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Alternative names 'Khumkhuma' is the original name of the dance and of the music.
'Teen' was the name of the of music Tom Bozigian temporarily used for it and is the name most commonly used for the dance in the UK & The Netherlands.
Ethnnicity Originally from the Khurdish population in Armenia.
Formation Short lines with leader on the right. Fortress hold with fingers interlaced or close V-hold.
Dance Structure Short sequence repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure 8 counts/bar, 2 bars/phrase.
Music Speed 120 counts/min but can be done at other speeds or accelerating.
Source Dalila Heath (who learnt it from Tom Bozigian) at the 2001 Eastbourne International Folk Festival. Tom Bozigian's 2005 version from his session at Doe Dans 2005 in The Netherlands. Tom Bozigian's 2011 version from his Balkanplus/Akhtamar day class in London 2011. Tom Bozigian's 1978 version (which he learnt from Jimmy Haboian in Detroit in the early 1960s) from his notes which were distributed in the Hilel Dance Group class in Hatfield, UK, 1978, via Frances Horrocks, former SIFD head, in 2008.

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 the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught by Dalila Heath or Tom Bozigian.

A popular & distinctive Armenian dance. It feels & looks quite dramatic because of the music and steps but it is actually quite a simple sequence.

The most distinctive features are the drops onto the L leg whilst travelling & the swivelling (or kicking) steps backwards. It can be done gently with smaller travelling steps & token drops missing out the swivelling but it does not look nearly as good like that.

Note that the music is officially 2 counts/bar with 8 bars/phrase. I find it easier to count as (& it sounds like) 8 counts/bar with 2 bars/phrase so that is what I've written it as below. I.e. "ONE two Three four Five six Seven eight" in these notes is officially "ONE two THREE four FIVE six SEVEN eight".

'Khumkhuma' is pronounced 'k-h-oo-m-k-h-oo-m-ar' (with 'oo' as in 'book') in modern Armenian but (Bozigian 2011) was originally pronounced 'kh-i-m-kh-i-m-air' (with 'kh' similar to 'ch' in 'loch').

There is some controversy over the styling of the dance. This is not uncommon for a folk dance which naturally comes via multiple routes with evolution on the way and for different teachers to insist that different versions are more authentic but it is stranger in this case as the origin of the conflicting styles can be traced right back to the single point of entry this dance into the UK repertoire: the top collector & international populariser of traditional Armenian folk dances, Tom Bozigian. Maybe he discovered more authentic source material after first introducing it or he wanted to differentiate it from Garoon, another popular Armenian dance of his that had similar steps backwards.

The main version ('Usual Styling') written here is how it was ubiquitously danced in the UK & Netherlands (at least from the 1970s Tom Bozigian's visits until his return visits in the 2000s). I wrote it down when taught it by Dalila who specialises in Armenian dances but have had the same version led by many other teachers. However, when Tom Bozigian came to teach Armenian dances at Doe Dans in 2005 and saw hundreds of us (mostly Dutch) were doing that version in evening parties, he chastised us in the following day's workshop and told us how we should be dancing it. His current version had essentially the same steps but a different styling. Considering that he is the authority who collected & promoted the Armenian folk dances, including this particular one, from the Armenian diaspora in the USA I added that into these notes (as 'Bozigian 2005 Styling') Then a friend of mine who has long been high in UK International folk dancing who saw me do the new styling back in the UK showed me notes from a class 1978 written by Tom Bozigian himself where the styling was much more like the usual UK version showing that the British & Dutch have preserved an earlier version of his. So I added that here too (as 'Bozigian 1978 Styling'). When he taught in the UK in 2011 in an event I helped organise, his styling was similar to his Doe Dans 2005 one but not quite the same so I added that too (as 'Bozigian 2011 Styling').

The reason for the common name in the UK being 'Teen' rather than 'Khumkhuma' that that (Bozigian 2011) when Tom Bozigian first taught it, he did not have the authentic music to use so he used another Armenian folk tune, one with 'Teen' in its name. He has long since found, played, recorded & sold the authentic music but, at least in the UK & The Netherlands, the name 'Teen' has stuck.

The words of the (authentic) song are (Bozigian 2005) about being too drunk. They are sung in first person and the moving backwards section (bar 2) representing how there is an attractive woman whom the male singer/dancer cannot get to because of their drunken lurching state. (It is probably best not to mention this when leading this dance for meditatively inclined Sacred/Circle dancers :-) .)

Style: Staccato. Large steps whilst travelling to the R, rigid whilst slipping back. Keep back upright even when bending down with knees. Flat footed steps & stamps.


