Contemporary dance is a popular form of dance which developed during the middle portion of the twentieth century and has since grown to become one of the dominating performance genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world, with particularly strong popularity in the U.S. and Europe. Although originally informed by and borrowing from classical, modern, and jazz styles, it has since come to incorporate elements from many styles of dance, but due to its popularity amongst trained dancers and some overlap in movement type, it is often perceived as being closely related to modern dance, ballet and other classical concert dance styles. In terms of the focus of its technique, contemporary dance tends to utilize both the strong and controlled legwork of ballet and modern dance's stress on the torso, and also employs contact-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristic of modern dance. Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used, as well.
It sometimes also incorporates elements of non-western dance cultures such as elements from African dance including bent knees, or movements from the Japanese contemporary dance Dance techniques and movement philosophies employed in contemporary dance may include Contemporary ballet, Dance improvisation, Modern dance styles from United States such as Graham technique, Humphrey-Weidman technique and Horton technique, Modern dance of Europe Bartenieff Fundamentals and the dance technique of Isadora Duncan. Contemporary dancers train using contemporary dance techniques as well as non-dance related practices such as Pilates, Yoga, the acting practice of Corporeal mime - Etienne Decroux technique and somatic practices such as Alexander technique, Feldenkrais Method, Sullivan Technique and Franklin-Methode, American contemporary techniques such as Jose Limon technique and Hawkins technique and Postmodern dance techniques such as Contact improvisation and Cunningham technique, and Release technique.