Things About Portuguese Traditional Dance You Need To Know

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Culturally speaking, Portugal is known for a number of vibrant traditional dances. A few of them are: Vira, Chula, Corridinho, Malhao etc. Now, have you ever wondered what these Portuguese traditional dance forms actually entail? If your answer to this question is ‘no’, then you need not worry, because through this article we at ‘DanceAsk’ intend to provide you with must know facts about ‘Portuguese Traditional Dance‘ Forms also called Ranchos Folclóricos.

a. Portuguese Traditional Dance forms, and the music:

Portuguese Traditional Dance

Portuguese Traditional Dance & Music

‘Rhythmic music’ is mainly used in most traditional dance forms in Portugal. Furthermore, it is folk music that is made use in Portuguese dance styles. In addition, apart from vocals (singing), clapping of hands also forms an integral part. The musical instruments accompanying most traditional Portugal dance forms include: the Portuguese guitar, mandolin, bagpipes, accordion, violin, and traditional guitar.

b. Portuguese Traditional Dance dress and costumes used: 

‘Colourful’ is a word that best describes the costumes used in most traditional dance forms in Portugal. In addition, the male costume differs completely from those worn by females. They are as follows:

Portuguese Traditional Dance

Portuguese Traditional Dance

  1. Gents: The attire worn includes a black pant, a white shirt, a broad red cloth tied around the waist, a hat, and a pair of shoes.
  2. Ladies: The costume includes an overcoat, a colourful skirt, pair of stockings and shoes. The colourful head scarf or bandana adorned by women looks beautiful and gives the overall costume a pronounced traditional touch.


c. Portuguese Traditional Dance forms, the steps used: 

A ‘variety’ of moves are used in most ‘Portuguese Dance Forms’. They include the ‘three step rhythm’ as seen in ‘waltz’. Furthermore, in a dance such as Chula, ‘stomping of the feet and clicking of hands are used. In addition, many of the traditional dance forms in Portugal are performed around a circle. Prime examples being Malhao, and Corridinho. Techniques of ‘tap dancing’ are also used in a traditional Portugal dance such as the ‘Fandango’.

dPortuguese Traditional Dance forms, YouTube Video: 

Video of a traditional Portuguese folk dance forms depicting some of the various dances:

In conclusion, it would be apt to say that most Portuguese Traditional Dance forms have a lot of variety and are a treat for the eye since they beautifully depict the Portuguese spirit and their pride in their traditional culture.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons and Flickr


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