Dancing is one of man's most elemental means to express spiritual and mental processes in form of body movement. In early times, this was often practised in magical or religious conjurations and as an expression of self-abandon in rituals concerning myths and natural phenomena. Remnants of this can still be found in folk dancing. Nowadays, dancers primarily abandon themselves to rhythm, though the ecstasy expressed in modern dance does also reflect the emotional states of early dance.
In eurythmy, on the other hand, the intention is to abandon oneself to the world, which can be experienced in all its fundamental qualities and thereby transformed into inner and outward movement. "In eurythmy," remarks Wolfgang Veit, "gestures corresponding to the sounds, words and tones that exist in speech and music - and that can be experienced by inner reflection - are expressed in the dimensions of space and time. Eurythmy makes it possible to visually experience the inner character and living structure of a piece of language or musical work. What becomes visible is then able to be clearly and directly experienced."
With eurythmy, Rudolf Steiner created a new art form which unites speech (or music) and movement, the latter serving as a means of expression. Just as speech is the differentiated expression of human experiences, eurythmy lets movements speak. Speech and music are transformed into visible movements and gestures. The body becomes an instrument of expression.
Dance accommodates a child's natural need to be in motion. When a child dances by itself, its movements have a sense of their own and are not motivated by outside influences. Dancing within a group is subject to given rules, rhythm and music. In a manner similar to music, dancing in a group requires the synchronization of all members. Aside from social skills, dancing also teaches tactfullness. Children learn to take notice of others and treat them with respect and tact.