Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Recreation refers to any activity that individuals choose to engage in during their free time to refresh and revitalize themselves. These activities are typically undertaken voluntarily and are not related to one’s professional or work obligations. The period of time during which one engages in recreational activities is referred to as leisure time.

Leisure time provides individuals with an opportunity to pursue their interests and hobbies, socialize with friends and family, and engage in physical activity, all of which contribute to physical and mental well-being. Recreational activities can take various forms, including sports, arts, hobbies, and entertainment. Some examples of recreational activities include dancing, playing computer games, reading, watching movies, hiking, swimming, and travelling.

Dancing is a popular recreational activity that provides individuals with an opportunity to express themselves creatively, stay physically active, and interact with others. Computer games, on the other hand, provide a form of entertainment that can be enjoyed alone or with others, and they also offer a means of socializing with individuals from different parts of the world.

Dance is a beautiful and expressive art form that involves a sequence of rhythmic and graceful movements of the body, often accompanied by music. Dancing is a way for people to express themselves, connect with others, and experience joy and pleasure. From classical ballet to contemporary hip-hop, there are countless styles of dance that cater to different tastes and cultural traditions.

Dance can be enjoyed in various settings, including social gatherings, cultural events, and performances. It is a form of entertainment that has been enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds for centuries. Dancing is not only a fun activity, but it also provides numerous physical and mental health benefits. It can improve cardiovascular health, balance, and flexibility, as well as boost self-esteem and reduce stress.

Similarly, computer games are games that can be played on a computer for relaxation and entertainment. These games can range from simple puzzle games to complex role-playing games that require strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. Computer games have become increasingly popular in recent years, and they offer a wide variety of options for players of all ages.

Playing computer games can provide many benefits, including improved hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and cognitive function. Games can also provide a sense of accomplishment and social connection through online communities and multiplayer options.

Types of Dance

There are three types of dance, these are:

Pre-colonial or folk traditional dances

Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Prior to the arrival of colonial powers, diverse ethnic communities around the world had unique ways of conveying their emotions and cultural values through dance. These dances were deeply rooted in the traditions and beliefs of their respective ethnic groups, and were considered to be an integral part of their cultural identity. These traditional dances are commonly referred to as folk dances.

Folk dances are a reflection of the community’s way of life, their customs and beliefs, and the values they uphold. These dances can be performed during different occasions, such as weddings, harvest festivals, and other significant events in their lives. The movements in these dances are often symbolic and depict stories, myths, and legends that are relevant to the community.

For instance, in some African cultures, dance is an important form of expression that is used to communicate a wide range of emotions, including joy, sorrow, and celebration. Traditional dances such as the Bata dance, the Adowa dance, and the Zulu dance are just a few examples of dances that have been passed down from generation to generation and have become an essential part of the cultural heritage of these communities.

Folk dance is a beautiful art form that has evolved over time within different communities and groups. These dances are usually performed at social gatherings and events, and are a reflection of the cultural heritage and traditions of the people who perform them. They are an expression of the community’s social, cultural and spiritual values, and are often passed down from generation to generation.

Traditional folk dances are based on specific themes, such as harvest or religious events. These dances are characterized by their unique movements, rhythms, and music, which are often accompanied by traditional instruments. Unlike other forms of dance, folk dance is usually performed in groups, with participants holding hands or dancing in a circle.

In Nigeria, folk dances are an important part of the country’s cultural heritage. Each tribe in Nigeria has its own unique folk dance, which is usually performed at social gatherings, religious events or during important occasions. For instance, the Yoruba tribe is known for their energetic and vibrant Bata, Apala, Fuji and Juju dances. These dances are characterized by fast footwork, drumming, and rhythmic chanting.

The Igbo tribe has several traditional dances such as Egwu Aja, Atilogwu, Igba Eze, Ubo-Ogazi and Nkpokiti. Atilogwu is a dance that originated from the Igbo tribe and is known for its acrobatic movements and high-energy music. The dancers often wear bright and colourful costumes, and their movements are synchronized with the beats of the music.

The Hausa tribe is known for their graceful and elegant Langa, Kalagu and Koroso dance. Langa is a slow and graceful dance that is performed by women, while Kalagu is a fast-paced dance performed by men. Koroso is a dance that is usually performed during weddings or other important occasions and is characterized by its vibrant costumes and energetic movements.

