List of National Dances

By Vintagemode - September 09, 2020

Artistic representation of a country’s customs and unique traditional features can be conveniently called a national dance. Nearly every country in the world has a recognised form of dance that represents the country’s culture.

•Zeybek (Turkey)- Each region in Turkey has its own culture that represents its traditions. Zeybek originated in the Aegean coast that involves men dancing in colourful costumes. Their movements are a symbol of heroism and bravery. Other dances are Horon and Kasik Oyunu(spoon dance).

•Flamenco (Spain)- The official National Dance of Spain, Flamenco originated in the late 18th century in Andalusia in southern Spain. A form of Spanish folk dance, singing, playing the guitar, hand-clapping and dancing are what comprise Flamenco. It is equally popular in other parts of the world, so much so that there are more flamenco academies in Japan than Spain to learn the dance.

•Bedouin Belly Dance (Egypt)- Widely considered as the home of belly dancing, Egypt boasts of a unique dancing style that is admired and practised by people around the world. The awe-inspiring movements of the belly are the most beautiful aspects of the dance form that differentiates it from other dances originating in the middle East.

It has two main styles- Raqs Baladi and Raqs Sharqi. Raqs Baladi is based on the countryside folkloric dances. Raqs Sharqi is more of what is called the contemporary “cabaret” that became popular in the 1920s movie scenes. These two styles are more often combined for an aesthetic appeal.

•Maple Leaf Stomp (Canada)- This is the official national dance of Canada although there are other popular dances in the country. Usually a partner is required in this dance to hold hands and step to the side. Other similar dances include the Canadian Stepdance which is also the unofficial national dance.

•Jipin Dance (Brunei)- The local Brunei population is known for its jipin dance. Six men and six women perform this dance. The performance is backed by musicians playing the traditional musical instruments like dombak (a type of drum) and rebana(tambourine). Since Brunei has a strong Islamic influence, the dancing scene is somewhat of a restricted area.

•Bon Odori (Japan)- In a country that has closely held its cultural identity for centuries even in the changing culture and society, dances remain a part of the tradition. Japan has successfully embedded its cultural and traditional features in the form of dances that differ greatly from other international dance forms. One such dance is Bon Odori. It is performed in summer festivals during August to commemorate the ancestors. People wear the traditional “kimono” dress and dance to traditional music with various movements. It has a huge number of participants – both local and visitors. Even the tourists like to get involved. The dancing is public and celebratory.

Since there are various dances in any country, it becomes a difficult task to designate a national dance. That’s why, a lot of countries have no designated national dance. Even then, a higher value is attached to the traditional dances.

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