Balkan, East European, Circle, Israeli & International Folk Dance Notes

Here are dance steps/notes for some Balkan (& similar) dances.

These are my notes mostly for dances I have taught or lead since 2006. I wrote the notes originally for my own reference then augmented and proofread those of dances I lead for those who wanted them after the dance sessions. Although it is unlikely that many other people will want notes for these particular dances out of the tens of thousands of Balkan etc. dances in circulation in the English-reading world, they might be of use to someone so I've put copies on the WWW here. There are not many dances here because I am not a regular dance leader, just a sort of very occasional stand-in.

Please note that I did not invent these dances, I merely wrote down the steps I learnt from others, and I may have made some mistakes. It is also very likely that there are other versions of many of these dances and even completely different dances with the same names so do not treat these as definitive. The full notes are verbose & often include multiple descriptions of the same steps; that is a deliberate attempt to reduce the ambiguity from using normal text, rather than specialist dance notation, to describe complex body movements.

Also note that is far better (& more fun) to learn dances by dancing them with someone who knows them than by reading notes!

The Dances

Dance Name Alternative Names & Spellings Region Full Notes Summary
A, ya po lugu А я по лугу; A ya po lugu; A ja po lugu; A, ja po lugu; A ya po luhu Russia A, ya po lugu steps A, ya po lugu summary
Ali Bey   Turkey Ali Bey steps Ali Bey summary
Alunelul Batut   Romanian Alunelul Batut steps Alunelul Batut summary
Arap Aràp; Zaiko; Zajko; Zhèni me mamo; Zheni me mamo Bulgaria Arap steps Arap summary
Arcanul Bătrînesc Arcanul Batrinesc Romania Arcanul Bătrînesc steps Arcanul Bătrînesc summary
Birthday Girl   Sacred/Circle Birthday Girl steps Birthday Girl summary
Boaliisko   Bulgaria Boaliisko steps Boaliisko summary
Brîulet vîlcean Briulet vilcean; Briulet vulcean Romanian Brîulet vîlcean steps Brîulet vîlcean summary
Bulgarian Street Party   Bulgaria Bulgarian Street Party steps Bulgarian Street Party summary
Cherkessia Kfula צ׳ךקסיהק; Cherkessia; Cherkassia Kfula; Cherkerssia Kfula; Chirkassia Kfula; Cherkesiya Kfula Israel Cherkessia Kfula steps Cherkessia Kfula summary
Çavreşlí Cavresli; Charvreshli Turkey Çavreşlí steps Çavreşlí summary
Čiča Obrenova Kolo Chicha Obrenova Kolo; Cica Obrenova Kolo Serbia Čiča Obrenova Kolo steps Čiča Obrenova Kolo summary
Damul Damu; Damn All Romania Damul steps Damul summary
Dimna Juda   Macedonian Dimna Juda steps Dimna Juda summary
Drumul Draclui   Romania Drumul Draclui steps Drumul Draclui summary
Dunkelbunt Feet   Sacred/Circle Dunkelbunt Feet steps Dunkelbunt Feet summary
Džumbus Dzumbus Serbia Džumbus steps Džumbus summary
Ege Karşılaması Ege Karsilamasi Turkey Ege Karşılaması steps Ege Karşılaması summary
Esashi Jinku   Japan Esashi Jinku steps Esashi Jinku summary
For Jill   Greece For Jill steps For Jill summary
Gaida avasi   Bulgaria Gaida avasi steps Gaida avasi summary
Gaïda Gynekíos Makedonikos Gaida Gynekios Makedonikos; Gaïda Floyéras Greece Gaïda Gynekíos Makedonikos steps Gaïda Gynekíos Makedonikos summary
Gîrliceanca Girliceanca Romania Gîrliceanca steps Gîrliceanca summary
Gnjilane   Serbia Gnjilane steps Gnjilane summary
Hakinor Hane'eman   Israel Hakinor Hane'eman steps Hakinor Hane'eman summary