Furthermore, the Fulani tribe has a popular dance known as Sharo/Shadi dance. This dance is performed by young men and is considered a rite of passage into adulthood. The dancers perform with swords, and the dance is characterized by its sharp and precise movements.

Folk dance is an important aspect of cultural heritage and is a reflection of the traditions and values of a community. It is a form of expression that brings people together and celebrates their unique identity. Through folk dance, we can learn about different cultures, customs, and traditions, and appreciate the beauty and diversity of our world.

Examples of Folk dance

Atilogwu dance

Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Atilogwu dance is an iconic form of traditional dance that originates from the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria. This vibrant and energetic dance is usually performed during cultural festivals, weddings, and other important occasions in Igbo culture. It is characterized by its vigorous body movements, acrobatics, and high-tempo music that is played using traditional instruments such as drums and metal gongs.

The name “Atilogwu” literally means “Is this magic?” This name is fitting as the dance is a mesmerizing display of physical strength and dexterity that can leave spectators in awe. The dance is usually performed by young men and women who have undergone rigorous training to perfect their moves.

During the dance, the dancers move their bodies in rhythm with the beat of the drums and metal gongs. They perform intricate steps, flips, and jumps that require a great deal of physical endurance and coordination. The costumes worn during the dance are usually multi-coloured clothes and shorts, accompanied by caps.

Atilogwu dance is not only a form of entertainment but also a way to showcase Igbo culture and heritage. It is a symbol of unity and pride among the Igbo people, and its performance is usually accompanied by chants and songs that celebrate the cultural identity of the Igbo people.

In recent times, Atilogwu dance has gained popularity beyond the shores of Nigeria, and it is now a global phenomenon. It has been performed in different countries across the world, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as a way of promoting Nigerian culture and heritage.

Atilogwu dance is a traditional dance that is an integral part of Igbo culture. Its energetic and mesmerizing display of physical strength and coordination has made it popular both locally and internationally. Through its performance, the dance celebrates the cultural identity of the Igbo people and promotes the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria.

Bata dance

Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Bata dance is a traditional dance form that originated in Nigeria and is primarily performed by the Yoruba people. It is a highly energetic and rhythmic dance that is accompanied by the Bata drum, which is a double-headed drum that produces a rich and deep sound.

The dance is usually performed by a group of male dancers who wear traditional Yoruba attire consisting of a colourful top and trousers. The dance movements are characterized by swift footwork, body movements, and hand gestures that follow the rhythms of the Bata drum.

Bata dance is often performed at important cultural and religious events such as weddings, funerals, and festivals. The dance is not only a form of entertainment but also has spiritual significance, as it is believed to communicate with the spirits of the ancestors and deities.

In addition to being a cultural tradition, Bata dance has also gained popularity in contemporary music and dance scenes. Many Nigerian musicians incorporate elements of Bata dance and music in their performances, blending traditional and modern styles.

Bata dance is a vibrant and dynamic expression of Yoruba culture that showcases the unique rhythms, movements, and music of the region. It is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria and serves as a source of pride and identity for the Yoruba people.

Sharo dance

Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

The Sharo dance, also known as the Fulani whip dance, is a traditional dance form of the Fulani people, who are primarily found in West Africa. The dance is usually performed by men and is a rite of passage for young Fulani men as it signifies their bravery, strength, and agility.

The Sharo dance is a traditional dance form of the Fulani people that is performed by young men as a rite of passage to signify their bravery, strength, and agility. It has both physical and cultural significance, promoting peace and unity among the Fulani people while also serving as a way for young men to demonstrate their readiness for marriage and take on more significant roles within their community.

The dance is performed during cultural festivals, weddings, and other important occasions in the Fulani community. It involves two young men from different villages who compete against each other. The dancers are usually dressed in traditional attire, including flowing robes, colorful headbands, and bracelets.

The dance begins with a call-and-response chant between the dancers and the audience. The dancers then proceed to the center of the arena, where they face each other, each armed with a whip made of hippopotamus or cowhide. The whips are used to strike the opponent’s back, and the dancer who withstands the pain the longest is declared the winner.

The Sharo dance is not just a physical display of strength and bravery, but it also has a deeper cultural significance. It is seen as a way to promote peace and unity among the Fulani people, as it brings together members of different villages to celebrate their cultural heritage. The dance also serves as a way for young men to demonstrate their readiness for marriage and take on more significant roles within their community.

