Dancing, from "Dancing Queen," a song by ABBA

Subthemes: Enjoyable, Sensual, Dating and Courting

ABBA’s catchy hit, Dancing Queen, brings us into an eagerly anticipated Friday night where a teenage girl yearns to sparkle and be sultry under the disco ball. Dancing gives her freedom, self-expression, and power. Enjoy the performance! Several subthemes of Dancing appear.

Dancing, from "My Papa's Waltz," a poem by Theodore Roethke

Subthemes: Ceremonies, Rites, Music

Theodore Roethke’s short poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” recalls exuberant evening frolics in the kitchen with a Papa who is slightly tipsy. The energy, the affection, the playfulness of the clumsy dance, frowned on by Mother, remains vivid for the little boy. The poem engenders other sub-themes of Dancing.

Dancing, from "Singin' in the Rain," a movie starring Gene Kelley and Debbie Reynolds

Subthemes: Physical and Mental Exertion, Performance, Instruments and Bands

The dance numbers in Singing in the Rain have reached iconic status. Particularly, Don Lockwood’s (Gene Kelly) flamboyant and romantic traipsing through the rain expresses his valentine for Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds). Who minds the rain if you’re in love and can dance spectacularly? More themes of Dancing follow from this movie.

Dancing, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: In Art and Literature, Records, Expressions

The subthemes of Dancing discussed above arise from four works of art: a movie soaked in fine dancing, a Roethke poem of a father’s vigorous dancing, a seventeen-year-old girl who blossoms when dancing, and a Renoir of a French couple on the dance floor. We have a few more subthemes to present.

Dancing, from "Dance at Bougival," a painting by Pierre-August Renoir

Subthemes: Norms and Styles, Dress, Associations with Nations

Renoir’s canvas, Dance at Bougival, glows with a young couple in the close embrace of a slow dance. Behind them, others at the outdoor event in that small French city are watching, talking and socializing while the two lovers are caught up in the intimacy of the music and the tender moment. What are other themes of Dancing we can pick out from this painting?