Dance music is a surprisingly old form of music, because it is not exactly a genre of music, but a subtype, encompassing multiple genres and music types.
The origins of dance music are not exactly traceable to a particular point in history, but there are early references of using music to dance to by the ancient Greeks. However, some people argue that folk dances set to traditional folk music led to the evolution of dance music, because it has several similarities like the rise and fall of notes, a climatic section and a general chorus set on a repetitive beat.
The minuet came to be used in the classical music era as a third movement in the 4 movement non vocal works of the time. However, the minuet was not accompanied by dancing, it was just music. Sonatas, string quartets and symphonies are a few examples. The minuet slowly transformed into the schero, and the waltz became more and more popular. Barcarolle, polonaise and mazurka were other forms of dance music that emerged during the romantic period. The composition of dance music hit new heights when ballet began its growth and development. The 1920s saw the rise of a new form of music called jazz which started to be played at nightclubs. Then came the swing era in the 1930s, marking a sharp shift in the public’s opinion about popular dance music. The 50s were much less subtle. The rock and roll industry caught the world by storm. By then night clubs were already employing disc jockeys to run pre recorded songs for them in a coordinated fashion. R&B and hip hop flourished extensively in the 60s and 70s when people from Compton stepped into the rap industry. The 70s however, changed the whole music scene forever. This was because it was during this time that disco was introduced.
Disco music was popularized heavily by pop culture and was featured in several famous movies. Disco went worldwide, invading every film and music industry. When electronic music was first brought out, it was not generally well established. It was only after disco music incorporated it did it become such a big sensation. Today electronic dance music is the one of the largest music genres in the world.