Modern dance is a style of western concert dance which began loosely in the late 19th century and early 20th-century. Modern dance refused aspects of classical ballet and broke away from codified movements and balletic narrative structures. Modern dance is its own art movement form and encompasses a wide range of styles, many of which are associated with renowned schools and masters.
Some of the earliest distinguishing characteristics of modern dance include stress on the center or torso, bare feet, loose hair, free-flowing costumes, and incorporation of humor into emotional expression. It was inspired by classical Greek arts, folk dances, social dances, nature, natural forces, and new American athleticism such as skipping, running, jumping, leaping, and abrupt movements. It also hinges on concepts of contraction and release and wanting students to "Feel". To "Feel", means having a heightened sense of awareness of being grounded in relationship to the floor while, at the same time, feeling the energy throughout your entire body and extending it to the audience.