What Is Paint Dancing?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
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Paint dancing is a creative representation of both painting and dancing. Paint dancers create art on canvas, paper, clothing, or skin, while simultaneously dancing to any genre of music. Also referred to as action painting, this artistic expression may be enjoyed alone or in a group. The concept of paint dancing has spawned organizations and events for paint dancers of all ages. Paint dancing fundraising events are often organized for the benefit of various charities.

Many people who participate in paint dancing are non-professional artists and dancers. There is no specific technique involved, as the basic concept is to have fun and meet new people, while enjoying a creative pursuit. Paint dancing events are often organized for children, teenagers, young adults, and seniors. Special classes may be offered for those who wish to learn more and participate in this paint and dance craze. In addition to classes and events, paint dancing workshops also provide information and lessons.

Matt Jones, an artist from Seattle, Washington is credited for being the first to begin organizing paint dancing events. The artist owns a studio in Seattle, where many of the events take place. Proceeds collected from these events help the needy, including local and nationwide food banks.


Those who paint dance use materials such as water-soluble paints, paintbrushes, and art paper or canvas. Paint supplies are often provided by the class or organization sponsoring the event, or members may bring their own materials. Paint dancers typically wear comfortable dancing shoes and often paint them as well. Many paint dancers choose to paint on each other, a technique often referred to as body painting, which is why it is encouraged to wear appropriate clothing.

The art of paint dancing takes on many forms. Some paint dancers participate with a partner, while others dance alone. Paint dancers may also create their own artwork, or combine efforts in a group project. Joint efforts provide social interaction and allow people to make new friends.

Simultaneous painting and dancing offer artists the opportunity to express themselves freely and feel good about themselves. Typically, a paint dancing event will feature various types of music to dance to. Designated themes may include a Motown dance and paint night, or a jazz-fest. Paint dancers may also create their art to the sounds of rock, hip-hop, or reggae music, often played in rotation.


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