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The history of folk dance dates back to medieval times, where people danced for celebratory purposes, rather

than for style or technique as is found in many dance forms of today. Below is some basic information on folk dance history, as well as where you can learn more and start to appreciate this rare yet timeless tradition of movement.

The Beginnings of the History of Folk Dance


Long before history was even documented, spontaneous choreography has played a significant role in many occasions, including rites of passages and sacred rituals. English Folk Dance in particular

has been influential in the history of folk dance, starting in medieval times where people would create intricate dance formations, hold hands, and join in celebratory movement together. Folk dance was also part of life in the court of royalty, while peasants had their own separate dances they equally enjoyed. Medieval "carolers" were perhaps the first official folk dancers, and these individuals were found all throughout England and other parts of Europe during medieval times. Today, these carolers still exist in variant forms, including those of square dancing, barn dances, and even the Hokey Pokey.

Folk Dance Steps Combinations in 3/4 Time

Some dance steps done in 2/4 time rhythm can also be done in time. Review the step patterns of the following basic dance steps which are done in time and identify which dance step can be done in 2/4 and time signature.

Touch Step - touch R (cts. 1,2); close R (ct. 3) or touch R (ct. 1); close R (cts. 2,3) 1 M

Step Point - step R (cts. 1,2); point L (ct. 3) or step R (ct. 1); point L (cts. 2,3) 1 M Step Swing - step R (cts. 1,2); swing L (ct. 3) or step R (ct. 1); swing L (cts. 2,3) Step Hop - step R (cts. 1,2); hop R (ct. 3) 1 M Close Step - step R (cts. 1,2); close L to R (ct. 3); step R (ct. 1); close L to R (cts. 2,3) 1 M

Slide Step - slide R (cts. 1,2); close L to R (ct. 3) or slide R (ct. 1); close L to R (cts. 2,3) 1 M Bleaking - place R heel (cts. 1,2); close R to L (ct. 3) or place R heel (ct. 1); close R to L (cts. 2,3) 1 M Waltz - step R (ct. 1); close L to R (ct. 2); step R again (ct. 3) 1 M Three-step turn step R (ct. 1) turn and step L (ct. 2);

turn and step R (ct. 3); close L to R (ct. 1); pause (cts. 2,3) 2 M

Note: These steps can be done in place or while moving. It can also be done starting with the L foot.

All Sway Balance The first step is usually done obliquely forward, cts. 1,2, the cross-step is done sideward (ct. 3). The succeeding step is done obliquely backward (ct. 2) and the last two counts are done infront, in place. Arms open from the first position to the fourth position R or L arms high. Kumintang R (L) hand when pointing with L (R) foot on cts. 2,3 of the second measure.

Sway balance with a point step R, cross step L/step R, point L// 2M 1, 2 3 1 2, 3 Sway balance with a brush step R, cross stepL/step R, brush L// 2M 1, 2 3 1 2, 3

Sway balance with a close step R, cross stepL/step R, close L// 2M 1, 2 3 1 2, 3

Sway balance with a hop step R, cross stepL/step R, raise L, hop// 2M 1, 2 3 1 2, 3

Sway balance with a raise step R, cross stepL/step R, raise L// 2M

1, 2 3 1 2, 3

Sway balance with a waltz step R, cross stepL/step R, close L, step R// 2M 1, 2 3 1 2 3