Culture and traditions

The typical dances of Venezuela

In Venezuelan culture we find different traditional dances that are interesting and picturesque. In this article, we talk about the most prominent, we indicate in which states and regions they dance, and we show you images and videos about them.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

The sebucán

This traditional dance is also known as the tapes or the stick of the tapes. It has its origin in Europe, specifically in the dance of Maywood. After the dance a theatrical performance is made about the conquest.

A sebucán is a kind of tool of the indigenous people of Venezuela that resembles this stick with ribbons, hence its name. The music that accompanies the dance has African tints.


The joropo is the most representative dance of Venezuela and is practiced throughout the country, although it has its origin in Apure. The instruments used to interpret the music are the harp, the four (a kind of guitar), and the maracas, although the band is used instead of the harp in Barines and Portuguese.

There are several types, which predominate depending on the area of ​​the country in which we are:

  • Central or tuyero
  • Guiana
  • Plainsman
  • Oriental
  • Tocuyano or Larense
A popular joropo is Alma llanera, by Rafael Bolívar Coronado.

The most famous is the llanero type. To dance it, women traditionally wear long and colorful dresses. It has a certain relationship with the Mexican tapatío syrup, which you can learn more about in this article: Traditional Mexican dances.

The burriquita

In the burriquita, the main interpreter wears a kind of costume or costume that represents a donkey and its rider. It is performed on September 30, although it is also typical of Carnival and Christmas dates. It is practiced since colonial period.

El Callao calypso

Although the calypso is a dance originally from Trinidad and Tobago, in this country they have their own variation: calypso of El Callao or Venezuelan calypso. After visiting the town of El Callao, in Bolívar, to work in the gold mines, the former slaves of the 19th century were the ones who brought it to the area.

El Callao calypso is a mix of music from Venezuela and the Caribbean that is performed mostly at Carnival. The lyrics of this one can be sung in Spanish or in English.

Yare's dancing devils

This regional dance is represented in different populations, among which we find Naiquatá, Cuyagua, Chuao, Tinaquillo, Tucuyito and San Francisco de Yare, and the day of Corpus Christi is interpreted.

In it, men wear red and cover their face with large More expensive. It has its origin in Africa and arrived in the country with the former slaves who were present during the colonial era.

With him the cult of the Blessed Sacrament and the triumph of good over evil is carried out. The interpreters dance through the streets to the church, before which they kneel. In this video you can learn more about this curious dance:

It is one of the most amazing traditions of Venezuela. If you want to know the rest, we recommend the following article: Venezuelan traditions and customs.

The Viper

The snake is an aboriginal dance from the tribe of capaya, belonging to chaima. It is traditional of Ipure and is related to a popular legend.

Before men and women danced it, but currently only women do it. A group of 25 wears black and yellow and are ordered by stature. With the collective movement they mimic the movement of the snake.

Monkey dancing

The monkey dance is danced in Caicara de Maturín, Monagas, on December 28. It is also a dance from the indigenous culture of the area, specifically from the chaima. At first, it was interpreted to attract the good harvests.

All dancers are dressed as crazy or destitute, with their faces painted black, with the exception of a person dressed as a monkey. This one leads the dance and all the interpreters are grabbed by the waist.

In addition to the monkey, there is also the character of the butler or foreman, a woman who imposes order among the people who participate in the dance. It is held at the Monodrome, a square specially prepared for thousands of people to enjoy the dance. In the following video you can see the general public that this dance gathers:

Mare Mare

The mare mare is an indigenous dance that can be danced in honor of three different aspects:

  • The deceased
  • A visitor
  • Nature

In this dance, the interpreters take steps forward and backward. Men dress guayucos or loincloth, and women long robes. The lyrics are improvised at the moment.


Bagpipe is typical of Christmas and is practiced throughout the country, although its origin is in Zulia. The anthem of this genre is The Gray Zulianafrom the composer Ricardo Aguirre.

Guarandol bird

The Guarandol bird is represented primarily in the state of Anzoátegui, although it is common to be danced throughout the country. In it several people dance and sing, but three stand out main characters:

  • The Guarandol bird
  • The Wizard
  • The hunter

The story that is interpreted is that of the Guarandol bird, which is chased by a hunter. Although he manages to kill him, the sorcerer ends up resuscitating the animal.

The Iguana

This typical dance of the Manabí culture has Spanish origin. In it, the dancers carry machetes, baskets and other elements that are used in the cocoa harvest.

Initially, it was interpreted to thank nature for the crops received. It is more than 300 years old.

San Benito dance

The Dance of San Benito is practiced in Zulia, Mérida and Trujillo in honor of this saint. People, dressed in white (sometimes yellow), dance through the streets.

Both men and women participate and dance in December and January. The main instrument is that of chimbanqueles, a kind of drums typical of the area.


Turas is a dance indigenous of religious sense that is represented in the states of Lara and Falcón at the end of September by the ethnic groups ayamanes and jira jaras. It is celebrated to thank nature for the abundance of crops.

It is danced outdoors and it respects a hierarchy of characters, which are the following:

It is the highest authority, which makes everything be done properly.
The Queen
She is the hostess of the dance. He wears a crown of feathers on his head.
The Butler
watch over the different aspects of the dance, such as the location and the place where the candles are placed.
The hunters
thirteen people who are responsible for carrying animals from the bush.
The musicians
They are a total of six.

The dancers are men and women who run and jump. Together they form a semicircle and arms are intertwined. In addition, they give strong footprints to the ground. After the dance, the religious ceremony takes place.

The chimichimitos

Chimichimitos is a dance that children usually dance mostly. It comes from a legend on the island of Margarita, which tells that chimichimitos are spirits of people who have died before baptism and have become a kind of elves.

According to legend, these characters chase the children to take them to some caves forever. The dancers are put in a circle or line, and a boy and a girl play an elderly couple that stands in front of the rest of the participants, although other characters may also appear. It is typical especially of Carnival.

Top photo by Cristóbal Alvarado Minic.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Cultural diversity"so you can continue reading:

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