A lively art in Turkey's vibrant culture

Dance in the recent years has gained increased attention, in Turkey dance is not only seen as an art form but is also perceived as a tool of socialization and working out. Especially students and young working class opt for joining dance courses. It is very advantageous for students to have dance course clubs in their universities, having these courses increase their interest in dancing. Nowadays enrollments to private tango and salsa dance courses increase rapidly.

Tango’s Turkish adventure is an old one. In 1928 the tango song named “Mazi” written by Necip Celal, followed by many tango songs, was successful in integrating tango to the Turkish culture. There is a wide variety of tango and salsa course options and if you want to go to one you can find one in almost every city center. Additionally the cafes that have tango nights are becoming more and more popular. During your visit to Istanbul you can think of going to a tango night near Taksim, in Ankara you can find one in Kızılay and Tunalı, in İzmir you can find one in Alsancak. In addition, the annual Istanbul International Tango Festival, organized for the past 12 years, attracts the attention of thousands of dance enthusiasts.

Modern dance found its place in Turkey after the modernization era. For example, you can observe the increase in interest for dance in the dance shows and contests on television in the recent years. In addition, you can watch modern dance performances which can be done in almost any type of music in many places. During your visit to Turkey if you happen to be in one of the big cities, checking out an event program would be enough for going to a modern dance performance. For example, if you are in Istanbul during the Istanbul International Festival of Contemporary Dance and Performance make sure to see some performances. Turkey’s first modern dance group is celebrating 22 years of activities this year.

Due its proximity to the Arab culture, Turkish culture also adapted to belly dancing. Belly dancing today is perceived as a sport and is performed to lose weight by many people. In the past it was possible to see performances of belly dancing on television, special occasions, weddings etc. However in the recent years belly dancing lost its popularity and left its place for modern dancing. The most well-known dancers of this form of dance is Tanyeli, Nesrin Topkapı, Asena and Didem.