1.Abakuá Dance / Cuba

ABAKUÁ DANCE is a dance performed by the Abakuá, an Afro-Cuban men's initiatory fraternity or secret society originated from fraternal associations in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Known generally as Ekpe, Egbo, Ngbe, or Ugbe among the multi-lingual groups in the region. Members of this society came to be known as ñañigos, a word used to designate the street dancers of the society. The ñañigos, who were also called diablitos, were well known by the general population in Cuba through their participation in the Carnival on the Day of the Three Kings, when they danced through the streets wearing their ceremonial outfit, a multicoloured checkerboard dress with a conical headpiece topped with tassels.

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2.Aboriginal Traditional Dance / Australia / Papua New Guinea

Aboriginal Traditional Dance is closely associated with songs and it used to be experienced as making present the reality of the Dreamtime. Some groups held their dances secret or sacred. Dancers would imitate the actions of a particular animal in the process of telling a story. In some ceremonies men and women would have separate ceremonial traditions. Dancing styles varied among hundreds of tribes. Dancing was done with set arm, body and foot movements with a lot of foot stamping. The best dancers and singers were highly respected. Serious ritual or sacred dancing was quite distinct from light hearted camp dancing that men, women and children could share. The term “corroboree” is commonly used to refer to Australian Aboriginal dances, however it comes from the people of the Sydney region. In some places, Australian Aboriginal people perform corroborees for tourists.


3.ABUKO / Ghana

ABUKO is a traditional Ashanti dance rhythm from Ghana. It is played during traditional healing ceremonies to help excite and energise okomfo, traditional priest, in preparation for their possession by the gods.

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4.Aceh Ratoh Duek / Indonesia

Aceh Ratoh Duek is a dance from Indonesia traditionally performed by women kneeling in a line. Clapping and hand movements are performed in unison as a symbol of the harmony of the people of Aceh.


5.Acharuli / Georgia

Acharuli got its name from the region of Achara in Georgia. It is distinguished from other Georgian dances with its colourful costumes and playful mood. It is especially characterised by graceful, soft, and playful flirtation between the males and females. Unlike in Kartuli, the relationship between men and women in this dance is more informal and lighthearted. Acharuli instills the sense of happiness in both the dancers and the audience.

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6.Acholi DANCES / Uganda / South Sudan

Acholi DANCES are traditional dances by the Acholi people from the Northern Uganda, such as Larakaraka dance or Bwola dance. Larakaraka dance is a courtship dance performed during weddings. When the youth in a particular village are ready for marriage, they organise a big ceremony where all potential partners meet. Only the best dancers will get partners, so there is a lot of competition during the dancing. Bwola dance is one of the most prestigious dances - a royal dance performed for the Acholi King. The men form a large circle and each carries a drum. The movement of the feet matches rhythmically with the beating of the drums. The women dance separately inside the circle without beating drums. The dance has a leader who moves by himself within the circle and sets the time and leads the singing.



ACROBATIC ROCK is a dance based on rock’n’roll dance which was brought by the Americans after the Second World War. Further it added more dynamic movements. In France, Acrobatic Rock first appeared in Lyon in 1960.


8.ADOWA / Ghana

ADOWA is the most widespread and frequently performed social dance of the Akan people of Ghana. The Akan are located in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Central and parts of the Volta Regions of Ghana. It is best described in Akan musical traditions as a women’s dance because they dominate the performance. The few men that are seen during any performance handle the musical instruments. This dance is mostly performed at funerals but it can also be seen at yearly festivals, visits of important dignitaries and other celebrations.


9.AEROBIC / Global

AEROBIC is a form of physical exercise that combines rhythmic aerobic exercise with stretching and strength training routines with the goal of improving all elements of fitness (flexibility, muscular strength, and cardio-vascular fitness). It is usually performed to music and may be practiced in a group setting led by an instructor, although it can be done solo and without musical accompaniment. With the goal of preventing illness and promoting physical fitness, practitioners perform various routines comprising a number of different dance-like exercises.


10.Afar Dances / Ethiopia

Afar Dances are the dances performed by the Afar people, an ethnic group inhabiting the Horn of Africa, primarily living in the Afar Region of Ethiopia and in northern Djibouti, although some also inhabit the southern point of Eritrea. In Afar culture dance plays an important role and it is present at the important celebrations. There are two typical dances Laale and Keeke. Laale is performed exclusively by men and Keeke is done all together by men and women, for example, accompany the ceremonies of marriage.The dance is characterised by feet stomps, and jumping accompanied by movements of hands clapping.


