Tag Archives: international folk dance

St’tris (Σ’τρεις) – Dance Tidbit

Thank you to Bill for the following contribution.
The lively dance with the gaida (bagpipe) called St’ tris that we did last Wednesday is just one version, but is the version as it is done in the village of Kufalia.

Kufalia is about 39 km (24 miles) northwest of Thessalonika, Greece. The people in Kufalia arrived as refugees from East Romelia in 1906 and settled in a number of villages in Northern Greece. Their region, East Romelia, was in northern Thrace, which is today part of Bulgaria.
St’tris is one of 6 dances from Kufalia that were taught during the `12th Seminar of Greek Dance’ this summer. Tripodhis is one that I taught and we have been doing the last couple of weeks.

Others from Kufalia include:

St’tris literal translation is ‘On Three’ or ‘In Three’ possibly because one complete pattern is composed of 3 counts of 4.

St’tris is pronounced ‘Strees’ with a trilled ‘r’. Other parts of Greece may pronounce it as sta treese.

The following are some YouTube videos of different versions of St’tris. The music is not the same as used in Kufali but the dances are all very similar. St’tris is characterized with very rapid arm swing behind.


Some variations of the dance involve a swinginig arm movement with a pause where the arms are held in the ‘W’ position.


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Another Day, Another Dance!

Serbian Dancers on Jay Leno

Did anyone see Novak Djokovic, the world’s reigning top tennis player (from Serbia), on Jay Leno the other night. He brought with him some Serbian dancers!

Here is a clip of that:


International Folk Dance needs some more publicity like this!

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Keep on Dancing!

Another Day, Another Dance!

Opsa “tidbit”

Thank you Susan J for this “tidbit”!

Notes on the dance Opsa, which we did Wednesday, April 6.
(Andrew Carnie is a folk-dancer in Tucson, who has done some fairly extensive cataloging of various things IFD-related. Dick Crum is a well-known and -honored folk dance teacher of many decades (passed away several years ago).

Notes by Andrew Carnie July 19, 2003 based on notes by Dick Crum, July 1994.
Here’s what Dick Crum had to say about this dance:

“Opsa (OHP-sah) is currently one of the most popular dances at Croatian & Serbian dance events in the major cities of the Upper Midwest & the Pennsylvania/Ohio area. Its melody is relatively recent, having been composed & recorded in former Yugoslavia about a decade ago. The origins of the dance per se are obscure – it seems to have arisen here in the U.S., possibly around Pittsburgh. On the other hand, its structure has the same 5-measure pattern as the old Serbian Vranjanka. I first saw learned it at the Tamburitza Extravaganza weekend in Los Angeles, 1993, where tamburitza players & fans of tamburitza music from all over the U.S. had gathered, and Opsa was played & danced dozens of times.”

1. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it. It moves so freely & easily, everyone can dance it.
Refrain: You can hear the girls shouting: “Opsa!* Dance!” The boys won’t be outdone – they want to dance faster, more together & better — dance till dawn, opsa!
2. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it. Boys, girls, everybody join the kolo, wind it around.
3. Let’s dance this kolo — everyone loves it.
The zurlas** are wailing, the drum is beating, and the dancers are on a high. * opsa! – spontaneous exclamation often used while dancing (no exact English translation; something like ‘whee!’, ‘yippee!’, or ‘hee-haw!’
** zurla (zoor’-lah) – shawm-like folk instrument common in southern Serbia, Macedonia, & other southern Balkan countries. Usually played in pairs with accompaniment by a drum (bubanj, tapan, etc.)

Thank you again Susan for the above info.

Below are Youtube videos of the dance:


The dance notes are at this site:

Please pass this blog along to your folk dance friends!

Happy Dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance!

Knoxville Workshop with Mihai David

The Knoxville Mihai David workshop was fantastic! Mihai is a great teacher and a very entertaining personality. If you get the chance to take one of his workshops don’t hesitate. It was well worth the 7 hour drive to get to Knoxville!

Another dance tidbit for those not in the know. Opincuta( which Sue C. taught previously) means “little shoe” in Romanian. Opinca( the dance that Sue C. is teaching) means regular sized shoe.

Mihai gave permision for anyone who wanted to video the workshop. I have 2 DVDs if anyone is interested please email me @ birdproject2010@gmail.com or comment to this blog. The cost is the cost of the DVDs plus shipping and handeling. Below are the dances that he taught:

1 Hora de la Putna (Moldova)
2 Hora din Neruja
3 Arcanul de la Fundul Moldove
4 Hora Ploii
5 La Mahala
6 Hora din Banat
7 Cadineasca
8 DamuL
9 Hora Dreapta
10 Sirba Fetelor
11 Atica
12 Tarina de la Abrud
13 Briul pe Opt
14 Gaselnitsa

Please forward this blog to all that you think will be interested!

Keep on Dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance!


Thank you again to Susan J. for this week’s folk dance “tidbit”. Sue C.introduced us to the dance, Opinca. Cool! A good dance, so thanks to Sue for the good pick. We considered how to do the arm-swinging. I think the following video may gave some guidance: this is a YouTube video of Opinca being done by members of Kolo Koalition. This is the long-established recreational folk-dancing group in Sacramento, and has a number of experienced dancers, so that I would guess that their version of the arm-swinging is correct. (Also, I think that Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu, who introduced Opinca, have taught in that part of California, so)again I think that what one sees in the video is probably the correct way to do this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBS9lu_WkEo Also: Romanian dances are often characterized by strigaturi, which are phrases shouted out during the dance that are in cadence with the steps of the dance: http://www.eliznik.org.uk/RomaniaMusic/strigaturi.htm In Opinca, there is 1 strigaturi that is called out in 2 places. You can hear it, but somewhat faintly, on the video. I have heard this called out in person, and it sounds something like “Opishaw”. This is a “choreographed” part of the dance, so it would make sense to add this in. I have e-mailed Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu and asked that they provide the spelling, so as to make sure we get the correct pronunciation. Not all Romanian dances have these. However, the dances that have any strigaturi at all usually have these in multiple places throughout the dance. This makes Opinca is a bit unusual, in that the strigaturi is limited to one 3-syllable word, called out only twice. Here is a YouTube video of the dance Calusari, and here the strigaturi are a prominent part of the dance. This may be a bit more typical of Romanian dances that have strigaturi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndxoye0vEfg&feature=related Keep on Dancing! Another Day, Another Dance! Please share this blog with all of your dancing friends.


