[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Formation Open circle. V-hold.
Alternative Names 'Džumbus' is a Latin transcription.
'Dzumbus' is it reduced to ASCII.
'Dzhumbus' is an English transcription.
Dance Structure ((A x 4) + (B x 4) + (C x 4)) repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure 4 counts/bar, 4 bar phrases.
Music Speed 95 counts/min.
Choreographer Steve Kotansky.
Music An unpublished recording by Boban Marković Orkestar ('Disco Džumbus' on their 'Live in Belgrade' album is very similar).
Source Brian Steere (who learnt it from Rachel Arthur (who learnt it from Pablo Scornik in UK in October 2007) at Easter Gathering in UK in 2008) at Youlgreave August Bank Holiday Circle Dance event in UK in 2008. Steve Kotansky in Rivieradance, Torquay, UK, 2018.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but I don't know if the dance choreography itself is copyrighted. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught by Steve Kotansky.

A happy dance done to enlivening cheerful funky gypsy brass music with distinctive small brisk steps in Parts B & C after a familiar Part A. It (or at least the music) is traditional Serbian.

The music is a wonderfully happy tune played by a brass band in Balkan Gypsy style. Brian Steer described the music as being such that if the feeling that the music gives could be put into words as it would solve all the world's (philosophical) problems! However there is the question of which recording to use as Džumbus is a traditional tune that many brass bands have played in many arrangements, not all of which have that feeling or fit the dance. The version I most like for this dance (& which sounded like the one it was taught to) is the very funky, enthusiastic & jolly 'Disco Džumbus' by Boban Marković Orkestar on their 'Live in Belgrade' album.

Other recommendations for a Džumbus recording I have received have been one by Kočani Orkestar (which I was not been able to find) and one by by Slonovski Bal (a less funky arrangement that was also good to listen to - I bought that album too - but not as fitting to the mood of this particular dance).

Eight years after learning this dance via a chain of teachers, I was at an event (Rivieradance in Torquay, February 2018) where Steve Kotansky himself happened to lead it in an informal party-type session. It was only in casual dancing, not one of his taught dances, & I had not lead Džumbus for a long time so I cannot confirm that this version exactly matched that in steps but it was essentially the same other than Steve danced it more laid back rather than brisk (albeit that might be just variation to fit the mood). According to him the music was an unpublished recording from Boban Marković. As the 'Live in Belgrade' in Belgrade one was so similar, other than maybe the improvisations, I guess they are different recordings of the same arrangement by Boban Marković.

Style: Very small, but brisk & bouncy, steps in Parts B & C. Casual walking steps in Part A. Happy.


Summary: 8 bars.

Wait through 8 bars and start dancing when the melody starts on the trumpets.

Part A

Summary: Biserka Bojerka (to the R in R, L, Triple Step R. L in, R back, side Triple Step left).

Start Facing acw around the circle. Weight on L leg.
1-2 R forwards (travelling acw around the circle).
3-4 L forwards.
1-2 R forwards
3 L close.
4 R forwards.
1-2 Turning to face the centre of the circle, L forwards towards the centre of the circle.
3-4 R backwards.
1-2 L to the side.
3 R close.
4 L to the side.

This part is identical to the Biserka Bojarka, which is an easy Serbian dance commonly done in UK Circle dancing.

Part B

Summary: (Side on flat foot, close on ball) x 3.5 to R, x 1.5 to L, x 1.5 to R. Mirror, but first bar on the spot.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on L leg.
1 R to the side onto flat foot whilst lowering the centre of gravity by bending the knees slightly to give the feeling of dropping onto the R foot.
& L close onto ball of foot (keep L heel off the floor) whilst straightening the knees again.
2-3& Repeat counts 1-1& (R to the side dropping onto flat foot & L close onto ball of foot done) twice more (making 3 lots of R side & L close in total).
4 Repeat count 1 (R to the side dropping onto flat foot).
& Pause.
1-2& Repeat bar 1 counts 3-4& but in mirror image on the opposite feet (L to the side dropping onto flat foot, R close onto ball of foot, L to the side dropping onto flat foot, pause). (This is a effectively a Pas de Basque to the L but done with very small steps.)
3-4& Repeat counts 1-2& in the mirror image on the opposite feet (i.e. repeat bar 1 counts 3-4& without mirroring). (Small a Pas de Basque to the R.)
3-4 Repeat bars 1-2 in mirror image on the opposite feet but do the first half (bar 3) on the spot instead of travelling (L in place dropping onto flat foot & R in place onto ball 3.5 times, pause, small Pas de Basques R & L).

The recording of Boban Marković Orkestar's 'Disco Džumbus' on their 'Live in Belgrade' album playfully has an intermission without the melody in the second block of Part B x 4. That intermission replaces the last 8 bars of Part B music with a variation that is 16 bars long so one has to imagine the melody or keep count continuing Part B for a total of 6 times until Part C whereupon the melody comes back (of course one could edit that variation out of the music but it is fun to keep it in and, as long as the dance leader does not loose count, the dancers can follow).

Part C

Summary: R lift & side, L close, R side, L close without weight transfer. Mirror. Original. Part B bar 3.

Start Facing the centre of the circle. Weight on L leg.
1 R lift (small lift only to about ankle height) vertically with a small bounce up & down on L (supporting) leg.
& R to the side onto flat foot.
2 L close onto flat foot.
3 R side onto flat foot.
4 L close onto flat foot without weight transfer.
2 Repeat bar 1 in mirror image (L lift, side-close-side-close to the L).
3 Repeat bar 1 (R lift, side-close-side-close to the R).
4 As Part B bar 3 (L in place dropping onto flat foot & R in place onto ball 3.5 times, pause).

I find it tempting to spend longer on the lift (i.e. slow-quick-quick-slow-slow instead of quick-quick-slow-slow-slow) but the correct timing is better in that it gives a more interesting (like a little hiccough followed by restful steps) & more unusual feel to it.