Typical European Dances

European Dances

With this entry, we aim to introduce different typical dances that take place in popular festivals of different European countries. Travel agencies are increasing their dance tours as it is becoming trendy between the millennial to consume old style cultural content and activities.

Germany

Although Germany does not have a typical national dance, dance in general plays an important role in wedding and country parties.

There are many folk groups that play, sing, and practice traditional dances specific to each region of the country; for example, the Schuhplattler of Bavaria, waltz, polka, etc. Of the most popular dances, the first place is occupied by the Schwertertanz, a sword dance of very ancient origin. Its antiquity is confirmed in the writings of Tacitus, who spoke of a strange sport that young adults practiced with great ability and that consisted of jumping naked between crossed lances and swords.

England

Among the typical dances of England are the Morris Dance and Maypole Dance.

The Morris Dance is a traditional English dance that is usually accompanied by music. Generally, this dance forms part of processions and other English festivities. The Morris Dance is performed by a group of dancers who execute intense choreographies using items such as swords, handkerchiefs, bells, and sticks.

Another dance typical of English culture is the Maypole Dance, performed around a tree-like pole adorned with flowers, foliage, and ribbons. This dance is a rite of spring that is performed to ensure fertility.

Italy

The tarantela is a popular dance of Italy. It is a dance of Neapolitan origin that has a very lively movement. In its most common modern form, it is a dance of gallantry between couples with music in 6/8 time that progressively increases in speed and is accompanied by castanets and tambourines. The name “tarantela” comes from the Italian city of Tarento.

Ireland

The ceili is a typical dance of Ireland. Everyone dances it at Saint Patrick’s Festival, which is celebrated on March 17. This was officially inaugurated as a festival in Ireland in 1995 and hosts all kinds of events in which more traditional Irish culture is mixed with leisure and fun. Usually, it is customary to dress in all green. The typical elements of this celebration are the shamrock, which is the national emblem since Saint Patrick used it to explain the mysteries of the Sacred Trinity, and the leprechaun, a fairy with the appearance of an old man that must be captured to reveal where a treasure can be found.

Saint Patrick’s Festival typically lasts several days and always begins with a grand parade where people can admire many costumes and enjoy bands that liven up the streets of main Irish cities. The ceili is a typical Irish dance that is usually performed on this date and nearly all people are required to participate.

Spain

Some of the most representative characteristics of Spain are its music and its dances. In each region of the peninsula you can discover different styles of music and dance that speak of their region’s tradition and history. For example, in this photograph we can see a group of dancers performing the typical dance of their region: the sardana. Each Sunday in many towns and cities in Catalonia people unite to dance the sardanas not only as a traditional manifestation of Catalan culture but also as a symbol of independence. For many years the sardanas were banned by General Franco, leader of the Spanish government. It was not until his death in 1975 that the Catalans could revive the representation of this traditional dance.

Sardana: music and dances of Spain

However, the sardana is not the only traditional dance in Spain. In the region of La Mancha, the typical dance is the manchegas. In Aragón the traditional dance is the jota, and in Galicia it is the muiñeira. But perhaps one of the cities most famous for its dance is Seville in Andalusia. In the city of Seville the typical dance is the sevillanas. Wearing frilly dresses, many women dance sevillana after sevillana with their partners while the musicians accompany them with guitars, clapping, and “¡olé!”s.

In conclusion, we have highlighted the Schwertertanz or sword dance of Germany for its technical difficulty. However, we also point out the Spanish dances, especially the sevillanas, whose choreography and rhythm invite anyone to get up and dance. That is why it is considered one of the most well-known dances in the world, and even Western cultures highlight this typical Spanish dance and are enthused to learn it in dance camps and classes around the world.

About the Author -
I am a dromomaniac as I have been travelling since I am 18 years. I have travelled around more than 50 countries around the world and lived in 14 different places. Also I am a product manager for digital companies and I have been the last 2 years working on travel solutions. The last one is http://www.hiretravellers.com

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