Regardless of what culture you are from there is one thing almost all of us have in common. We are dancing creatures. With the exception of some religious sects, dancing has been as much of a part of human existence since we could move around. And up until recently, we’ve believed it was a uniquely human trait. Once again though, our definitions have been too narrow. We consider dancing as synchronized movements to a beat (some being more adept than others), but what we failed to see is how animals can have that same visceral reaction to music that we do. Birds tend to bob their heads and move to one foot and another, elephants enjoy similar grooves. I shudder to think of trying to dance with an elephant, my feet have been victim enough to a clumsy step.
We often see elaborate mating rituals done with dance moves, both within our own species and otherwise. Now, not every animal passes muster on what we have decided is dancing, but this means that once again we learn that humans are not unique in their ability to create music and art. We just have a hard time proving what other animals are thinking and what is motivating them. So next time you decide to rock out, let the nearby animals enjoy the song along with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll be asked to dance.
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