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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Rangel

A compilation of dance quotes: Little sayings with big thoughts

Lots of Pointe Shoes

Dancing is inherently a human activity, thus part of what being human is all about.  That is why dance and dancing is often in our conversations, expressions, sayings, and proverbs.  From old tribal sayings to Nietzsche and Albert Einstein, people from all walks of life recognize the importance and influence of dance in our everyday comprehension of the world.  Of course, dancers have their share of aphorisms too…

Let’s enjoy today what others have said about dance and how it is part of our life:

“What do you dance?” -- Bantu greeting to a member of another Bantu tribe

One may judge a king by the state of dancing during his reign. -- Chinese proverb

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education: dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen? --Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Dancing is an art because it is subject to rules. --Voltaire

So, you can't dance? Not at all? Not even one step? . . . How can you say that you've taken any trouble to live when you won't even dance?  --Hermann Hesse

Dance is the mother of all languages. -- R.G. Collingwood

Dancer in white tutu

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.  --Martha Graham

Someone once said that dancers work just as hard as policemen, always alert, always tense-- but see, policemen don't have to be beautiful at the same time. --George Balanchine

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself. --Mihkail Baryshnikov

The only way to do it is to do it.  --Merce Cunningham

Dancers are the athletes of God. -- Albert Einstein

The Ballet toe shoe is one of the few instruments of torture to survive intact into our time. --Source unknown

In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet.  --Alice Abrams

Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!  --Constanze

We ought to dance with rapture that we might be alive... and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. --D. H. Lawrence

O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?             --William Butler Yeats

If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.  --Isadora Duncan

You don't have to know about ballet to enjoy it, all you have to do is look at it.  --Edwin Denby

The further off from England the nearer is to France-- Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.             --Lewis Carroll

There are many more authors, ancient and modern, that have dedicated thought and wit to the influence of dance in our everyday life.  I thank all the authors through the ages and those who have compiled these lists in books and websites for our enjoyment.


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