Tag Archives: International Folk Dancing

I’d Rather Be Dancing Central and South American Folk Dances


Let’s get away from it all and go dancing south of the border!

La raspa is a popular dance from Mexico, often taught to children in the United States. When I was a little girl, I knew it as “The Mexican Hat Dance”:

Santa Rita is a couples dance from Mexico strongly influenced by the European polka. It originated in the state of Chihuahua and crossed the border into southern Texas:

Chilili is from Bolivia and Peru. We do this dance at Phoenix International Folk Dancers:

Carnevalito is an easy dance from Bolivia, a favorite of Orff instructors (elementary general music teachers will know what I’m talking about):

Fado Blanquito may have originated in Portugal; it is also danced in Brazil:

We have done Flor Amarosa from Brazil at Phoenix International Folk Dancers:

Agradacer y abraçar means “thank and embrace.” It’s an easy circle dance from Brazil:

Circular is a three-pattern dance from Brazil. The first pattern is a grapevine; the second is a samba; and the third is improvisation:

São como os meus, olhos teus is a sacred circle dance from Brazil:

Here are some dancers in Cartagena doing a traditional Colombian dance (I’m sorry—I don’t know the name, but I like the costumes and the drums):

I’d Rather Be Dancing: Zorba the Greek


I’m sorry to say I’m currently missing out on one of my favorite activities. Usually, I spend Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings dancing—international folk dances. But arthritis in my hip has prevented me from dancing since October.  I miss it so.

Right now my dance group, Phoenix International Folk Dancers, is practicing for our 31st annual Folk Dance Festival, March 17, 2018, St. Patrick’s Day, from noon to 4:30 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church at 1500 W Maryland Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona. Come if you’re in the area–$10 donation at the door. If you have an ethnic costume, wear it. I, unfortunately, will not be dancing. Sigh. Though I hope I’ll be able to come and watch.

To try to make myself feel better, I watch dance videos on YouTube. I saw these wonderful versions of Zorba the Greek, and I thought I’d share.

First, here are some young students:

And this wonderful tutorial (though this is a different version):

And the National Dance Ensemble Romiosini:

And a flashmob in England:

Don’t these videos make you want to get up and dance?