Žensko Svatbarsko Horo

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

Alternative Names 'Женско Сватбарско Хоро' is the original spelling.
'Žensko Svatbarsko Horo' is a Latin transcription by Yves.
'Zhensko Svatbarsko Horo' is an English transcription.
'Zhensko Svatbarsko Horo' is it reduced to ASCII by missing off the accents.
'Zensko Svatbarsko Horo' is it reduced to ASCII by missing off the accents.
'Žensko Svatbarsko' is how it was called on Yves's CD.
Formation Open circle or short lines. W-hold.
Dance Structure Single sequence repeated throughout the music.
Music 'Zaspala e Fida'.
Music Structure 3 counts/bar, 8 beats/bar, 12 bar phrases.
Music Speed 80 counts/min.
Source Yves Moreau in his 2005 London workshop.

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 Yves Moreau.

A delicate Bulgarian women's dance with distinctive "sinking" steps and done to a beautiful tune comprising just singing & a drum with an interestingly irregular rhythm.

According to Yves's written notes, it is woman's dance from Goce Delčev (Nevrokop) done at weddings.

The rhythm is uneven. Within each bar counts 1 & 3 are 1.5 times as long as count 2, i.e. "OONE two threee". In Western musical notation this is represented as 8 beats per bar grouped as 3+2+3. There are also fermatas (the pause is both in the music & the footwork) between bars 2 & 3, between bars 4 & 5 and between bars 7 & 8 of each 12 bar long phrase. To help with synchronisation, note that the instrumental bars are bar 12 of each phrase which are the final bar of the sequence.

Style: Delicate but proud. Macedonian. Very low steps with toe leads. Very smooth (pauses are more like slows merged into surrounding steps than stops). The Sinking Steps & foot turnings out are vital bits of the styling.


Summary: Start when singing starts.

There is 2 bars of instrumental music (drumming) for the introduction. Start dancing when the singing starts immediately following that.

Sinking Step

Summary: Step onto ball. Lower heel & bend knee whilst taking weight & raising other heel.

This is a very distinctive step in this dance. 6 of the dance sequence's 12 bars are comprised of 3 Sinking Steps (3 of the bars also end with turn out of the free foot, 3 don't). The step comprises stepping onto the ball of the foot then simultaneously lowering the heel of that foot and bending the knee its leg whilst weight is transferred onto it. There is a slight drop in the body's centre of gravity but most of the sinking appearance & feel is a fake from the leg motion (otherwise getting up for the next step will look obvious & ugly). Meanwhile the heel of the other foot is raised and knee bent (it is essentially a knee-lead lift but, because of the tilting down of the foot and lowering of the centre of gravity of the body, the ball of the foot does not (or only barely) loose contact with the floor). At the end of the step the centre of gravity is raised ready for the next step by straightening the knee of the supporting leg (but all emphasis is on the dip not the raising).

Whole Sequence

Summary: (To R with R forwards & L across infront, pause. 3 Sinking Steps & L turn out.) & mirror. R, L across. R, sweep L across behind. 3 Sinking Steps. (L forwards, R across infront. 3 Sinking Steps back) & mirror. Sinking Steps & R turn out.

Start Facing 45 cw of the direction to the centre of the circle.
1 R forwards travelling acw around the circle.
2 L across infront travelling acw around the circle.
3 Pause.
1 Facing the centre of the circle, R close with a Sinking Step.
2 L in place with a Sinking Step.
3 R in place with a Sinking Step whilst turning the L leg out to the side ready to travel L. The motion of turning of the L leg out is a L lift bending the L knee and then extending the leg by straightening the knee whilst rotating the hip acw so that the foot initially goes forwards but ends up acw around the circle. The extending is done smoothly with L foot skimming just above the floor.
Fermata Pause
3-4 Repeat bars 1-2 in mirror image on opposite feet travelling in the opposite direction around the circle (L forwards & R across infront cw around circle, pause, 3 Sinking steps in place ending with turning R foot out to the R).
Fermata Pause
5 Repeat bar 1 ( forwards & L across infront acw around circle, pause).
1 Turning to face the centre of the circle, R to the side.
2-3 Sweep L across behind taking the weight on count 3. The sweep comprises lifting the L foot, it going slightly out to the side & acw around behind. It is a small subtle circling path not big Miserlou style one.
7 Repeat bar 2 but omit (because it will not be followed by travelling around the circle) the turning out of the leg at the end. (R, L & R Sinking Steps in place.)
Fermata Pause
1 L forwards.
2 Rise up slightly by means of raising the L heel whilst R foot commences its travel forwards for the next step.
3 R across infront with a sinking by lowering of L heel as R foot takes the weight.
1 L backwards Sinking Step returning back to main circle position and facing the centre.
2 R close Sinking Step.
3 L in place Sinking Step.
10-11 Repeat bars 8-9 in mirror image on opposite feet. (R forwards, R heel raise, L across infront, 3 Sinking Steps back in place.)
12 Repeat bar 2 in mirror image on opposite feet. (L, R, L Sinking Steps in place ending with R foot turned out to the R.)


Summary: R, L. Ending with L raised across infront.

Start Facing 45 cw of the direction to the centre of the circle.
1 The same as the main sequence, bar 1 (acw around the circle in R forwards & L across infront, pause).
1 Small leap onto R forwards raising L leg across infront with straight L knee.
2-3 Pause.