dance for almost every occasion. For example, the Native Americans have a war dance, a healing dance, and dances to the gods to help them with farming, hunting, fertility, etc.

The most common type of dance in the US today is street dance, also known as a vernacular dance. This is because it is a dance formed without a choreographer and has no set steps or movements. These types of dances "place great emphases on improvisation," or free style ( But, at some points it may also be considered a folk dance. Street dances usually generate from specific areas but then are slightly changed as they spread. Street dance is also the most social type of dancing today. Relatively all club dancing and fad dances, such as the cupid shuffle, have come from this type of dance. The most common form of American street dance is break dancing. Other types are hip-hop, popping, locking, and street jazz.

Everyone knows that dance is way to be social, expressive and cultural. Many people may not realize just how many dances there really are. Some of the many types of dances are folk dance, ballroom dance, ceremonial dance, and street dance. The most popular style of dancing in the US today is street dance. It is also my personal choice in dance also. Many types of people favor it because you are able to change it in many different ways. Unlike many dances, it is a type of dance that almost everyone can relate to and enjoy. Isn’t that what dancing is about?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winter Narrative

Deprece Washington
Ms. Boreson
Expository Writing
Winter Break Narrative

Winter Narrative

Winter Break is really the only time for me to relax and spend time with my family. But sometimes I think everyone has the feeling like they are drowning in holiday spirit. For me, it seemed like that’s how most of my break went. One exception was being able to get out the house with my friend Amy and my sister Chantal. Eating out and going to the movies doesn’t really seem like much. But, if you spent two weeks in the same house with the people I did, then you would understand what I mean.
The day started out a little awkward. Our little group of friends hadn’t gotten together in awhile. Once we got to the restaurant and the conversation got going, we were back to out old selves. Before we knew it we were being louder than most people around up were comfortable with. People were staring at us more than I was comfortable with. So, we decided to leave.
None of us wanted to go home. We spent almost half an hour in the parking lot deciding on something else to do. In the end we decided to go to Centerra and watch a movie. Before the movie, we walked around the mall. Our little group was walking down the side walk when we saw a huge, black SUV pull up right next to us. Two teenage guys jumped out and asked us if they could show us a new dance move. When we said yes, some guy who was still in their car blasted some music. The two guys outside the car started to do one of the most stupid looking dances I had ever seen. They called it, “The Stanky Leg.” It is almost impossible to describe but maybe the name gives away how dumb it looked. All of us thought it was pretty hilarious. So did all of the other people who stopped to watch them.
My winter break was mostly boring. I was dying to get out of the house and away from my parents. Eating out and going to the movies can seem really boring since most of us do that all the time. The fun part of the whole day was making a good time out of something that could have been nothing and it was good to hang out with an old friend. I will probably forget the whole experience sooner or later, but these are the kinds of experiences that made my winter break more fun.