Hava Nagila הבה נגילה Israel Hava Nagila steps Hava Nagila summary
Hex   Sacred/Circle Hex steps Hex summary
Hey Par Hej Par Armenia Hey Par steps Hey Par summary
Heyamo   Turkey/Georgia Heyamo steps Heyamo summary
Hora de la cîmpie Hora de la cimpie; Hora de la câmpie; Hora de la campie; Hora din câmpie; Hora din campie Romania Hora de la cîmpie steps Hora de la cîmpie summary
Hora de pe almăj Hora de pe almaj Romania Hora de pe almăj steps Hora de pe almăj summary
Hora Veche   Romania Hora Veche steps Hora Veche summary
Hovs Bashi   Armenia Hovs Bashi steps Hovs Bashi summary
I don't care to lose De M'Enoiaxe Na Haso Sacred/Circle I don't care to lose steps I don't care to lose summary
Imate Li Vino   Macedonia Imate Li Vino steps Imate Li Vino summary
Jeni Jol / Rumelaj   Macedonia Jeni Jol / Rumelaj steps Jeni Jol / Rumelaj summary
Joc din Slatina   Romania Joc din Slatina steps Joc din Slatina summary
Kalgamačkata Kalgamachkata; Kalgamackata Bulgaria Kalgamačkata steps Kalgamačkata summary
Kareve Yom Karev Yom; Karev Iom Sacred-Circle Kareve Yom steps Kareve Yom summary
Kate-Kate   Bulgaria Kate-Kate steps Kate-Kate summary
Ketri Ketri   Gypsy (Hungary) Ketri Ketri steps Ketri Ketri summary
Klezmer כלייזמר; The Klezmer; Kleizmer Israel Klezmer steps Klezmer summary
Koko Samoa   Samoa Koko Samoa steps Koko Samoa summary
Koshuu Bon Odori   Japan Koshuu Bon Odori steps Koshuu Bon Odori summary
Kost ar c'hoad   Brittany Kost ar c'hoad steps Kost ar c'hoad summary
Krajdunavsko Krajdunavsko Horo; Phillips Bulgaria Krajdunavsko steps Krajdunavsko summary
Kratko Vlaško Kolo Kratko Vlashko Kolo; Kratko Vlasko Kolo Serbia Kratko Vlaško Kolo steps Kratko Vlaško Kolo summary
Lenochek Леночек Ukraine Lenochek steps Lenochek summary
Leros Dance from Leros Greece Leros steps Leros summary
Lourke Loorke; Lorke; Loorké Armenia Lourke steps Lourke summary
Mairam Govand Govand; Gyovand Armenia Mairam Govand steps Mairam Govand summary
Malo Vlaško Kolo Malo Vlashko Kolo; Malo Vlasko Kolo Serbia Malo Vlaško Kolo steps Malo Vlaško Kolo summary
Manastirijanka Manastiriyanka Serbian Manastirijanka steps Manastirijanka summary
March of the Mods March of the Mods (Finnjenka Dance) Disco March of the Mods steps March of the Mods summary
Mayim Mayim   Israel Mayim Mayim steps Mayim Mayim summary
Melitsa   Greece Melitsa steps Melitsa summary
Mesho gorani   Armenia Mesho gorani steps Mesho gorani summary
Mesjog gur Mesyokh khur; Mesyoh hur Armenia Mesjog gur steps Mesjog gur summary
Michanicos   Greek Michanicos steps Michanicos summary
Miziisko Miziisko Horo; Mizijsko Bulgaria Miziisko steps Miziisko summary
Muiere, Muiere Muiere Muiere Gypsy (Romanian) Muiere, Muiere steps Muiere, Muiere summary
Na Pûrt Na Purt Bulgaria Na Pûrt steps Na Pûrt summary
Nazeli bar   Armenia Nazeli bar steps Nazeli bar summary
Nevestinsko   Macedonia Nevestinsko steps Nevestinsko summary
Nyfiatikos (from Kozani) Nyfiatikos Greece Nyfiatikos (from Kozani) steps Nyfiatikos (from Kozani) summary
Oj devojko dušo moja Oj devojko duso moja; Oy devoyko dusho mohya Macedonia Oj devojko dušo moja steps Oj devojko dušo moja summary
Opa Çupa Opa Cupa Bosnia Opa Çupa steps Opa Çupa summary
Ovčarkina Ovcharkina; Ovcarkina Bulgaria Ovčarkina steps Ovčarkina summary
Ovivi erk   Armenia Ovivi erk steps Ovivi erk summary
Óine Dóine Oine Doine; Oynay Doynay Bulgaria Óine Dóine steps Óine Dóine summary
Pentozalis (from Kos) Pentozalis from Kos; Pentozalis Greece Pentozalis (from Kos) steps Pentozalis (from Kos) summary
