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Folk dance

Folk dance is a term used to encompass a large number of dances that generally share the following attributes:

  • They were originally danced in about the 19th century or earlier (some say, quite specifically, before January 1, 1923),
  • Their performance is dominated by an inherited tradition rather than by innovation,
  • They were generally danced by the lower social classes,
  • There is no one governing body that has final say over what "the dance" is or who is authorized to teach it. This also means that nobody has the final say over the definition of folk dance or the requsite age for such dances.

Modern Street dance[?] such as Hip hop are not generally considered Folk Dances because they do not meet the above criteria; in particular, there is a greater element of creativity. In retrospect, all folk dances today might once have fit the criteria for street dances at the time they were originally danced. Of course, in retrospect most of these dances were also once danced by the higher social classes, too; the entire notion of the "common folk" having separate dance forms from the upper classes is somewhat of a misnomer.

Some examples of families of folk dances would be:

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