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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Folk Dance Family (Walking)
By Ron Houston

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Ron Houston


(Hey, we just planted it! It's not grown, yet!)

Being an attempt to answer the question: "Where did that dance come from?"

(Note, please: S = slow and q = quick.)

See also Folk Dance Family Tree (6-Count)


Walking: a basic human activity, almost as fundamental as standing still!

1 bar with 2 slow beats (SS)

Gånglåt (walking tune), named for Gånglåt village near Rëttvik, in the province of Dalarna, Sweden. Used for promenades, marches, and the dance of walks and pivots, Snoa.

Leading to: Syncopated Walking Dances, Kolo/Csárdás pattern, Bergamaska dances

Derived from: Walking

Walking (in 3):

1 bar with 3 quick beats (qqq)

Derived from: Walking and Walking in 3

Syncopated walking dances

1 bar with 1 slow beat and 1 quick beat: a syncopated walk (Sq)

Långdans (long dance), Sweden. A syncopated walking dance of steps and step-hops.

Leading to: Step-hops and Polska/Pols dances.

Derived from: Syncopated walking dances or Walking in 3


1 bar with 1 slow beat and 1 quick beat (Sq)

Derived from: Walking

The Kolo/Csárdás pattern: (walking dances, moving from side to side rather than forward and/or back).

1 bar with 2 slow beats, repeated to other side

Malo Kolo
Zaječarka (kolo steps plus 7s)

Leading to: Step-behind patterns

The 6-count pattern:

1 bar with 2 quick beats followed by 1 bar with 1 slow beat or 3 quicker beats (qq,S,S) or (SS,qqq,qqq)

Faeroe step
Branle Simple and Branle Gai, described by Arbeau in 1588
Makellarion Horon pattern: hora, oro, bar, hasapiko, kasapsko, lesnoto oro

The Polska pattern

The Kokonješte pattern:

1 bar with 2 slow beats followed by 1 bar with 3 faster beats

Devojačko pattern (S-qq-S)

Devojačko Kolo
Radikalka = Radikalko Kolo
Radničko Kolo

Devojačko pattern as chorus

Milanovo Kolo
Pleskavac Kolo
Ivan "John" Filcich's 1953 version of Rokoko Kolo
Rumunjsko Kolo
Šetnja, the Macedonian Odeno
Pravo Horo (plural of Horo), Bulgaria

Devojačko pattern, disguised

Sarajevka Kolo
Armenian Hop #1

1 bar with 2 slow counts followed by 3 bars with 3 faster beats

Kokonješte pattern in 2/4, no syncopation:

Arapsko Kokonješte (Kolo) = Stara Baba Stara Je
Čačansko Kokonješte = Zip Zip
Čukaričko Kokonješte = Tčukaričko Kolo
Dorčolka (Kolo)
Jeftanovićevo Kolo
Kozačko Kolo
Mangupsko Kolo (not Mangupsko/Preplet nor Beogradsko Mangupsko Kolo)
Sokobanjska Gajda
Zaječarka = Nova Zaječarka = Darino Kolo

Kokonješte pattern in 2/4, syncopated:

Arapsko Kokonješte (as described by Rickey Holden)
Čuješ Mala = Šušu Mile
Divna, Divna (well, the first half, anyway)
U Šest Koraka = Moravac

Kokonješte pattern in 3/4, no syncopation:

Žikino kolo

Kokonješte pattern in 3, syncopated:

Biserka in 3/8
Bojerka in 6/8
Dick Crum's Hora taught 1991 in Ithaca, New York

Kokonješte pattern in 7/16, syncopated:

Denjovo Horo (from Gabrovo, in central and central-north Bulgaria)

Kokonješte pattern in 3/4 (and 7/8), plus 1 bar = the Vranjanka family:

Deli Agus
Otvori Mi Belo Lenče
Pembe Oro
Šano Dušo
Stara Vranjanka
Teško Oro
Vranjanka (Fast)

Unknown placement: Vlah Dancu

Derived from: Walking

7-count dances:

Walk 7 steps, or 6 steps and a quick 3, and then reverse it all.
Zaječarka (kolo step plus 7s)

Derived from: Walking

Bergamaska dances:

A partner dance composed of a walking segment followed by a partner-turning segment

Linzerpolka, leading to:

Jaegermarsch dances
Doudlebská Polka à Sternpolka
St. Gilgens Figurentanz / Marschierbayrisch à Atlantic Mixer

Possibly derived from: Kolo/Csárdás and Western European "7s and 3s" dances

Step-behind dances:

5s, 3s, and 1s:

Alunelul Commun from Romania
Baldûzka / Kukuvička from Bulgaria


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