Dance generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.
- I have no desire to prove anything by it. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance.
- Fred Astaire, Steps in Time (1959), p325.
- My dancing days are done.
- Beaumont and Fletcher, The Scornful Lady (c. 1613; printed 1616), Act V, scene 3.
- A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell.
- On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
- And then he danced;—all foreigners excel
The serious Angles in the eloquence
Of pantomime;—he danced, I say, right well,
With emphasis, and also with good sense—
A thing in footing indispensable:
He danced without theatrical pretence,
Not like a ballet-master in the van
Of his drill'd nymphs, but like a gentleman.
- There comes a pause, for human strength
Will not endure to dance without cessation;
And everyone must reach the point at length
Of absolute prostration.
- Lewis Carroll, Four Riddles, no. 1 (1869); reprinted in Phantasmagoria and Other Poems (1919)
- As to dancing, my dear, I never dance, unless I am allowed to do it in my own peculiar way. There is no use trying to describe it: it has to be seen to be believed. [...] Did you ever see the Rhinoceros, and the Hippopotamus, at the Zoological Gardens, trying to dance a minuet together? It is a touching sight.
- Lewis Carroll, letter to Gaynor Simpson (27 December 1873), in A Selection from the Letters of Lewis Carroll to his Child-Friends, ed. Evelyn M. Hatch, (London: MacMillan, 1933).
- Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit.
- No one dances sober, unless he is insane.
- Cicero, Pro Murena (Ch. vi, Section 13).
- "The thing about dancers is they're a certain breed. You don't do it to become rich and famous, you don't do it to have a really long career or to be the star, you do it because you can't imagine your life not doing it."
- Cat Deeley, quote taken from this source:
- Chandel, Natasha. (May 24, 2012). 'So You Think You Can Dance' Shaking Things Up For Season Nine. MTV.com. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- When you can tell the story of the song through your movement, it's brilliant. It comes across as so honest and not fake.
- Napoleon D'umo. (June 2009). So You Think You Can Dance / Secrets Dancers Need 2 Know [Adobe Flash]. Los Angeles: Answers4Dancers. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.
- A time to mourn, and a time to Dance.
- Ecclesiastes, Holy Bible
- At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
- Alike all ages: dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze;
And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (1764), line 251.
- We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.
- Martha Graham, "The American Dance", in Modern Dance, ed. Virginia Stewart (1935).
- Merrily, merrily whirled the wheels of the dizzying dances
Under the orchard-trees and down the path to the meadows;
Old folk and young together, and children mingled among them.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), Part I, IV.
- Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
In a light fantastic round.
- Ich würde nur an einen Gott glauben, der zu tanzen verstünde.
- Others import yet nobler arts from France,
Teach kings to fiddle, and make senates dance.
- Alexander Pope, The Dunciad (1728 to 1743), Book IV, line 597.
- Oh! if to dance all night, and dress all day,
Charm'd the small-pox, or chas'd old age away;
* * * * * *
To patch, nay ogle, might become a saint,
Nor could it sure be such a sin to paint.
- Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock (1712), Canto V, line 19.
- Dance is about saying something. If you ain’t got nothin' to say, get off the dance floor.
- They have measured many a mile,
To tread a measure with you on this grass.
- He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
- For you and I are past our dancing days.
- When you do dance, I wish you
A wave o' th' sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that.
- It is sweet to dance to violins
When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
To dance upon the air!
- Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), Part II, st. 9.
- O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
- William Butler Yeats, "Among School Children" st. 8, The Tower (1928).
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 156-158.
- This dance of death which sounds so musically
Was sure intended for the corpse de ballet.
- Anonymous, On the Danse Macabre of Saint-Saëns.
- O give me new figures! I can't go on dancing
The same that were taught me ten seasons ago;
The schoolmaster over the land is advancing,
Then why is the master of dancing so slow?
It is such a bore to be always caught tripping
In dull uniformity year after year;
Invent something new, and you'll set me a skipping:
I want a new figure to dance with my Dear!
- Thomas Haynes Bayly, Quadrille a la Mode.
- Imperial Waltz! imported from the Rhine
(Famed for the growth of pedigrees and wine),
Long be thine import from all duty free,
And hock itself be less esteem'd than thee.
- Lord Byron, The Waltz, line 29.
- Endearing Waltz—to thy more melting tune
Bow Irish jig, and ancient rigadoon.
Scotch reels, avaunt! and country-dance forego
Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
Waltz—Waltz alone—both legs and arms demands,
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands.
- Lord Byron, The Waltz, line 109.
- Hot from the hands promiscuously applied,
Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side.