11.AFRICAN DANCE / Africa / Global

AFRICAN DANCE refers mainly to the dance of Sub-Saharan Africa, and more appropriately African dances because of the many cultural differences in musical and movement styles. These dances must be viewed in close connection with Sub-Saharan African music traditions and Bantu cultivation of rhythm. African dance utilises the concept of as well as total body articulation. Dances teach social patterns and values and help people work, mature, praise or criticise members of the community while celebrating festivals and funerals, competing, reciting history, proverbs and poetry; and to encounter gods. African dances are largely participatory, with spectators being part of the performance. With the exception of some spiritual, religious or initiation dances, there are traditionally no barriers between dancers and onlookers. Even ritual dances often have a time when spectators participate.


12.AFRO DANCE / Global

AFRO DANCE is a mixture of Sub-Saharan African dance moves with contemporary pop, rap and trap movements. It often has strong presence in European countries with many African immigrants, especially France and French-speaking places, and the Netherlands, as well as the UK.


13.Afrohouse / Africa

Afrohouse is an energetic dance style that originated in Africa. The style derives from Kuduro, an Angolan dance style that evolved during a period of war, making it quite a ‘hard’ dance style. Besides elements of Kuduro, Afro House also has a softer, more cheerful side, inspired by - among other styles - by Pantsula, a dance style developed in South Africa and discovered by Angolan youth on their travels. They were the ones who developed the mixed dance style into the form we now know as Afro House.


14.Agbadza / Ghana / Togo / Benin

Agbadza is a music and dance that evolved from the times of war into a very popular recreational dance. It is originally done by the Ewe people of the Volta Region of Ghana, particularly during the Hogbetsotso Festival, a celebration by the Anlo Ewe people. It is also dances in Togo and Benin. The dance is usually played at funerals, weddings, and parties. Essentially, it is played at any occasion that called for Ewe identity emblem, since this music is known by other ethnic groups to be uniquely Ewe. Everyone is welcome to join in the dance. It is sometimes known as the “chicken dance” due to the bird-like motions required for the dance.


15.Ahidous / Morocco

Ahidous is an Amazigh dance from the Middle and High Atlas where women and men dance in line making small smooth movements. It is one of the most common Amazigh dances and symbolises the celebration of any event, from weddings, to religious Eid, or the end of the harvest season.


16.Ahwach / Morocco

Ahwach is a style of collective performance from southern Morocco, performed as a celebration of the community. It is an Amazigh ritual performance dance that tends to reenact tales and stories of each village. The dance usually involves large numbers of participants, and the experience can also be spiritual, where some connect it to pre-islamic beliefs and rituals.


17.Aissawa / Morocco

Aissawa is another type of mystical and religious brotherhood, where music and dance are organised in ritual nights, and participants can be brought to ecstatic trances. The difference lies in the types of rhythms, plus, Aissawa emanated from a Sufism in the region of Meknes in Morocco.

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18.Aji Lhamu / Tibet / India

Aji Lhamu is one of the most prominent folk dance forms practiced by the Monpa tribe of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, India. It is basically the Tibetan version of the Hindu epic Ramayana. There are mainly five characters in this dance drama. Nyapa is the central character and Nyao is the rival character. Lhamu and Lhum are two female characters and Gyeli is another character. The characters have mythological origin. Lhamu is a fairy from heaven, who came to earth and later became the queen of Gyeli. This dance form also portrays the grand ceremony of the wedding of King Chhoegay Norzang and Lhamu. It is performed during Losar festival.


19.Akayida / Ghana

Akayida is a Ghanaian dance with an emphasis on side to side moves, incorporating upper and body gestures, and encouraging group routines as well as individual competition. It is intensively relaxed, intensively free-form, intensively involves footwork, and incorporates vast arrays of hip-life dance moves. It involves the swaying of the body along with hand and shoulder movements in a certain pattern. It is often mispronounced “Al Qaeda”. Ghanaian hip-hop artist Guru whose song “Boys Abrɛ” provides a soundtrack for the Akayida is unequivocal that the dance has nothing to do with the Taliban. He explains, that it is the name for a new dance moves that emerged on the streets of Accra but wasn’t getting the attention. The dance gained popularity only because of the popularity of the song which speaks of the hardships of relationships, wealth and life in general.

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20.Aku Shaku / Togo

Aku Shaku is an afro urban dance born in Togo.


