Folk Dance - History and Types of Folk Dance

Customs and beliefs develop over time, forming into traditions. Folk dances represent one way regional traditions can be shown to the public. Traditional dances emphasize the cultural roots of the particular dance. Some of them are religious dances used to enrich religious ceremonies.

Folk dances are usually danced at social gatherings such as weddings. They are usually so simple that new dancers are able to join in. The development of the folk dances in their countries and local regions happens spontaneously. Modern “street” dances such as hip-hop are not considered folk dance.

Different Types of Folk Dance

Some examples of folk dances from all around the world are:

  • Céilidh – Gaelic folk dance originating from Scotland and Ireland
  • Fandango – Traditional Spanish couples dance that is accompanied by guitars and clapping hands or castanets
  • Georgian folk dances – Include dances such as Kartuli, Khorumi, Acharuli, Partsa, Kazbeguri, and Khevsuruli
  • Greek dances – Over 100 traditional folk dances, including a dozen that were danced at ancient feasts
  • Hora - Traditional folk dance of Balkans, danced in Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and other countries
  • Kolo – Folk dance of South Slavic countries such as Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia
  • Irish Dance – Traditional folk dance that has several forms of dancing, including popular Irish Step Dance
  • Italian folk dance – Many popular folk dances such as Tarantella, Pizzica, Monferrina, Calabrian Tarantella and Ballu tundu
  • Morris Dance – Traditional English dance originating in the 15th century
  • Polka – Popular traditional dance from the Czech Republic that is danced all around the world
  • Turkish dances – Bar, Halay, Horon, Zeybek and Sufi spinning dance
  • Hungarian dances – Includes Verbuňk, Ugrós, Karikázóm, Legényes and Csárdás
  • Square Dance – Traditional dance originating from England, involves four pairs of dancers
  • Sword (or Weapon) dances – Genre of folk dances, consisting of many individual dances from all around the world
  • Dollu Kunitha – Popular drum-based dance from India
  • Odori – Japanese folk dance, performed in streets during celebrations and parades

Source: Folk Dance - History and Types of Folk Dance
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