Culture and traditions

Typical dances of Spain: discover its regional dances

Typical Spanish dances are characterized by varying according to each Autonomous Community and for being one of the most important cultural manifestations representing each city. Among them, flamenco and Sevillanas are a Spanish brand known anywhere in the world.

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

Aurresku of honor

The Aurresku, called in Basque ohorezko aurreskua, is a typical dance of Basque Country, community located in the northern part of Spain.

This dance is a kind of reverence that is usually interpreted in special events, such as weddings, tributes and other public events, especially in the Euskal Herria region.

This dance has a chistulari, who is the musician who plays the chistu and the drum, and a dantzari, who is the dancer. If it is a mass act, there may be several dancers, always men, who have a beret or hat in their hands.

On a historical level, the deputies also joined the great parties of GuipĆŗzcoa and Vizcaya and the tradition was to take the woman or daughter of the mayor as a couple.

Ball pla

The ball pla (in Spanish, literally, flat dance) is a common dance in Catalonia dating from the seventeenth century, although its period of greatest splendor took place during the nineteenth century.

It is danced as a couple and is characterized by gentle movements in which the feet glide very smoothly across the floor, without any jump. It is divided into three distinct parts:

  • ComenƧament: each couple performs a kind of walk to the rhythm of the tune, that is, the music that accompanies this dance.
  • Caiguda: It stands out for an abrupt change of pace, since the members of the couple move away and constantly approach each other, change places and move both arms and legs, always facing each other.
  • Ristol: The dance ends with this part, which gives way to the next couple.
Ball pla


The bolero, in its origins, was an evolution of the seguidillas. The Spanish bolero differs from the Cuban bolero in that the first is from ternary rhythm, while the second is of binary compass.

The structure of a bolero is divided into three parts that are called couplets (sometimes too removals), which are repeated several times throughout the interpretation.

After each repetition, there is a pause called good standing, in the dancer remains static in place for a few seconds.

As for the music that accompanies it, normally the following instruments are never missing:

  • Classic guitar
  • Castanets
  • Drums
  • Tambourines
  • Tamboriles

In the Balearic Islands, for example, bagpipes are also used, called there xeremia. In the video shown below you can see a demonstration of what a Spanish bolero is:


The chotis is a ballroom dance that reached the Iberian Peninsula from Bohemia (Czech Republic) in 1850, when he danced in the Royal Palace of Madrid for the first time.

It is danced as a couple (man and woman) and the woman is turning around the man with crossed steps or taking steps back and forth, while the man always looks straight ahead and makes small turns in a space that is limited to a tile .

Etymologically, the term schottische It is an adaptation of the German term Schottisch, what does it mean Scottish. This is because, in reality, the chotis is derived from an original dance from Scotland (United Kingdom), which was once danced mostly by Scottish peasants.

Today, chotis is considered a Madrid dance, since it is usually interpreted in the verbenas and the fiestas of San Isidro that take place in the Spanish capital.


Asturian dances stand out for their music, in which bagpipes and drums are unmistakable. They have become a hallmark and a tradition in this area of ā€‹ā€‹northern Spain.

Stresses the corri-corri, which is an original dance of Cabrales (Asturias) and is characterized by the dance of a single man and several women, which can be from six to nine.

Accompanying this dance the music created by the dressers, who are accompanied by instruments such as the drum, tambourine and pandoiros, while others sing a romance.

Corri-corri dance

It is tradition that these women carry in both hands a branch of laurel, lemon grass or jelechu. Although its origin is uncertain, some authors believe that it may have a religious nuance, while others believe that in its origin it was a funeral rite.

Ibio dance or dance

The dance or dance of Ibio is a traditional dance of Cantabria, autonomous community located in the north of Spain. This dance reflects the Cantabrian tradition almost entirely through music and dance.

It is very similar to the dance of the spears from the municipality of Ruiloba (Cantabria). Actually, it is of Celtic origin and at first it was a kind of warrior anthem.

Today, it is very common to perform this dance in the San PantaleĆ³n festivities, which are held every July 27 in the town of Ibio (Mazcuerras, Cantabria), hence its name. In this video you can see what an Ibio dance looks like:

In 1931, it was modified by the founder of Cantabrian VoicesMatilde de la Torre, for the celebration of the English Society of Folklore Dances and, such day, the success of the performance was such that since then it is interpreted in the way it was done at that time.

Raw dance

Prima Dance is also typical of Asturias and is characterized by being a collective dance in which anyone can join at any time.

In addition, it is danced in a circle formed by the participants holding hands, which widens and narrows as it rotates counterclockwise.

It is also characterized by not being accompanied by any instrument, which means that it is choral, that is, one of the dancers puts the voice while the rest makes the choir.

Raw dance

Basque dances

Basque dances, Basque Country In Basque, they are a group of dances that represent the culture of the Basque Country (Spain) and always represent a social act of great tourist interest as well as among the inhabitants of this autonomous community.

Basque dances are, in reality, acts of reverence or greeting and are closely related to both religious and civic acts. A Basque dance dancer receives the generic name of dantzari.

Basque dances

In general, each town in the Basque Country has its own dance, which is performed during the major festivals of each locality:

  • In Biscay, the kaxarranka, he xemeingo dantza or the dantzari dantza
  • In Ɓlava and GuipĆŗzcoa, dances like the kontrapas, the dance of the arches or asky dantza, or the witch dance or sorgin dantza

Also, in Navarra there is a wide range of dances, the most popular being the axuri beltza, the apple dance or sagar dantza, the Dance of the Era or the Dances of the Ribera Navarra.


