Dance Names: How To Choose A Name With Rhythm
It’s not really so surprising that the names of dances would be strikingly rhythmic and melodic, but when I started to look into it, I was somewhat taken aback by the sheer number and variety—and by how many of them could conceivably be seen as baby names.
The following list cuts across time and space, from Italian Renaissance peasant dances and stately minuets to complex international folk dances to Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers to 1960s line dancing to 1980s Brazilian zouk.
ABHIA—a ceremonial dance done by southern Sudan tribal women around a mango tree
ABRAXAS—a serpentine ritual dance of the Greek Gnostics to the deity of that name
ALEMANDER—folk dance performed in Germany and Switzerland
APARINA—a Tahitian dance for 60 men and women sitting in four rows
BARYNYA—a lively Russian folk dance; also the name of several Russian folk dancing ensembles
BOSTON—the original name of the American Waltz, introduced in that city in 1834
BRANSIE—an old French follow-the-leader dance
CALATA—an Italian town dance done in triple time
CARINOSA—Philippine dance of love
CEROC—a simplified version of modern jive dance
CHACONNE—a slow, solemn dance of Spanish or Moorish origin; also a popular social dance in 17-18th century France
CHULA—a traditional dance from Portugal and southern Brazil; also means beautiful in Spanish
CRUZADA—a tango step
EISA—a folk dance unique to the people of the Ryuku Islands, danced by 20-30 young men and women in a circle
FARRUCA—a Spanish gypsy dance with sudden tempo changes
GAVOTTE—a French peasant dance of Baroque origin
GUABINA—Colombian fast-tempo dance done by couples with a kerchief held between them
HALAY—a national circle dance of Armenia and Turkey, in which the dancers held each other’s pinkie finger
JENKKA—a Finnish partner dance that evolved from a folk dance
JIBIRI—a lively Breton round dance done in circles
JOTA—fast Spanish dance done by couples facing each other to the rhythm of castanets
JUBA – a lively Southern plantation black 19th century dance involving clapping and leg slapping
KOLO—a Serbian folk dance performed by a group in a circle
LAMBETH Walk—Cockney dance of the 1930s, also the name of a song, two films, a market and a street in London.
LAVANI—Popular dance of India, where the lead dancer is accompanied by a group of background dancers
LINDY Hop—jitterbug dance popular in the 1930s and forties
LOURE –slow country dance that originated in France
LUNDU –a Brazilian song-dance with origins in the African Bantu tribe
MADISON—modern line dance popular in the 1950s and 60s, featured in the movie Hairspray
MALAGUENA—a genre of Spanish folk couple dances similar to the fandango
MAXIXE—a Brazilian ballroom dance resembling the two-step
MAZURKA—a lively Polish folk dance
MINUET—a slow, stately Baroque dance
MORESCA—a 16-17th century Moorish pantomime dance
MORRIS dance—a vigorous English dance performed by men in costume
NAZUN—an Indian Hindu-Moslem festival dance performed by men
ODISSI—Classical dance of India
OKINA—A Japanese ritual dance symbolizing a long life.
Bossa NOVA—Brazilian samba-like dance
PAOA—a Tahitian solo woman’s dance
PAVANE—a stately English Renaissance court dance
QUADRILLE—a square dance of French origin performed by four couples
SARBA—Romanian dance done by young men, with rapidly increasing speed
SARDANA—a moving circle dance of the Catalan region of Spain, representing national pride, unity and identity.
TIRANA—a variation of the fandango, a Spanish dance done to the accompaniment of a guitar
VELETA—English ballroom round dance done to waltz music
VIRGINIA reel—a version of a French dance brought to the US by French dancing masters, in which a number of couples face each other in two parallel lines
VOLTA—an Italian Renaissance peasant couples dance also called Lavolta
ZAMBRA—a flamenco dance performed by the Romani people of Granada, which has some similarities to belly dancing
ZOUK— a style of dance and music originating in the Caribbean and Brazil during the 1980s. The term zouk means ‘party’ in the native Creole language, and is influenced by French, English and African language and culture
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on February 24th, 2010 at 6:00 am
in case your name is Chula , the portuguese, brazilian dance and a spanish word,
don’t tell it to a Greek! In greek it means prostitute!!
on February 24th, 2010 at 5:14 pm
I love Lindy! What fun names.
on February 24th, 2010 at 5:41 pm
I love Lavolta! I always think of Elizabeth and Dudley!
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