The earliest known social dance was probably the ancient Greek ritual dance, the gorgon dance, dating back to the 8th century BC and the Roman Coliseum. The dancing and singing of gorgons, a large bull with a serpent in its neck that had been bred and trained for sport during the Hellenistic Period, was one of the most popular festivals during the Roman Republic.
The gorgons were so popular in ancient Rome that they were even referred to as the Roman “Caduceus.” They were held annually in honor of the god Jupiter and were celebrated on a large scale. In fact, gorgon dances became so popular and popular in ancient Rome that they were even celebrated at the Summer and Winter solstices as well.
But by the 18th century, the gladiatorial games in Rome made gorgon dancing almost irrelevant. Instead, the games celebrated gladiators as the winners and losers of contests against other gladiators. With this change in emphasis, gorgons became more associated with fighting rather than spectacle. Consequently, they gradually faded out of view and vanished completely from the Roman scene.
In contrast, many other customs and beliefs that preceded them in the Roman world were re-introduced and re-purposed through social dances in the latter part of the first millennium BC. Some of these dances were even performed at Roman public festivals. To illustrate this, we’ll examine three popular social dances from that time period.
In the Roman world, the first social dance, a social dancing called the “Gorgon Dances” was performed on the occasion of the celebration of the death of King Saturnos on May 8, 64 BC. In this dancing, young women of the upper class would dance around a gladiators’ chariot and celebrate a victory over one who had been defeated in an athletic competition: the gladiator had vanquished his opponents in the previous year’s battle and had won the war against his enemies.
For the most part, the Gorgon Dances in their purest form were performed in the streets, but in other cities they also took the form of outdoor or indoor dances. They were most often performed in the summer solstice and equinox, when everyone was celebrating the arrival of the summer and the start of the spring semester. And that certainly was the case in the Roman world.
The Gorgon Dances were also celebrated through numerous other Roman customs and traditions. During the celebration of Festus
social dance definition and examples, valley social dance studio, social science geography book, center for social dance lansing mi weather, social dance meaning quotes about positive thinking