The fandango is an original dance from Spain that currently has crossed borders and has gained popularity in other countries, such as Mexico, specifically in the state of Veracruz.

It is a dance of compass ternario in which you can not miss the castanets, which makes this dance slightly similar to the jota.

The fame that the fandango was acquiring between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century made it spread through various Spanish communities, namely: Asturias, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Valencia, the Basque Country, etc.

Also in Andalusia, where this dance was intermingled with flamenco dance, thus giving rise to what is known today as aflamencaos fandangos. Below you can see a video that shows an example of Andalusian fandango:


Of all the Andalusian dances, flamenco is the best known internationally. It is also danced in the communities of Murcia and Extremadura.

As for its history, the first flamenco dances date from the 18th century and its origin is largely due to the gypsy ethnic group. Since 2010, flamenco dancing is considered by UNESCO as Cultural heritage of Humanity.

Flamenco dance accessories

Behind the flamenco dance there are some unique rules and traditions that have given rise to their own language from which terms such as expression derive OlƩ! or elf, which the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines as mysterious and ineffable charm.

The instruments necessary to play flamenco music are the voice, palms and Spanish guitar. A flamenco guitarist is called tocaor and who dances is called flamenco dancer or flamenco dancer.


The jota is a Spanish dance that, at present, is danced in most communities of the geography of Spain, among which it has varied according to the customs of each region. The origin of the jota dates back to the end of the 18th century, although its time of splendor did not reach until the 19th century.

The most popular are the Aragonese jotas, as well as the Castilian jota, Leon, Valencia, La Rioja and Navarra. In Cantabria, it is known by the name of mountain.

Jacks are a dance that is accompanied by voice and in which the dancers wear castanets in each hand, in addition to a characteristic regional costume.

Apart from castanets, the dance is accompanied by guitars, lutes, bandurrias, accordions and drums. In the communities of northern Spain, typical instruments are incorporated; In this way, the bagpipes, tambourines, drums, etc. are used in the Cantabrian, Galician and Asturian jota.


The doll or muiƱeira In Galician it is an especially popular dance in Galicia, but also in Asturias and Castilla y LeĆ³n. Actually, the doll is just one Galician jota and, in fact, many refer to this dance with this name.

MuiƱeira in Spanish, it means mill, because it is due to the long working hours that the farmers once spent in the mills (muƱos in Galician).

The music that accompanies this dance is characterized by being performed with bagpipes, drums, tambourines, drums, tambourines, drums, puddles and shells. It is danced as a couple and with arms raised, while accompanied by stunners or screams that encourage dancing.


The pasodoble is a dance whose origin is in military parades. The origin of the pasodoble as a dance dates back to the first half of the 18th century, when the scenic tonadilla was used and used to be interpreted in special events.

At present, the pasodobles are usually interpreted in the major festivals of Moors and Christians, typical in the localities of the Spanish Levante. It is danced as a couple and is considered as a ballroom dancing simple, since the steps are quite free. The basic rule is that both bodies remain in parallel.

There is a repertoire of Spanish songs that have become traditional in every celebration in which this dance will be performed, such as Sighs of Spain, Spain CaƱƭ, The Wildcat, Andalusian sky, The Grace of God, Paquito the chocolatier, etc.


The pericote dance, whose name derives from the term parakeet, which refers to women who used to dress as men to perform this dance. It is an original dance from the town of Cue (Asturias), where people accompany him with diverse songs and giraldillas.

The common dress that those who practice it dress is that of porruano, for men, and llanisca, for women.

It is also traditional of the region of LiƩbana (Cantabria) and the council of Llanes (Asturias) where the ancient pericot is danced, based on interpretations of less than 50 years ago and that is traditional of the The Guide of Llanes party, which takes place every September 8.

In the following video you can see a performance of this dance held at the 2014 La Llanes Guide party:


Sardana is a dance originally from Catalonia and that has also extended to Andorra. It is a collective dance in which the participants hold hands and place themselves in a circle formed by women and men.

The dancers alternate so that between a man there is a woman on each side, that is, the circle follows the pattern of woman-man-woman-man, and so on.

The sardanas are divided into about seven or ten tirades, during which it alternates between short and long steps. The music that accompanies this dance is played with a cobla, which is a band formed by twelve wind instruments with double bass.

La Sardana, Josep CaƱas, MontjuĆÆc, Barcelona (1965)

Manchegas Seguidillas

The folklore of Castilla-La Mancha is characterized by being very rich, since it has tillage, nursery, children’s songs, romances, round songs, Christmas songs, etc. The most popular dance of this Spanish community are the seguidillas, which were born approximately in the XV century.

It became very popular at the time of Cervantes and usually appear in the vast majority of plays of the eighteenth century. At present, the dance of the seguidilla has spread throughout Spain, so that there are Andalusian followers too.

In Castilla-La Mancha they are called manchegas followed. This dance is characterized by being very energetic, since it is an indispensable condition move the whole body (both arms and feet).

Below we show you a video in which you can see an example of how the manchegas followings are danced:


Sevillanas are also another of the dances par excellence of Andalusia. It is especially popular during the April Fair in Seville and in the RomerĆ­a de El RocĆ­o (Huelva), although it has become popular throughout Western Andalusia.

They date from a time before the Catholic Monarchs, in which their name was followed by castelllanas. However, with the passage of time the flamenco component was introduced and ended up receiving the name of sevillanas.

There are numerous dance academies around the world where this dance is taught, as it is known in any continent. They are usually danced in pairs to the sound of the four songs in which it is divided, for which the fundamental instrument is a Spanish guitar.

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