Despite the popularity of the Sharo dance, it has faced criticism and condemnation from some people who view it as a form of violence and cruelty. However, many Fulani people argue that it is an essential part of their culture and should be preserved and celebrated.

Social dance

Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Social dance refers to a type of dance that is performed primarily for social and recreational purposes. It involves group dancing and can be performed with different categories of partners. Social dancing includes a combination of both locomotor movements, such as walking and leaping, as well as non-locomotor movements, like twisting and swinging.

Historically, social dances have been popular among members of various social classes, including the elites, and have been a prominent part of cultural events and celebrations. In the 20th century, social dances became increasingly popular and were enjoyed by a wide range of individuals and communities.

One of the most well-known examples of social dance is the waltz. Originating in Austria in the late 18th century, the waltz became popular across Europe and then around the world. It is typically danced by a couple in a 3/4 time signature and involves elegant, sweeping movements.

Social dance has many benefits beyond just the joy of dancing. It is a great way to exercise and stay active, and can help improve balance, coordination, and overall physical health. Additionally, social dance provides a fun and engaging way to connect with others and build social relationships, which can lead to increased feelings of happiness and well-being.

Social dance is a vibrant and enjoyable form of dance that has been enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds for centuries. Whether it’s the waltz, swing dancing, or salsa, social dance continues to bring people together and provide a source of joy and entertainment.

Foreign and Modern dances

Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Foreign dances refer to dances that have been influenced by cultures and traditions outside of a particular country or region. The increasing interconnectedness of the world has led to a significant amount of cultural exchange, resulting in the adoption of foreign dances across various cultures. As a result, many countries now have their versions of these dances, adapted to their unique cultural contexts.

Examples of Foreign Dance 


Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Reggae is a music style that emerged in Jamaica during the late 1960s, and it has since spread to other parts of the world, becoming a popular genre of contemporary Caribbean music. Despite the widespread popularity of Reggae, the origin of the term “Reggae” remains uncertain, although it is widely believed to be linked to the Jamaican word for “ragged man” or “common person.”

Reggae is an eclectic blend of Jamaican folk music and American rhythm and blues, featuring heavy basslines and a distinctive off-beat rhythm. It is characterized by its emphasis on social and political commentary, reflecting the experiences of marginalized and oppressed communities in Jamaica and beyond.

The most popular Reggae artists include Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, and Burning Spear, among others. Their music has served as a powerful tool for social and political activism, promoting messages of peace, love, and unity.

In terms of instrumentation, Reggae music typically features a wide range of instruments, including guitar, piano, drums, bass, and horns. The guitar and piano, in particular, play a central role in creating the distinctive sound of Reggae. The rhythm guitar is responsible for playing the “chop” or “skank” pattern, while the lead guitar often plays melodic lines and solos. The piano, on the other hand, provides harmonic support and plays a key role in creating the unique chord progressions that underpin Reggae music.

When dancing to Reggae music, the pace of the dancer is often slow, in accordance with the slow beat of the guitar and piano. This laid-back style of dance reflects the relaxed and peaceful vibe of Reggae music, and it is a popular way for fans to express themselves and connect with the music.


Recreation, Leisure and Dance Activities

Disco is a music genre that originated in the United States in the 1970s, but it quickly spread throughout the world and became popular in many countries, particularly in Europe. The term “disco” comes from the French word “discotheque,” which refers to nightclubs that play recorded music for dancing.

One of the defining features of disco music is its heavy use of electronic instruments, particularly synthesizers, which were a relatively new technology at the time. Other instruments commonly used in disco include strings, horns, electric pianos, and electric guitars. These instruments were often combined in elaborate arrangements to create a lush, orchestral sound that was ideal for dancing.

Disco music was closely associated with the club scene of the 1970s, and many of the most popular disco songs were written and produced specifically for nightclubs. These songs were often characterized by their driving beat and infectious melodies, which were designed to get people on the dance floor and keep them there all night long.

Although disco’s popularity began to wane in the late 1970s, its influence can still be heard in many genres of music today. Elements of disco can be found in everything from pop and rock to hip-hop and electronic dance music, and the genre’s legacy continues to be celebrated by fans and musicians around the world.

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