21.AKWAABA / Ghana

AKWAABA means “welcome” in Ghana. The Akwaaba dance from Ghana is trending nowadays.


22.Alaoui Danse / Algeria

Alaoui Danse is the most widespread dance through the west of Algeria. It is carried out by the men to celebrate victory and pride with movements of the feet and shoulders. The dancers express their attachment to the ground and moment their capacity of endurance.


23.Al-Ayyala / Oman / United Arab Emirates

Al-Ayyala is a dance performed in north-western Oman but also practises in the United Arab Emirates. Two rows of men facing each other with thin bamboo sticks in their hands simulate a battle. The dance involves chanted poetry and drum, cymbals and tambourines. It is a traditional group dance accompanied by traditional music. Separate group of male and female are represented. Leather bagpipes, flute and drums are the traditional musical instrument played during the dance.


24.Alcatraz / Peru

Alcatraz comes from the folkloric genre of the Celebration. It is danced in the regions of Lima and Ica as a festive erotic dance of loose couples. A man with a lit candle tries to light the "Cucuruchu" while a woman tries to turn it off with sensual hip movements.


25.Aldalaib / Sudan

Aldalaib is a dance which started at the beginning with drumming before the introduction of rababa. It is performed by one woman and a group of men where the woman shows her talent in dancing. The dance has its social indications which are linked to the strength of the man and the dancing talents of the woman. The dance is also known as the pigeon dance as the dancer does an imitation of the movement of the pigeon,


26.Aleke / Suriname

Aleke is a dance originating in Suriname performed to aleke songs. These songs are about love, as well as about events and social problems in the community. In one of the latest aleke hits, young people are warned about the danger of Aids. Aleke is used by a cantor and a choir. The instruments are three drums about one meter high, a djas, a large drum that resembles a pauk, and lids, the bengele-bengele, named after the sound they produce. Aleke is being strengthened electronically. The most striking is the vocal. The dance is mostly freestyle.


27.AL-SAMAH / Syria

AL-SAMAH is a Syrian traditional Sufi ecstatic dance, that was born out of Dhikr and prayer gatherings at the home of the Sheikh Aqeel al-Minbaji. Generally the dance begins with authorisation from a religious figure, usually a Sheikh, and it is composed of rhythmic, repetitive movements of the hands and feet, as well as rotations of the body, similar to that of the whirling dervishes. The male dancers twirl with their outfits throughout the song.


28.Alunelu / Romania

Alunelu is a family of dances from Oltenia in Romania. In the early 20th century the song Alunelu became a staple of the Romanian school system, a position it holds to this day. It is not known whether at that time a particular dance was associated with the song. Today there seems to be no fixed dance tied to the relatively fixed song. Choreographies seem to be linked more to the age of the children and demands of the stage.


29.Amarilletje / The Netherlands

Amarilletje is a typical Dutch folkdance.

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30.Amish Dance / USA

Amish Dance is a dance performed within Amish community in the USA. In reality, dancing is not seen among Amish adults, though Rumspringa-age youth may dance. Amish do not consider dancing modest, because moving the body to the music is seen as worldly activity, even so many people know famous square dance scene in which Amish happily shake a leg. Additionally, music is limited among Amish to church hymns, as well as religious hymns sung in the home. The Amish community dances solely to the accompaniment of a harmonica or simply to the unaccompanied singing of the young people or to a caller.

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31.ANIMAL DANCE / Global

ANIMAL DANCE is a dance performed by animals or by humans with animals. It is also a dance style which involves dancers imitating animal movements and it is often performed in a mask. Hundreds of videos of animal dancing (dogs, cats, horses, pigeons, squirrels, dolphins, fish, parrots etc.) can be found on the Internet. Animals stomp, bob, waggle, nod, jerk, they move rythmically and with a grace, which looks like dancing.

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32.Animation Dance / Global

Animation Dance is a style and a technique where one imitate film characters being animated by stop motion. The technique of moving rigidly and jerky by tensing muscles and using techniques similar to strobing and the robot makes it appear as if the dancer has been animated frame by frame. Walt Disney was the first to use this term, referring to his character Steam Boat Willie’s motions as “the animation dance” in 1929. This style was heavily inspired by the films created by Ray Harryhausen, such as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958).


33.Antikristos / Cyprus

Antikristos is a dance of Greek origin. In Greek language it refers to the verb “to be across, opposite, face-to-face”. It is also known in Armenia and it has similarities with karsilamas dance. It is danced in couples.


