African dance occupies central place in cultures throughout the African continent, embodying energy and a graceful beauty flowing with rhythm. In Africa, dance is a means of marking life experiences, encouraging abundant crops, honoring kings and queens, celebrating weddings, marking rites of passage, and other ceremonial occasions. Dance is also done purely for enjoyment. Ritual dance, including many dances utilizing masks, is a way of achieving communication with the gods. As modern economic and political forces have wrought changes on African society, African dance has also adapted, filling new needs that have arisen as many African people have migrated from villages toward the cities.