The diversity of dance readily lends itself to study and interpretation. Dance research topics are easy to come by. Dance research can go as deep or as far back as you want to go. Dance can be practiced by everyone and can be studied intensely, or improvised on the spot.
Originating cultures of dance date back to the dawn of every culture. Dance in its rawest form was practiced by Stone-Age people to induce good hunting, good weather, or fertility. As cultures developed, more organized dance originated, more complex steps evolved as music, and musical compositions and instruments developed. Most ballroom dancing, such as the waltz, evolved from European influence. Spanish and Latin American cultures gave us the salsa and cha-cha dancing styles.
Rhythms are the building blocks of dance. Most of our rock, country, blues and jazz are based on four-four timing. That means that there are four beats to each measure. Rarely does popular music stray from this rhythm. It can be doubled, tripled or even more, but the basics of four-four still remain. One alternative is sometimes heard; the waltz timing. Country and classical and some contemporary pop use waltz timing which only has three beats per measure. Dancing is highly effected by this change in rhythm. Four beats per measure is easy to dance to, but with waltz timing, it almost has to be learned to dance to it properly.
Free-form dancing is up to the individual and anyone can do it. There is no right or wrong way to do it and it's left to the individual to improvise. Free-form is usually not done while touching a partner. Free-form dancing gained popularity in the United states and is probably the most prevalent of all the dance styles.
What some see as jumping around onstage is an artistic expression to others. Dance is also seen as an art form and is as old as the ballet. Stories can be depicted entirely by dance. Various types of dance performance on stage have become accepted worldwide as reputable occupations that takes years to learn properly. Artistic representation through dance is a topic in itself, and dance interpretation is even being practiced by Olympic athletes.