34.A’PASTURARA / Italy

A’PASTURARA, called also LA PECORARA, is a traditional dance from Calabria in 6/8 time done to bagpipe and accordion accompaniment by one or two couples. Steps are usually close to the ground with occasional small leaps. The man keeps all his attention on the woman who holds her dress in her right hand with her left bent sharply at the hip.

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35. AQUABATIC / Global

AQUABATIC is a type of dance related to gymnastic feats performed in water. Pole dancers show off their Aquabatic skills as they run through their routines underwater.

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36.Ardah sword dance / Qatar

Ardah sword dance was performed only by males before going to war. Now it is performed at celebrations, weddings and similar official events by two rows of men facing each other with swords or bamboo sticks and accompanied by music and poetry.



ARMENIAN DANCE is considered one of the oldest and most varied in its respective region. From the fifth to the third millennia BC, in the higher regions of Armenia, the land of Ararat, there are rock paintings of scenes of country dancing. These dances were probably accompanied by certain kinds of songs or musical instruments. Old descendants of Armenia mention epic tales which were translated into their songs and dances. Traditional dancing is still quite popular among expatriate Armenians and has also been very successfully ‘exported’ to international folk dance groups all over the world. Costumes vary depending on religious traditions, family, or other practicalities. The traditional colouring and exquisite beading of the costumes is quite common.

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38. ASHATSHYRTRA / Abkhazia

ASHATSHYRTRA is a beautiful dance from Abkhazia, performed on the toes. It is a dance of a military nature, reflecting the impact of the victory in the battle, performed by large groups of men and each holding a weapon, mainly moved in a circle. It is some sort of theatrical performance that is a reflection of historical events and adventures fighting of Abkhazian soldiers.


39.ASSIKO / Cameroon

ASSIKO is a popular dance from the south of Cameroon. Originally based in the Bassa country, this rhythmic dance takes its name from two words: “Isi” changed into “Assi” which means “earth” or “ground”, and the word “Koo” which means “foot”. Assiko is danced dressed in a simple T-shirt and a full skirt with an underling waistline to emphasise hip movements. Choreographies of Assiko use several lop-sided walks, successive small close walks that the dancers make at different heights, standing up or crouching, which makes you feel they float on the stage. There are also demonstrations of sense of balance, contortions and physical strength calling to the exhilaration of dance or trance.

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40.Assyrian Folk Dances / Syria / Iran / Iraq / Turkey

Assyrian Folk Dances are dances that are performed throughout the world by Assyrians, mostly on occasions such as weddings, community parties and other jubilant events. They are mainly made up of circle dances that are performed in a line, which may be straight, curved, or both. Most of the dances allow unlimited number of participants, with the exception of the Sabre Dance, which require three at most. Assyrian dances would vary from weak to strong, depending on the mood and tempo of a song.

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41.Aşuk & Maşuk / Turkey

Aşuk & Maşuk is a dance of the Taseli district of Silifke in Turkey and it is performed by two male dancers. It tells a story of a couple who loves each other but has obstacles preventing them from getting together.


42.Asyik / Malaysia

Asyik (literally "beloved"/"besotted") is a classical royal court dance popular in Patani and Kelantan. The dance was created in 1644 to entertain the grieving Ratu Kuning over the loss of her favourite bird. The dance’s name "the beloved" could have been referring to the lost bird. The performance begins with ten beautifully costumed dancers entering the dancing hall and sitting gracefully. The prima donna, also known as "the princess of love" appears then and the dance begins with gracious and delicate body movements and gestures. The orchestra consists of eleven types of small drums, gambangs (a xylophone-like instrument, usually made of slabs of wood or bronze), and a rebab (a bowed lute). Although it begins as a court dance, over time, the dance became popular among common people and used as folk entertainment during festivals and marriages.


43.ATSIAGBEKOR / Ghana / Togo / Benin

ATSIAGBEKOR is among the oldest traditional dances of the Ewe-speaking people of Southern Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Originally a war dance performed after battle when the warriors returned to the village, it is now performed on many social occasions. One of the outstanding features of the dance is the interaction between the master drummer and the dancers. Atsiagbekor songs constitute an important heritage of Ewe oral tradition. Most of them contain historical references to their chiefs, war leaders, migration stories, themes relating to the invincibility of the Ewes against their enemies, themes of loyalty, bravery, and death , etc. Atsiagbekor performance present scenes, which may have their actual origins in battles that were fought as the Ewes trekked through hostile countries in search of peace. It speaks about the qualities of womanhood and manhood and about human dignity.


