Folklore Dances

Folklore Dances


Before I start talking about what dances Cypriots perform, I would like to express the feelings I have every time I watch traditional Cypriot dance perform. The traditional multicolored clothes, the remarkable music and the energetic moves of dancers make it only one of its kind. It is stunning. I attended several ceremonies in a number of villages where I had great time going to religious festivals and wedding ceremononies. I even engaged in the dances and tried to learn how to dance those traditional dances. And I am sure you will do the same since the rhythm is so encouraging and motivating. You will see the traditional clothes men and women wear during these ceremonies/festivals, the traditional musical instruments and the amazing movements of body parts during the dance while amusing your ears with the Cypriot traditional music that reserved itself during the days of Cyprus being occupied for many times.

Also a number of clubs and bars offer Cypriot music you will enjoy it for sure. Selected number of hotels in Cyprus offer traditional dance shows evenings.

However, while there are some rules for Cypriot dancing, the major thing in Cypriot dance is that all dances are provisional. Dancers start by the rule then they go with the rhythm.

The violin (Kamanche), bouzouki, accordion, lavouto and boulgari, and oud, are the main musical instruments used in playing Cypriot traditional music.

Cypriots’ customs consist of a selection of traditions. One famous one is the folk dances that Cypriots are proud to perform during festivals, ceremonies and gatherings. After looking at the history of Cyprus music we clearly see that it is strongly related to ancient Greece.

But since Cyprus was occupied several times by countries from west and east, traces of non-Greek music can be also be noticed. However, as I mentioned, the relations are a matter of trace which means very very weak relation since Cyprus reserved its character and defended its traditions.

So Cyprus is one of the few countries that kept its tradational dances alive up to this time.

At the early ancient days of Cyprus, men and women did not dance together but this changed over the time and we can see that nowadays many Cypriot dances are performed by men and women together.

Syrtos is the very and most famous dance in the history of Cyprus as well as Greece. It is an ancient dance. Syrtos involves dancers both men and women dancing in a circle each dancers connected together by holding each others wrists. This folk dance is famous in festivals, ceremonies and social gatherings. As every dance in the Cypriot society has a meaning, this one demonstrates the synchronization between the responsibility of men and women in the Cypriot society.

Usually men and women start dancing in a circle then two men break the circle and starts dancing alone while others watch.

Sousta is another famous folk dance. Sousta that comes from a martial dance in Crete (a Greek Island) is performed by men and women dancing opposite. It is a lively music that represents the spirit of the society in Cyprus. However, the dance is performed in circles and in certain pieces of the dance men start dancing alone showing strength and women start dancing alone showing beauty. The music of this dance is played with KEMENCHE or VIOLIN, Lute and Mandolin.

Kartizilamas lively dances show the liveliness and nimbleness of the Cypriot men. This dance is performed by men and danced in pairs across from each other.

Moreover, Kartizilamas dances of women show women’s loveliness and modesty while their movement in this dance shows their needle work ability. They too dance in pairs.

Sickle dance performed in weddings and social gatherings involves men dancers holding sharp sickles dancing to show their fastness in harvesting.

Antikristos (meaning: face to face) dance is when men and women dance in rows across each other. This dance expresses the joy of love and life while dancers dance charmingly.

Moreover, some hotels offer shows for this dance at evenings.

Datsia dance shows the dancer’s talent in balancing a glass of wine centrifugally curved in a colander.

I would like to mention that most of the dances are not performed originally in circles. The original dances performed in rows but as I said, in Cypriot dance there are no rules. And if you find a dance going by the rule, then there is something wrong. That is what I like most in it and what makes it unique, the provision.

For sure there are other dances that are performed by Cypriots but the ones I pointed pout previously are what I liked most and those are the most eminent in the island of Cyprus.


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