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5 MOST POPULAR PORTUGUESE TRADITIONAL DANCES

Portuguese folk dance, also called Ranchos Folclóricos are an integral part of Portuguese culture and Portuguese traditions and celebrations. Portugal is a beautiful country and a popular tourist destination in Europe known for its cuisine as well as Portuguese music and dance. With regards to Portuguese dance, there are number of popular traditional dance styles originating from various parts of Portugal’s rural countryside and coastal towns. Portuguese traditional music like Fado and Pimba play an important part in these traditional dances. Portuguese folk dances include Fandango, Chotiça or xoutiça, Two Steps Waltz or Bato pé, Corridinho, Vira, Vira de Cruz, Vira Solto, Vira de Macieira, Bailarico, Malhão, Vareira, Maneio, Marcha, Ciranda, Sapatinho, Tau-Tau, Zé que Fumas, Ó Ti Taritatu, O Pedreiro and Regadinho. Here is presenting the list of “5 most popular Portuguese traditional dances and a BONUS..

A. TRADITIONAL DANCE NO 1: VIRA

Vira is one of the most popular Portuguese folk dances similar to the “Waltz” in terms of the three step rhythm but much faster. ‘Vira dance’ actually translates into ‘turn dance’ english. This form of dance is said to have originated from a region called Minho located in North Portugal. Furthermore, it is basically performed by “couples” who dance to the rhythm of the music without holding hands. In addition, before dancing begins the couples arrange themselves in a circle to face each other.

B. TRADITIONAL DANCE NO 2: CHULA

Similar in style to the Vira, is yet another popular traditional Portuguese dance known as the Chula.  Apparently, this dance form is extremely popular in a region called “Douro” located in North Portugal. Furthermore, this dance is mainly performed by “couples” around a circle to the rhythm of the accompanying music by “stomping” their feet and “clicking” their hands. In addition, the music for this dance is produced by a piano, a guitar, an accordion, and also includes singing.

C. TRADITIONAL DANCE NO 3: CORRIDINHO

Considered to be extremely popular in Algarve the southernmost region in Portugal, is a traditional dance style known as Corridinho. In this “couple” dance the performers arrange themselves in two circles with the “females” positioned on the inside, and “males” on the outside. They then dance to the “fast” rhythm of the music by “stomping” their feet, and at the same time change directions within the circle.

D. TRADITIONAL DANCE NO 4: MALHAO

Malhao is a traditional dance style popular in the historical province of Portugal called “Estremadura” which is the westernmost part of Portugal along the Atlantic ocean.  Furthermore,   the performers mainly dance around a “circle”. In addition, the music used for this dance is accompanied by a song whose first line is “Malhão, malhão, o malhão do norte” which when translated means “Winnower, winnower, o winnower of the North”. Furthermore, the costumes used by the performer in this dance are less colourful than those used in other forms.

E. TRADITIONAL DANCE NO 5: FANDANGO

Fandango is another Portuguese traditional dance form which has its origins in Spain. Furthermore, in this dance generally two male performers essentially face one another and dance to the rhythm of music by using “tap dancing” techniques. Although, this dance is not the most popular ones in the Portuguese culture, it is performed during certain religious events as well as during an auspicious occasion such as Christmas.

BONUS: TRADITIONAL DANCE NO 6: Chotiça or xoutiça or choke (a variation of Schottische)

Chotiça or xoutiça folk dance is a form of Schottische dance which is a partnered country dance said to be originated in Bohemia in Germany. Various other forms of Schottische are found across the globe such as jenkka in Finland, chamamé in Argentina, reinlender in Norway, xote in Brazil, chotis in Spain, schottis in Denmark, and some others in France, Italy, Sweden, Mexico and United States. It involves one of the most fundamental dance steps which is a combination of a polka step and a circular hop. Couples in rotate in a circle holding and embracing all throughout never switching pairs.