44.Attan / Afghanistan

AttaN is a dance originated in Afghanistan. It began as a folk dance performed by Pashtuns in times of war or during weddings or other celebrations. It is now considered the national dance of Afghanistan. It is performed typically by the Pashtun in open air by a troupe of 50 to 100 dancers who wave red scarves in the air while musicians beat the drums. To the accompaniment of drums and pipes the dancers form a circle, taking each other by the hand or preparing to revolve in circles of their own. The dance starts with slow steps that gradually get faster and faster until it seems the performers must drop from exhaustion. However, the dance continues, sometimes for two or three hours with no breaks except from lowering the tempo or changes in the tunes and songs.


45.Aurresku / Spain

Aurresku is a Basque folk dance of courtship, in which the men perform spirited acrobatic displays for their partners; it is one of the most elaborate European folk dances of this type. It begins as a chain dance for men, in which the leader and last man break off, dance competitively, and rejoin the chain. Each later dances before his partner, and finally all bring their partners into the line, which eventually breaks into a fandango for couples.


46.Ausdruckstanz / Germany

Ausdruckstanz is a German dance called Expressionist dance. It is a term for a movement that arose in 1900 as a protest against the artistic stagnation of classical ballet and towards maturity in the future of art in general. Traditional ballet was perceived as the austere, mechanical and tightly held in fixed and conventional forms. This new dance was freer, natural and less rule-governed. It was strongly influenced by the passage of the expressionistic visual arts. Expressionist dance flourished until World War II, when it disappeared almost completely in Central Europe. Typical for expressionist dance was the many solo dance evenings held. These were influenced by the individual’s claims to create and present their own choreographic works. Choreographers and dancers were often one and the same person.


47.AWASSA / Suriname / French Guiana

AWASSA is part of the Bushinengues community from Suriname and was performed to close periods of grieving. Traditionally the dancers tell a story with their gestures or embellish the story that is being sung. The dance is accompanied by traditional drums, kwa kwa (bangi, small bench) and various apinti drums. The dancers have a strand of kawai (dried, hardened shell of fruit) around their ankles, which makes a crisp shaker like sound and they add another rhythmic dimension to the music.


48.Awa-ODori / Japan

Awa-ODori is a Japanese dance style with origin found in the Japanese Buddhist priestly dances of Nembutsu-odori and hiji-odori of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), and also in kumi-odori, a lively harvest dance, known to last for several days. The Awa Odori festival grew out of the tradition of the Bon Odori, danced as part of the Bon "Festival of the Dead” - a Japanese Buddhist celebration where the spirits of deceased ancestors are said to visit their living relatives for a few days of the year. The term "Awa Odori" was not used until the 20th century. It is a dance which takes place in various locations throughout the prefecture of Tokushima in Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of the Japanese archipelago. The largest celebrations are held in the city of Tokushima.


49.Axé / Brazil

Axé is a popular music genre originated in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in the 1980s, fusing different Afro-Caribbean genres, such as marcha, reggae, and calypso. It includes influences of Brazilian music such as frevo, forró and carixada. The word Axé comes from the Yoruba term “às̩e̩” meaning “soul, light, spirit or good vibrations”. It is also present in the Candomblé religion, as “the imagined spiritual power and energy bestowed upon practitioners by the pantheon of orixás”. Samba Axé is the major dance for the North east of Brazil during the holiday months. The dance is completely choreographed and the movements tend to mimic the lyrics. It's a very energetic kind of dance that mixes elements of Samba no pé and aerobics and because of the lyrics, which are made for entertainment, the dance generally has some sort of ludic element.


50.Azari / Iran

Azari performed by the Azerbaijani people of Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan in north west of Iran. These dances feature quick tempo, but also sometimes very delicate movements of hands, and steps.


51.Azonto / Ghana

Azonto is a dance and music genre from Ghana. The dance originated from a traditional dance called Kpanlogo, associated with the coastal towns in the country such as Chorkor, James Town, La, Teshie, Nunguaand Tema, in the Greater Accra Region. Songs in the Afrobeat genre are usually the ones dedicated to the Azonto dance. Other music genres, however, can also be used. The dance involves a set of hand movements that either mimic everyday activities or are meant to amuse an audience. It began with one- or two-step movements but has been advanced to more complex and almost acrobatic movements. It involves knee bending and hip movements. The dance has effectively evolved from a few basic moves to miming actions such as ironing of clothes, washing, driving, boxing, praying, swimming, and others