Take the kembangan (flower dances) of Silat. I've asked Alvin Guinanao to provide me with a vid of his moves which you will find above. Notice the fluidity and balance. Note the delicate hand gestures and intricate footwork that belie truly powerful and destructive self-defense technique. "Well that's all nice," you might say. "But where is the powerful and destructive self-defense technique?"
Here's a view of Alvin's ground fighting class. It doesn't look so dance like anymore. Some of it vaguely resembles certain Judo throws (osoto gari, kosoto gari, kosoto gake). You might remember my post on stances, or heard me in conversation refer to karate's funny ways of standing as takedowns. Compare Alvin's flower dance to his ground fighting. Now think about kata and how you might reinterpret it.
As for Alvin's delicate hand gestures while performing a kembangan, check out his class on blocking technique.