The question of "What is Freestyle Dance" is compulsory question for those looking to take their Associate IDTA Freestyle Exam. Therefore its important for candidates to know the answer, as they are going to be asked in their exam and it also clarifies the dance style from a practical teaching point of view.
The term Freestyle Dance really needs to be seen as an umbrella term. It is a term which encompasses many different styles of dancing.
Its origins come from the 1970's as a result of the era of disco and in particular John Travolta's dancing in the hit film Saturday Night Fever. At this time, there was a high surge of interest in what was known as disco dancing. People who had never been involved in dancing started wanting to learn to dance and as a result, "Freestyle" was born.
From a dance teachers point of view, back then, there was no written or tabled technique of this new style of dancing. Unlike the Ballroom, Latin American and Ballet worlds, who had a clear and defined dance technique, Freestyle had nothing. This meant that although, John Travolta's dancing was not the complexity of say the Ballet genre of dance, it meant that dance teachers across the country didn't have a particular point of reference to which they all could reference.
Before too long the Freestyle genre evolved from beyond just "disco dancing". One of the factors that is most important in freestyle is that it is heavily influenced by the music hits of a time. For example, club music in the 80's was very different to the moves and expressions used to dance to the disco/Saturday night fever styles of music in the 70's.
This is the main reason as to why Freestyle dance is an umbrella term because it can adapt, evolve and encompass the modern and developing music, style and dance trends of its age.
This is another reason as to why taking a dance teaching qualification, especially in
Freestyle, is so advantageous as it can cover so many different dance styles. It also gives the teacher a technical knowledge which is adaptable to a variety of different dance forms and styles.