Difference Between Dancing and Choreography

Humans are social animals and we cherish art. Art has evolved a lot and has taken so many forms. Dance is one of the forms of art that we do and see people doing it for pleasure. It takes a lot of ideas and preparation to perfect and perform a dance.

Dance is nothing but a set of movements that are performed with music or without it. Apart from technical definition, this art form speaks to our emotions as well. Some forms of dance have the capability to speak to people through actions. 

Dancing vs Choreography

The main difference between dancing and choreography is that dancing is the coordinated, harmonic set of movements performed occasionally, whereas choreography is the process of arranging and inventing all the movements involved in dance. Dancing is the final result of choreography and choreography is what happens behind the scene to make dance happen. Dance may have some meaning attached to it. Dance could have religious, martial, social, etc. values attached to it.

Dancing vs Choreography

Dancing is a form of performing art intended to create pleasure in people. Dancing should not be confused with other forms of movement which may have other purposes.

Some types of athletics have dance-like quality but they are different from dancing. The movements in a dance performance differ depending on the purpose for which it is performed. Some dance form requires special dress and props for their execution.

Choreography is intended to discover and practice dance movements and put them in perspective by arranging them in a meaningful sequence.

A master who is called a choreographer is responsible for creating dance forms according to the need of the ceremony. Choreography translates roughly to dance writing and rightly so as it is the process of discovery of new dance movements.

Comparison Table Between Dancing and Choreography

Parameters of ComparisonDancingChoreography
FormIt is a form of performance.It is a form of imagination and creation.
IntentionDancing may be performed without intention.It is intended to make the dance form appealing by restricted movements.
OriginalityDancing is original and born out of passion.Choreography is intentional as it consists of intended movements.
RythmIt is rhythmic.It is not rhythmic.
IntentionDancing is intended for pleasure.It is intended to bring the best movements.

What is Dancing?

Dancing is a form of performing art like gymnastics and has been here for a long period. Evidence of dance can be found in paintings that are as old as nine thousand years old.

From old Indian paintings to tombs of Egypt all have depicted dancing. The bible also has mentions dancing and at least thirty terms related to it can be found in it.

Dancing is generally accompanied by music and some music forms are solely dedicated to dance only. Dancing should be rhythmic and its evidence can be found as great dancers like Ted Shawn talk greatly of the importance of dancing and rhythm.

A typical example of rhythmic dance would be tango which is performed in sixty-six beats per minute.

Different rhythmic movements are characterized by strong and weak movements just like strong and weak music in a song.

The Lululand dancing girl picture put the words about dance in an appropriate way as the inscription on it writes the connection between dance and divinity.

It says that dancing, rhythm, music, thought, and divinity is one and the same. Dancing is a form of expression of emotions and it is symbolic in many ways. In rituals around the world, the importance of dance can be seen as a symbol of grief and joy.

What is Choreography?

A specific design of bodily movement created by a master is called choreography. Choreography literally means writing dance. Choreography is mostly related to dance but it can be some other bodily movements.

Before the 1950s when there was no word to describe a choreographer phrases were used to denote a choreographer.

Phrases such as “dances by” were used until in American dictionaries the mention of the word was found. A choreographer is one who designs the bodily movements and hence is the architect behind dance or any form of bodily movement.

Choreographers not only design dance movements but also teach them to people who intend to perform any form of dance or bodily movements.

In Italy during the renaissance choreographers used to teach dance movements to people to perform in social gatherings. Choreography is not limited to dance as dance choreography is referred to as dance composition,

Today’s dance choreography refers to forms and movements that are intended to impose some kind of order to the performance.

There is some choreography competition in the world today that helps fledgling choreographers showcase their expertise in the field.

The International Choreography Competition Hannover which happens in Hanover, Germany is one example of a choreographic competition.

Main Differences Between Dancing and Choreography

  1. Dancing is a form of performing art, whereas choreography has to do with imagination and formulation of bodily movement.
  2. Dancing is an expression of emotions, whereas choreography has more to do with technical stuff.
  3. Dancing is deliberate and often comes out of nowhere to express our state of emotion, whereas choreography is more of a calculation.
  4. Dancing has the sole intention to please an audience and self, whereas choreography is intended to bring desired bodily movements into action.
  5. Dancing must be rhythmic with no stopping, whereas choreography lacks rhythm as it needs rehearsal and discussion on specific movements.
Difference Between Dancing and Choreography


Dancing and choreography both have to do with bodily movements but dance is a particular form of bodily movement, whereas choreography could be any form of designed movement.

Choreography is the art of formulating and executing bodily movements in a calculated manner. Dancing on the other hand is something that comes out on its own without any constraint over it. The only thing that can constraint dance is emotion.

Dance is a form of expression and evidence can be foud in various forms. Ancient paintings can be seen depicting dance forms.

Choreography is intentional and is not entirely expressive as it intends to bring out calculated movements that help deliver an intended message.  Dance can also act as a form of therapy.


  1. https://api.taylorfrancis.com/content/books/mono/download?identifierName=doi&identifierValue=10.4324/9780203137369&type=googlepdf
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-1-4020-3052-9_7.pdf
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9cZ_Vcca92wC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=history+of+choreography&ots=iP7eGslD7X&sig=2ipArAHXRA4IN_SCVcAnFCJsOno
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