Common Basic Steps in Every Folk Dance

Learning a few basic folk dancing moves allows people to participate in various traditional events. It’s also a great way to get a little exercise done. Everyone has their reason for re-learning how to groove as they did in the past.

“Folk Dance” is a broad term used to refer to how every culture in the world marks events like weddings, harvests and many more. However, every folk dance has common elements like steps and postures one can assume as the music hits. Here are some of the essential aspects of folk dancing:

Basic stepping

Everyone in the world gyrates a different body part. Latin cultures focus on the waist; some Africans even shake their shoulders. However, every folk dance has “stepping” in common. You can’t dance while standing still.

Some folk dances have challenging stepping while others are more straightforward. These steps may be challenging to master at first but will give you all the fundamentals you need.


Chasseing is common in modern and contemporary forms of dance such as interpretive and ballet. Various folk dances also use this range of motion. It helps to think of chasseing as a way to add some grace as you transition from one position to another. Some more energetic forms of folk dances also use it as a way for dancers to gain more room as they dominate the stage.

To chasse, step to the right then bring in your left foot. You can bend the knees as you step and add a little leap for effect. Such a range of movements is repeated to the rhythm of the music. It allows dancers to show off their festive costumes.


Hopping is an energetic and primal way to move and express your emotions. So, It’s no surprise that most folk dancing in the world incorporates some form of hopping. All you need to hop is to place all the weight on one foot then the alternate one. Such a step is repeated as you travel around the stage or dance floor. Hops add an element of pomp to other steps without moving too much or even elaborated dressing.


Schottische is not only common to folk dances but other forms of dance as well. It follows a prescribed pattern of steps and hops, such as the following:

  • Step to Left
  • Step to Right
  • Back to the left
  • Hop to the left
  • Step to Right
  • Step to Left
  • Step to Right
  • Hop to the right


These can be used as you circle the dance space or as travelling steps. Schottische is common in celebrating folk dancing and with dances that involve children.

Bonus Move “Crossover”

A crossover move is simple. You walk past your partner’s shoulder and rotate to face them. This move can be repeated as many times as it is convenient.