Traditional dances from Western Europe

Traditional dances from Western Europe

Europe is a region where the power of globalization is predominant. Nowadays, Western Europe is characterized by its different countries’ compromise to maintain their identities and traditions. One of them being, of course, dancing. This means that there is not a common dance for all the countries, which really enriches this amazing region. We will divide the typical dances of Western Europe by region:

Germany and England

Germany does not have a single or typical regional dance. There are so many folk groups that can play, sing and practice their traditional dances from each region in that country, as for example, the waltz, the polka, etc. Among other popular dances, the first place is occupied by the “Schwerttanz”, also known as sword dance, a very ancient practice. England, on the other hand, has the Morris Dance and Maypole Dance. The Morris Dance has traditional English roots and is often accompanied by music. These two dances from England are part of processions and some other English festivals. Its performance is done by a group of dancers with an intense and hard choreography, while using instruments such as, swords, bandanas, sticks and/or bells. Maypole Dance is done around a pole that resembles a tree, adorned with foliage, ribbons and flowers, also, this is a dance to honor and ensure fertility during spring.

Italy and Ireland

La Tarantela is a very popular dance from Italy, a dance of Neapolitan origin with a lively movement, it is a six-by-eight rhythm dance of courtship between couples, progressively increases in speed and is accompanied by tambourines and castanets. The name “Tarantela” originated from Taranto, an italian city. Meanwhile, Ireland, in each of the regions of the peninsula, different styles of music and dance can be discovered, which speak of their tradition and history. The great Ceylon, for example, is a typical Irish dance and all the people dance it in the Festival of Saint Patrick, also celebrated on March 17. It was originally a festival and it was officially inaugurated in Ireland, in 1995, holding all kinds of events. Most of Ireland’s traditional culture is mixed with leisure and fun.

Czech Republic

La Redova is a dance with Czech origin, has a 3/4 time signature and cheerful movements, but not so moved as the polka is. The accentuation in the last time of the compass is very characteristic from that dance, the Spanish chotis can be easily compared to it. Also, the Polka, has Czech origin, being in vogue during the 19th century, then was eventually falling into disuse. The polka is written in 2/4 time, having a unique animated movement. In the North of the Republic, it has undergone changes in its structure, but in a special way for its style, making polkas of this area to differ completely from the polka known in the other states, as the movements acquired a flowering in the variety of the steps, suddenly turning fast criss-crossing of feet, but is good to clarify that polka is, in general, a fast dance.


One of the cities best from Spain known for its dance is Seville, specifically in Andalucia. There, the typical dance is the sevillanas. The dancers dress with ruffled suits and many women usually dance with their Sevillian couples, at the same time that musicians accompany them with palmas, guitars and their particular “olés”.