Left step, right step, jump, jump, right. Or something like that. Such lines are common for people taking dance lessons. They are humming them down their chin, carefully trying not to look too stupid in front of their dance partner. In the case of more advanced students, no humming is involved, but from the look in their eyes you can tell they are obsessing about the steps that are coming. There are a lot of Croatian dances worth mentioning, but for the sake of brevity, we will only mention a few to give you a general idea. You can also check out videos to see the moves in action, and possibly even practice them in your living room. And once you become an expert, you can publish your performance on the Internet! And do like most people do today – humiliate themselves in front of the rest of humanity online. But if you are here just because you want to learn something new, that’s fine as well. Apart from information about the country’s popular dances, we’ve also provided a few tourist tips for you. So when you visit the region of a specific dance’s origin, you don’t have go home after the music stops playing.
Sokacko Kolo (Sokac Round Line Dance) Sokacs are an ethnographic group of Croats which moved from Bosnia during the massive Ottoman retreat. They have a specific culture and tradition, and their Sokacko kolo is often practiced at weddings and other celebrations. Sokacko Kolo comes from Slavonia.
During last year’s Vinkovacke Jeseni Festival, more then 4000 performers joined in on the dance, forming the largest kolo ever recorded. They were not the only ones, as people all over Vinkovci were dancing to the tune all over town.
While you are in the Slavonia and Baranja regions, you might also visit Baranjski Raj Tourist House for a dose of relaxation, or an interesting metal cow in Osijek’s University of Agriculture. Drmes The literal translation would be “The Shaker.” The dance is typical for northwestern regions of the country, and is quite known for its speed, rhythm and choreography involving strong shakes of the performer’s body. Another interesting feature of the drmes is that it has many variations, as every settlement added its own moves to the same music.
One of the places to seek out the drmes is Varazdin, a beautiful town known for its Festival of Good Emotions and a huge castle worth seeing. Tanac Widespread throughout Lika, but also reaching as far as the Adriatic Islands, the tanac is always accompanied by the mijeh, an archaic, aerophonic musical instrument. The tanac has several figures, as dancing in one line turns into two lines of dancers facing each other, and fundamentally ends up in couples dancing around a circle. There is also a figure during which the female dancer intensively rotates, while the males clap their hands.
What is there to do aside from tancing in Lika? How about visiting the region’s natural wonders mounted on a horse? And, if Adriatic waves sound better than the peaks of Lika, then consider visiting Lastovo , Komiza on Vis, or the beaches of Mljet. Lindo Seen by many tourists during their summer visit to Dubrovnik, lindo can also be found throughout the Konavle region and the Peljesac Peninsula as well as surrounding areas. It features a dance master who, together with its trusty lijerica (a three-string instrument played with a bow) dictates the rhythm to the dancers by stamping his foot. The dance master issues commands, usually in rhyme, and usually of a humorous nature. What is there to enjoy in Dubrovnik besides the lindo? How about Nautika, a great restaurant virtually surrounded by the sea upon the stones of Dubrovnik’s fort? And after a good meal, see the town from a different perspective using its cable car service.
Moreska The Croatian warrior dance, in which performers carry swords and clash them as if they were in the middle of a battlefield. In the past, such choreographies were quite common in Europe, but only a few of them survived up to the present. The moreska is secure in the hands of the people of Korcula, although this safety is not mutual- cuts and bumps are common during training. Read more about it here. As for Isle itself, our guide to Korcula might be very beneficial to curious travelers. Also, the Museum of Marco Polo is a good place to check out for some history and geography lessons.
This concludes our overview of Croatian folk dances. Now, all you have to do is practice them next to sofa with a webcam. Or book your trip to Croatia for some real-life lessons.