Thank you to Susan J. and Bill for the following info.

From Susan J:

Sue C. has been teaching “Troika”, a Russian dance. The name means “trio”, and refers to a 3-horse configuration that was used in Russia to pull sleds in past times. Some of the movements of the dance mimic the prancing movements of horses. The dance is traditionally done with a man in the center of the trio, and a woman on either side. (One wonders whether this occurred because men were fewer in number than women, due to death in wars. However, this is pure speculation on my part.) In the United States, this formal assignment of the different genders to different positions in the trio is often not formally observed.

From Bill:

Another interesting tidbit “The troika is traditionally driven so that the middle horse trots and the side horses canter; the right-hand horse will be on the right lead and the left-hand horse on the left lead.” “The troika is often claimed to be the world’s only harness combination with different gaits of the horses. ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troika_(driving)

I am always glad to have help with this blog.

Below are some of the variations on the Troika that I found.

Some have a shoulder hold for the circle.
Only one had the “kick” forward running step.
One had the shouldar hold for the whole dance.
I have seen none that have the grapevine step that Leigh and I do when we do the circle.

Keep on Dancing,
Another Day, Another Dance!

Kulska Sira, Su Passu Torrau

Thank you again Susan J. for your”tidbits”.You say it better than I ever could!

Late in our dance evening, Leigh and I did part of a wonderful dance, Kulska Sira. This is a Vlach dance. The Vlachs are a people who live in Romania and Bulgaria.

The dance was introduced by Yves Moreau, a well-known Quebecois teacher of dances from Bulgaria, other parts of Eastern Europe, and Quebec and France. Here is a YouTube video of the Sacramento group, Kolo Koalition, doing Kulska Sira.


Here is another version: the music is different, the dance is very similar, but not exactly the same, as the one Yves introduced:

“Su Passu Torrau”, which Susan O taught , is a Sardinian dance.
There are at least several dances by this name. The music is characterized by 6-count measures. The dances are characterized by: small steps that include step-closes; bounciness; still upper body; and stance very close to one’s neighbors in line.
Here is a charming “Su Passu Torrau”, which is not the same as our dance:

Please pass this site on to those you think might be interested.

Keep on Dancing!

Another Day, Another Dance!

Orijent, Ooska Gooska

Since last blogging, the Charlottesville International Folk Dancers had a great turn out at their first Saturday night dance. They plan to continue having a monthly Saturday night dance party.

The last weeks we have been learning the Serbian Dance Orijent



In both of the above videos the groups do not put out their arms the way that Susan is teaching. Susan did admit that she has never seen it done this way, but the notes from Dick Crum discribe the way she is teaching it.
Sue C. taught Ooska Gooska, but I couldn’t find anything on the web demonstrating the dance.
Bill just happened to be in Ohio on Business and was able to attend the Greek dance teaching with Kyriakos Moisidis. He had a great time.
Have a great time dancing and forward this site to your friends.
Another Day, Another Dance!

Cije e Ona Mome

Susan O. taught Cije e Ona Mome a Macedonian Dance last week. We didn’t dance this week due to the weather!

Over the week end the 4-H group, Global Explorers, did a demostration at the annual “Share the Fun” talent event. They did a great job! It really is easier partnering with an established group. I don’t have to do it all! We just show up, practice and perform!

Please pass this on!

Happy Dancing!
Another Day, Another Dance!

Jove Male Mome, Sadi Moma, Do Mar Ciften

It is hard to believe that November is almost over! 16 of my students and I did the demonstration/performance for the Rockfish Elementary School and it went very well.

We had 2 assemblies with the cafeteria full of students. My students performed Cimpoi. After performing my students went among the elementary students and I taught a Ugros(from Phyllis Weikart’s book), Adjon Az Isten, and Zemer Atik. Fun was had by all!

On our regular Wednesday dance night we have been learning Jove Male Mome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjCDcU1pO44
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thKw3n_3Jvc as you can see, Dunav spells and pronounces Malaj which is different from the US spelling and pronunciation.

Sadi Moma is another dance we learned last month. I couldn’t find a video of the dance on line, but Yves Moreau has it in his collection. Here is the song being performed.

Do mar ciften is the “mystery dance”! On line I can find some songs– not the one to which we dance. http://www.tubehome.com/watch/do-mar-çiften-do-dal-për-gjah
http://www.tubehome.com/watch/laver-bariu-do-marr-çiften As you notice marr has 2 “r’s” in this name.

Here are the lyrics in Albanian!

Do mar çiften do dal për gjah.
Kjo është kënga origjinale e kënduar nga Grupi i Përmetit.
Me gjithë riprodhimet dhe modernizimit që i është bërë kësaj kënge, kjo përsëri mbetet kënga Flamur!

All I know is that some part of the above means “Take the gun”. This is one of my favorite dances.

Have a great time dancing!

Remember to forward this site to those you think might be interested and become a follower!

Another Day, Another Dance!