Dance the Night Away: 5 Essential Spanish Dances to Learn.
There are many things to love and admire about Spain. From their food to the art, it is easy to get lost in the rich and varied Spanish cultural landscape. However, one thing that seems to stand out among all the rest is their love of dance.
So, if you are traveling to Spain soon, take a class or go see a performance. To help you narrow it down, here are 5 of the most famous Spanish Dances.
1. The Most Famous of Spanish Dances
Be honest. When you think of Spanish dances, you think of Flamenco. In fact, this dance seems to be almost synonymous with Spanish dance.
This beautiful, UNESCO recognised dance can trace its origins to the Romani community of Spain's southern province of Andalusia. Dating back to the 15th century, it is often performed with accompanying guitar music, clapping, and finger-snapping. It is noted for its graceful and regal poses.
2. The Muiñeira
The Muiñeira comes from the North-West regions of Spain and shares its roots with other Galician dances. Performed with the gaita, a bagpipe type instrument, this dance is very similar to its Celtic cousins, the jig. It is an energetic, playful dance that very is expressive and lively.
Another one of the most famous of Spanish dances, it is probably most famous for being a popular competition ballroom dance even though its fast speed helped soldiers march twice as fast as usual. Strangely though, its current incarnation originated in France.
The ballroom dance differs from its military origins. It is now a partner dance that is based on and follows the movements of a bullfight. The lead plays the role of the matador and the follow is the bull; it is an energetic and aggressive dance that builds up speed until its dramatic conclusion.
This dance traces its Moorish roots back to Granada and the Romani people who settled there. Unlike a more traditional Flamenco, there are heavy Belly dancing influences in the style and movements of this Flamenco style dance. Even the costume, with a shirt tied to expose the dancer's mid-drift and long flowing skirts, differs highly from its Flamenco counterparts.
Performed barefoot, this highly stylized dance began as a celebratory dance at weddings. Now it is performed in various neighbourhoods around Granada for the tourists. Fun fact, it was actually banned in Spain for a while because of its sensual nature.
The Jota is one of the national folk dances of Spain. While it probably originated in the Aragon region, there are distinct differences in the dance depending on where it is being performed. These differences can range from what musical instruments are accompanying the dancers to the costumes to when the dance was traditionally performed.
The dance is highly energetic and consists of lots of quick steps and jumping. It is said to be a courtship dance.
Just a Small Sampling
While these might be some more famous Spanish dances, they are by no means the only ones. Spain has a rich and diverse dancing tradition, with each region bringing their own interesting and distinct offering to the table.
For more helpful hints and tips about Spain, be sure to check out our blog.
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