- Lord Byron, The Waltz, line 234.
- What! the girl I adore by another embraced?
What! the balm of her breath shall another man taste?
What! pressed in the dance by another's man's knee?
What! panting recline on another than me?
Sir, she's yours; you have pressed from the grape its fine blue,
From the rosebud you've shaken the tremulous dew;
What you've touched you may take. Pretty waltzer—adieu!
- Sir Henry Englefield, The Waltz, Dancing.
- Such pains, such pleasures now alike are o'er,
And beaus and etiquette shall soon exist no more
At their speed behold advancing
Modern men and women dancing;
Step and dress alike express
Above, below from heel to toe,
Male and female awkwardness.
Without a hoop, without a ruffle,
One eternal jig and shuffle,
Where's the air and where's the gait?
Where's the feather in the hat?
Where the frizzed toupee? and where
Oh! where's the powder for the hair?
- Catherine Fanshawe, The Abrogation of the Birth-Night Ball.
- To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
- Thomas Gray, Progress of Poesy, Part I, Stanza 3, line 10.
- And the dancing has begun now,
And the dancers whirl round gaily
In the waltz's giddy mazes,
And the ground beneath them trembles.
- Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs, Don Ramiro, Stanza 23.
- Twelve dancers are dancing, and taking no rest,
And closely their hands together are press'd;
And soon as a dance has come to a close,
Another begins, and each merrily goes.
- Heinrich Heine, Dream and Life.
- He who esteems the Virginia reel
A bait to draw saints from their spiritual weal,
And regards the quadrille as a far greater knavery
Than crushing His African children with slavery,
Since all who take part in a waltz or cotillon
Are mounted for hell on the devil's own pillion,
Who, as every true orthodox Christian well knows,
Approaches the heart through the door of the toes.
- James Russell Lowell, Fable for Critics, line 492.
- Come and trip it as ye go,
On the light fantastic toe.
- John Milton, L'Allegro, line 33.
- Dancing in the chequer'd shade.
- John Milton, L'Allegro, line 96.
- Dear creature!—you'd swear
When her delicate feet in the dance twinkle round,
That her steps are of light, that her home is the air,
And she only par complaisance touches the ground.
- Thomas Moore, Fudge Family in Paris, Letter V, line 50.
- I know the romance, since it's over,
'Twere idle, or worse, to recall;—
I know you're a terrible rover;
But, Clarence, you'll come to our ball.
- Winthrop Mackworth Praed, Our Ball.
- I saw her at a country ball;
There when the sound of flute and fiddle
Gave signal sweet in that old hall,
Of hands across and down the middle
Hers was the subtlest spell by far
Of all that sets young hearts romancing:
She was our queen, our rose, our star;
And when she danced—oh, heaven, her dancing!
- Winthrop Mackworth Praed, The Belle of the Ball.
- He, perfect dancer, climbs the rope,
And balances your fear and hope.
- Matthew Prior, Alma, Canto II, line 9.
- Once on a time, the wight Stupidity
For his throne trembled,
When he discovered in the brains of men
Something like thoughts assembled,
And so he searched for a plausible plan
One of validity,—
And racked his brains, if rack his brains he can
None having, or a very few!
At last he hit upon a way
For putting to rout,
And driving out
From our dull clay
These same intruders new—
This Sense, these Thoughts, these Speculative ills—
What could he do? He introduced quadrilles.
- John Ruskin, The Invention of Quadrilles.
- We are dancing on a volcano.
- Comte de Salvandy, at a fête given to the King of Naples (1830).
- Inconsolable to the minuet in Ariadne!
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic, Act II, scene 2.
- While his off-heel, insidiously aside,
Provokes the caper which he seems to chide.
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Pizarro, The Prologue.
- But O, she dances such a way!
No sun upon an Easter-day,
Is half so fine a sight.
- Sir John Suckling, A Ballad Upon a Wedding, Stanza 8.
- Dance light, for my heart it lies under your feet, love.
- John Francis Waller, Kitty Neil, Dance Light.
- And beautiful maidens moved down in the dance,
With the magic of motion and sunshine of glance:
And white arms wreathed lightly, and tresses fell free
As the plumage of birds in some tropical tree.
- John Greenleaf Whittier, Cities of the Plain, Stanza 4.
- Jack shall pipe, and Jill shall dance.
- George Wither, Poem on Christmas.
- Never trust spiritual leader who cannot dance.
- People dance because dance can change things. One move can bring people together. One move can set a whole generation free. One move can make you believe like you're something more. … Dance can give hope.
- Who: Moose (Adam Sevani)