top of page

Countries & Dances


The multicultural folk dance residency incorporates art with music, history, geography, social studies, and math to engage students while they’re learning. Over the course of the residency, students learn and perform adapted traditional dances of cultures and societies that may be new to them. The students will benefit from exposure to these new experiences. Through dance, students will be actively learning via participation and performance.

The countries and dances for your school’s residency may include:

Australia - Aboriginal Corroboree

This dance is based on the movements of a snake and kangaroo. The students dance to the sounds of a didgeridoo and wooden clapping sticks.

Brazil - Festa Junina Quadrilha

This dance is a type of square dancing that is often seen at Festivals in South America’s largest country. In this dance the students represent farmers and country life.

Canada - Les Saluts

This dance represents the French Canadians from Quebec. This dance is performed in a circle - which is the world’s oldest form of folk dance.

China - Dunhuang (Chinese Ribbon Dance)

This dance is an ancient folk dance that has been performed since the Han dynasty, the ribbon dance is performed in gratitude and honor.

Cuba - Cha Cha

This dance is playful and lively. It is known for its quick steps, hip action, and underarm turns. This partner dance is highly accessible as its music features a steady rhythm.

Dominican Republic.png
Dominican Republic - Merengue

This dance is a partner dance performed in different patterns while featuring hip movements. The students will learn the origins of this dance that is strongly influenced by Afro-Caribbean musical practices. 

France - French Minuet

This traditional court dance that was introduced during the reign of King Louis XIV. The elegant movements are performed to music that is conducted in triple meter.

Germany - D'hammerschmiedsgselln (The Blacksmith's Dance)

This dance originated in Bavaria. The students perform intricate hand-clapping patterns that resemble the sounds of a blacksmith at work.

Ghana - Highlife

This dance is performed with stylized arm and hip movements. Drum beats provide the music, and the students vocalize traditional Twi phrases in this high-energy dance.

Greece - Syrtaki

This dance was originally created for movies, but has since become synonymous with the culture of Greece. Today, this style is performed for tourists as a traditional heritage dance.

Hungary - Dunántúli Ugrós

This dance is a lively, jumping dance from Western Hungary that features hand clapping, circles, and lines. Ugrós are athletic couple-dances performed in 4-meter with an off beat.

Iceland - Vikivaki

This dance is a stylized Norse circle dance that has been performed since the middle ages. Traditionally, the music is sung by dancers, but we will use the song “Á Sprengisandi”.

India - Kathak

This dance is one of the 8 major forms of classical dance in India. It originated in Hindu temples of Northern India as a storytelling device. The movements depict carrying water and playing a flute.

Italy - Cicerenella

This dance is a type of “tarantella” performed to an upbeat tempo. It is one of the most famous folk dances in Italy. The students sometimes perform this dance with tambourines.

Japan - Shibu (Fan Dance) & Taiko Drumming

The fan dance presents graceful, delicate steps accompanied by beautiful fan and head movements. Over time, this dance evolved into a majestic tool for storytelling. Traditionally drumming was only performed by men. In this workshop, students learn to count to 10 in Japanese as they practice arm strengthening & drumming techniques.

Kenya - Adumu Variation (Lion Dance of the Maasai Tribe)

This dance, and jumping competition, was originally performed only by men and boys as a prelude to a young man's first hunting expedition. In this version, we incorporate all students into the dance. 

Mexico - Baile De Chiapas (Mexican Hand Clap Dance)

This dance has the students learning to dance as partners. They will learn basic polka and waltz steps. Instruments may be utilized for the performance.

Mongolia - Mongol Biyelgee

This dance is a traditional folk dance that embodies the nomadic way of life. The dance is a significant part of community events such as “Tsagaan Sar” (Lunar New Year). Students dance to the sounds of the morin khuur.

Nigeria - Funga Alafia

This number is a dance as well as a welcoming song. The students learn the main phrase in Yoruba that roughly translates to, “I welcome you with my thoughts, my words, and my open heart.”

Peru Flag.png
Peru - Huayno

This dance comes from the Andean region of Peru. The huayno is believed to have originated in the 16th century, and is a fusion of popular dance forms of the era and Indigenous folk music from the height of the Incan empire.

Romania - Alunelul 

This dance is traditionally performed by school aged children and originates from other chain-style dances. The folk dance features fancy rhythms and foot stomping patterns.

Scotland - Highland Fling

This dance is likely the oldest of all traditional dances of Scotland. The dance is said to be inspired by the movements of a stag. Students will test their strength, stamina, and agility by performing this dance.

South Korea.png
South Korea - Chongjae: Ggok Du Gahk She

This partner dance can be found performed at many festivals. Chongjae literally means "display of talent," and this dance shows the students wearing traditional dress called hanbok.

Spain - Flamenco/Paso Doble

This dance features a blend of traditional elements with Latin Ballroom styles. Flamenco movements performed with fans and instruments such as bells, and castanets will be blended with intricate foot stomping patterns that evoke a Spanish bullfight.

Ukraine - Hopak

This dance is performed by couples, but features male dancers performing spectacular jumps. The music is typically set in a 2/4 time signature and is a continuous presentation of energy and celebration.

United States of America

America is home to many different dance styles. Below you will find a few featured states that have brought strong dance traditions to our collective heritage.

S. of Hawaii.png
State of Hawaii - Hawaiian Hula

The Hawaiian Hula is a dance form that embodies the history and stories of Hawaii. With this dance students will learn movements that reflect a time before written language. They will also have an opportunity to work with traditional instruments such as the uli'uli and pu'ili.

S.of Virginia.jpeg
State of Virginia - The Virginia Reel

This dance is a line dance originally from England that was brought to the Americas by the colonists. Students will dance with partners in this lively, bouncing number.

bottom of page