Pirava Dae Пирава дае Bulgaria Pirava Dae steps Pirava Dae summary
Preumblata   Romania Preumblata steps Preumblata summary
Raca Rahtsa Serbia Raca steps Raca summary
Runaway Train   Sacred/Circle Runaway Train steps Runaway Train summary
Signa   Bulgaria Signa steps Signa summary
Silent Kolo Mute Kolo Croatia Silent Kolo steps Silent Kolo summary
Sîrba de la Tulcea Sirba de la Tulcea Romania Sîrba de la Tulcea steps Sîrba de la Tulcea summary
Svekrvino oro Mother-in-law's dance Macedonia Svekrvino oro steps Svekrvino oro summary
Syrtos Hasapikos   Greece Syrtos Hasapikos steps Syrtos Hasapikos summary
Syrtós Kítrinou Syrtos Kitrinou Greece Syrtós Kítrinou steps Syrtós Kítrinou summary
Şchioapa Schioapa; Shkioapa; Shwarpa Romania Şchioapa steps Şchioapa summary
Tamzara (slow) Tamzara Armenia Tamzara (slow) steps Tamzara (slow) summary
Tankosava   Serbian Tankosava steps Tankosava summary
Teen Khumkhuma Armenia Teen steps Teen summary
Tetshot Rechka   Russia Tetshot Rechka steps Tetshot Rechka summary
Todorovo horo & Enjovo horo   Bulgaria Todorovo horo & Enjovo horo steps Todorovo horo & Enjovo horo summary
Trei păzeste batrinesc Trei pazeste batrinesc Romania Trei păzeste batrinesc steps Trei păzeste batrinesc summary
Tsadik Katamar כתםר צדיק; Tzadik Katamar Israel Tsadik Katamar steps Tsadik Katamar summary
Tsamikos Kharditsa (A Camel in Nunavut)   Greek Tsamikos Kharditsa (A Camel in Nunavut) steps Tsamikos Kharditsa (A Camel in Nunavut) summary
Valle e dardhes   Albania Valle e dardhes steps Valle e dardhes summary
Vallja e Përmetit Valle E Permetit; Vallja e Permetit; Dance from Përmet; Valle Përmetare; Valle Permetare; Përmeti dance; Valle Pogonishte në Përmeti; Valle Pogonishte ne Permeti; Pogonishte dance from Përmet Albania Vallja e Përmetit steps Vallja e Përmetit summary
Vayiven Uziyahu ויבן צוזיהו Israel Vayiven Uziyahu steps Vayiven Uziyahu summary
Voronezhkye khorovodniye chastushky Воронежкые хороводные частушки; Woronezhkiye chastushky; Хороводные частушки; Chorowodnije tschastuschki; Chorovodniye chastushki; Tschastuschki; Chatushki Russia Voronezhkye khorovodniye chastushky steps Voronezhkye khorovodniye chastushky summary
Vrličko Kolo Vrlicko Kolo; Verlichko Kolo; Mesmo Rekle Croatia Vrličko Kolo steps Vrličko Kolo summary
Zorba 2001 Zorba; Zorba Disco; זורבה Israel Zorba 2001 steps Zorba 2001 summary
Žensko Svatbarsko Horo Женско Сватбарско Хоро; Zhensko Svatbarsko Horo; Zhensko Svatbarsko Horo; Zensko Svatbarsko Horo; Žensko Svatbarsko Bulgaria Žensko Svatbarsko Horo steps Žensko Svatbarsko Horo summary

Source Code

I did not write the notes directly in HTML as that would have been too tedious to maintain. Instead I wrote them in a markup language. The language is one I created just for this particular task of writing Balkan etc. dance notes. It is basically plain text with tags (each of which is a single character to speed up writing!) denoting part, bar, count, summary, front matter, etc. blocks and supporting nesting thereof. To convert it to the full & summary HTML versions (and some others) I used a program I wrote in Perl for the purpose.

If you want you can download both the programs I used to format dance notes and the source code versions of all the dance notes on this page in a zip file. As well as formating them as per this website, it produces versions with embedded stylesheets for emailing and combined summaries as plain text which I use on my old Palm V PDA.