None. Either start as soon as the music does or join in at the beginning of a sequence whenever your line is ready.

Whole Sequence (Usual Styling)

Summary: To the R in a (Triple Step, (drop into L across infront, R) x 1.5), double hop, R side, L touch close. 7 steps back swivelling toes out syncopated, R stamp touch close.

Start Facing about 45 deg cw of the direction to the centre of the circle.
1&2 Triple step (R forwards, L close, R forwards) to the R (i.e. in the direction of the line) travelling fast by taking big steps.
3 Drop onto L foot across infront (i.e. step L across infront and simultaneously bend the knees as if one is crumpling into that step without leaning ones torso forwards). The style is not a limp but a dramatic drop down.
4 R to the side straightening the knees to stand up again.
5 Repeat count 3 (drop on L across infront).
6 Straighten up the L knee with such force that it becomes a hop.
& Immediately L hop a second time. (This double hop is useful in absorbing the travelling momentum.)
7 R to the side turning to face the centre of the circle.
8 L close without weight transfer.
1 L backwards.
& Swivelling the R toes out to the R about 30 deg by pivoting the foot on its heel. (This step is common in English Cotswold Morris dancing, other than that the swivelling is usually simultaneous with the stepping and is done by swivelling the heel in pivoting on the ball of foot (which looks very similar), where it is called a 'slipback'.)
2& Repeat counts 1-1& on the opposite feet (R slipback).
3&4& Repeat counts 1-2& (L & R slipbacks).
5&6& Repeat counts 1-2& (L & R slipbacks).
7& Repeat counts 1-1& (L slipback).
8 R close with vertical flat footed stamp without weight transfer.

Optional Shouts

One can shout "Hey!" loud and brief on the first 4 swivelling backwards steps. The shouts are syncopated to the music as they are on the swivels not the steps (i.e. bar 2, counts 1&, 2&, 3& and 4&).

Bozigian 1978 Styling

Summary: As Usual Styling but commence L across infront in previous count, lift R in L hops, swivel feet further, don't stamp final R touch.

This is essentially the usual UK styling but with some more detail about exactly how to do some of the actions. Only differences are described below.

1 As Usual Styling but increase the drama of the stepping L across infront (counts 3 & 5) by commencing the swing across in advance (counts 2& and 4&) and raise R heel to calf level during the hops (counts 6 and 6&).
2 As Usual Styling but toes turn out more dramatically to 45 deg rather than 30 deg but only touch (with ball of foot) R close without weight transfer at the end rather than stamp.

Bozigian 2005 Styling

Summary: As Usual Styling but move diagonally outwards in the Triple Step, R forwards instead side, kick forwards instead swivelling feet, flick foot up behind before the stamp.

This looked substantially different to the usual UK styling in not having foot swivelling. There were also some more minor stylistic changes. Only differences are described below.

1 As Usual Styling but do the Triple Step (counts 1&2) travelling diagonally outwards (to the R backwards) rather than to the side (to the R) and the final R step forwards (count 7) instead of to the side (thereby compensating for the moving out in the Triple Step).
2 As Usual Styling but instead of steps backwards with syncopated heel turning do normal steps staccato backwards with the freed foot kicked forwards on each step (knee straight, foot horizontal about 5 cm or less from the ground), flick the R foot up behind in preparation (count 7&) for the stamp by flexing the knee and have the stamp (count 8) close without weight transfer as a very firm one (with the foot coming into horizontal position on the floor from behind).

The drops on counts 3 & 5 he called 'plies', the ballet terminology, which sounded gentler but they looked the usual tough styled ones.

When he was asked as to where the shouts should be, he replied that there should not be shouts, syncopated or otherwise, but one should learn the words of the song and sing them properly!

Bozigian 2011 Styling

Summary: As Bozigian 2005 Styling but diagonally inwards in Triple Step, R side instead of forwards, L touch infront and no flick behind before the stamp.

This was similar to his 2005 styling but with a few minor changes. Only differences are described below.

1 As Bozigian 2005 styling but travelling diagonally inwards (to the R forwards) instead of diagonally outwards in the Triple Step (counts 1&2), the final R step (count 7) to the side (presumably as the inward travelling has already been done) and with the L touch (count 8) to the ground infront rather than closing to the R foot (this makes each of the backward steps of equal length rather than the first being shorter).
2 As Bozigian 2005 styling (kicks rather than swivels) but no flick (count 7&) before the stamp (this might however have been because he had recently injured his R knee).