5/6/23: I still have a few dances from the old paper lists to type in, but this list is nearing the “as good as it gets” for a complete list of dances that used to be in common rotation. I added some new fields to track candidates for revival and teaching. There is also a field for dance category to separate old, new, traditional, etc, but I’m still figuring out what those are.David Poulson, TNFD Coordinator
Here is the list of the folk dances we at TNFD know, used to know, are learning, or should learn. In the history of recreational international folk dancing in USA and throughout the world, there is a plethora of folk dances and plenty of websites with dance notes, history, and videos/links (check the Links page of this site). If there is a dedicated page on this site for a particular dance, as indicated by the icon in § column of the table, what you will find there are more dance details, some interesting tidbits about the dance, additional links to sources for more information, and my favorite YouTube videos of dancing, teaching, and music, embedded for you playing pleasure. I am working through each dance in the list to provide links in the hidden Info column for my top favorites of an information site (usually at Andrew Carnie’s Folk Dance Musings) and a demonstration video , and if I can find them, the music and a teaching video . You have to click/tap on the row to expand the hidden columns, including Info. If there is an or icon, then there are links present in the Info column.
How to Use This Table
- If you want to go right to a dance and you know the name, you can find it alphabetically in the Dance column, or you can type the name in full or in part in the search bar.
- You can click any column heading to sort by that column. Click again to reverse the sort.
- If sorting isn’t enough, you can perform limited filtering by entering some key words/tags into the search box. Use the codes from the key tables below or use terms, such as the country. For example, if you wanted to find easy dances from Israel, enter S2 israel into the search bar (the search is not case sensitive). If you want to list only the well-know dances, enter F1. The default search is Boolean AND (all terms must be found). You can use OR (capital OR) for searches like F1 OR F2 to return dances that are either Loved OR Liked favorites. Nested logic is not supported, but you could do F1 E1 OR F2 E1 to return Gentle dances that are Loved or Liked. but it’s probably simpler to enter F1 OF F2 and sort the EI column, or just not filter and skip over the F3 and F4 results, since there are not that many. 😉
Keys to the TNFD Dances Table
|F4||Forgotten or Unknown|
|K2||OK w/ Leader|
|K3||Teach or Review|
|TS||Teaching Status||T1||On Deck Teaching or Review|
|T2||Recently Taught or Reviewed|
|T3||Needs Teaching or Review|
|T4||Teaching for New Dancers|
|RC||Revival Candidate||R1..R9||Preference Ranking|
|TC||Teaching Candidate||C1..C9||Preference Ranking|
|IC||Individuals in a Circle|
|2R||Couples Round Dance|
|L||Held w/ arms ‖ to floor|
|V||Held w/ arms down, aka V-pos|
|W||Held w/ arms up, aka W-pos|
|DC||Dance Category||VT||Village Traditional/Celebration|
Column Field Descriptions & Info for Dance Programmers
- Form: Formation indicates if the physical dance arrangement. Note that the most common form of folk dance is an open circle where the is a leader and the group holds hands in an unconnected circle, although some will refer to that as a “line dance.” On this site, line dance is reserved for the block formation of individual dancers in lines most familiar in USA as “Country Line Dancing.”
- FL: Favorite Level (F1..F4) is a measure of how much TNFD loves to do the dance.
- GK: Group Knowledge (K1..K3) is a measure of TNFD as a group’s familiarity with a dance. Several less-familiar dances can be done if a strong leader is present. Teach or Review indicate that attention is required before attempting the dance, lest only a few will enjoy the dance.
- SL: Skill Level (S1..S4) is a measure of the folk dancer’s ability required to learn and execute the dance.
- EI: Energy Intensity is a measure of how much effort it takes to execute the dance. Look for a Gentle dance after a Lively dance, so dancer can recover.
- TS: Teaching Status (T1..T6) indicates if a dance was recently taught, will soon to be taught, or needs to be taught for the entire group or for new dancers. This helps keep track of less familiar dances so they can be worked into the dance program for practice.
- §: Only dances with a icon in the § column have a dedicated page on this site. Click the icon to go to that page. If there is a icon, that means links are present in the Info column.
- Dance is the common name of the dance used at TNFD. Many dances have several names for the same choreography. Some dances take the name from the song used for the dance, but other music may also work.
- Country is the geographic area within political boundaries where the dance is/was danced at the time of introduction. Country boundaries change, and sometimes peoples are driven out of those boundaries. Look to the history of the former Yugoslavia for such chaos. The Romani people (Roma) are a people without a country. Largely demonized and referred to by the G-word slur, Roma are widely dispersed, so this site uses Romani as a country name and the diaspora country identity is placed in the Region field.
- Taught indicates the last time a dance was taught at TNFD.
- Teacher indicates who taught the dance the latest time at TNFD.
- Choreographer name followed by an asterisk (*) indicates that the dance was introduced by that person to recreational international folk dancing. The actual choreographer may be traditional, attributed to multiple people, unknown, or other.
- Year is the year of the choreography or dance introduction to international folk dancing.
- djp is my own field for tracking my learning progress of dances.
- Info column contains various links to external websites for information and videos. Just click an icon. These links are my preferences, although there are usually many other choices available on the web.
- If there is a icon instead of a icon for the dance music link, this indicates that the music used for folk dancing has been edited from its original source to make it fit a dance pattern. Such edits are generally not found on YouTube.
- If there are duplicates, I just could not decide, or, in the case of a missing , I couldn’t find a teaching video.
- Original is the original language’s script of the dance name, if not in English.
- Translation is a simple English translation of the dance name.
- Alias is an alternative name/nickname or spelling. If you use the search box with a different spelling or common name (taxi cab for Siriysko Horo), you can find a dance that way.
- Region is the geographic region of dance style, which often crosses politic country borders.
- HH: Hand Hold is a general guideline for arm position and whether or not hands are held in the formation. If hands are joined, they can be raised (W-position), held low (V-position), held in front with arms parallel to the floor (L), held in a cross basket hold in front (X), basket hold in rear (#), shoulder hold (T), of no hand hold individual (I).
- Notes are any notes about the dance or reminders on how to do/start the dance.
- Favorites contains the initials of TNFD dancers who claim the dance as one of their favorites.
- Plain Name is the dance name without any diacritical or punctuation marks, used for webpage names and list sorting.
Common Search Filters
Click on the text to copy it to the clipboard for pasting into the table search bar.
Note: Click/tap on a row to reveal the Info column (links to dance resources) and other hidden fields.