Modern dance is a term usually referring to 20th-century concert dance, although it has also been applied to a category of 20th-century ballroom dances. Modern dance refused classical ballet's stress on feet as the primary catalyst for dance movements. It, instead, put stress on torso employing such elements as contact-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation. It was usually performed in bare feet, often with non-traditional costuming.
Contemporary dance is the exploration of the total movement potential of the body. It differs from commercial or competitive dance in that it is not bound by set standards, as well as defined styles such as ballet or Jazz dance. Instead, it seeks to express a personalized vision, often through experimentation and collaboration for the development of new, more individualized approaches to the moving body and choreographic possibilities.
It does not refuse classical ballet's leg technique in favor of modern dance's stress on the torso, while it 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 can use elements of non-western dance cultures, for example, elements from African dance such as bent knees, or elements from the Japanese contemporary dance Butoh.