Dancing is a hobby for millions of people in Russia. It is not only a fun and entertainment, but also a rewarding pastime both physically and emotionally. People start dancing for a plenty of reasons: some seek a medium of self-expression, others want to arrange their social life and stay fit and healthy, improve poise, posture and grace. There are also people that view dance classes as a way to seek for special someone. Whatever the reasons are dances remain the endless source of enjoyment and means to build self-confidence. The dance skills stay with a person for the rest of his life and enable to practice at any age and occasion.
Ballroom dances were very popular in the USSR and are again coming into fashion. Russian version of "Dancing with the Stars" show has a high rating on Russian TV and is one of most viewed shows actually. Ballroom dancing is now known as DanceSport due to International Olympic Committee and involves wider categories of people. There’s a considerable worldwide movement to make ballroom dancing an Olympic event and a long threat about it. Russia and Italy hold the leading positions in dance sport at present. Dance Sport Federation of Russia has put efforts to develop this sport in the country. For the last 20 years more than 2000 sport dance clubs have been created that have about 100 000 members. Sports dance was highly popular in the Soviet Union and a significant number of clubs both for junior children and adults existed all over the country.
Russian school of ballroom dance is ranked one of the best in the world. Today Russia has top annual ratings – 15-17 pairs are chosen the best among the 50 from all over the world. Russia is the only country whose sport dance champions win European finals in all categories.
Russia is proud of its famous pairs:
Anna Kuzminskaya and her partner Andrey Zaytsev were placed 2nd in the WDSF World Championship Latin category. They are currently ranked #2 in the world in the Adult Amateur Latin division by the WDSF as well. Andrey Gusev and Elizaveta Cherevichnaya took silver, Valentin Voronov and Alina Imrekova won bronze. Alexei Silde & Anna Firstova who got into 1 in the GOC Professional Latin at German Open 2011 in Germany, Sergey Surkov & Melia have been one of the best professional Latin couple for long now and are winners of numerous Russian and international competitions.
Some of major Dance Sport Tournament hosted by Russia are "Vivat Russia!" International Open Dance Sport Tournament held on annual basis (since 2007) in Krasnodar region and the the Kremlin Cup in Moscow which is one of the biggest professional ballroom competitions in Europe.
Latin American style of dance is popular in Russia at an incredible rate. The category includes Samba, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive known for the hip action and a sexy flair, the energy and expressiveness a Russian craves for. Latin American style is leading in many dance schools. Samba, Cha-cha-cha and Jive classes are scheduled by any modern dance studio. The classes are available both for adults and for the junior. Dance clubs and schools are in abundance in almost all regions of Russia. Dancesport Federation Russia list around a thousand clubs.
Cuban dance salsa is enjoying a growing popularity among young Russians. Its dynamic and open character especially appeals to young Russians girls. Couples are not constant and a change of partners enables to learn how to gain mutual understanding during a dance with a stranger which makes the dance a very social pastime. Salsa clubs, courses and lessons are emerging fast and can be found in Moscow, St-Petersburg, Rostov, Novosibirsk and other Russian cities. The clubs often arrange Bachata Festival & Salsa Rooms to educate people on modern dance and attract new visitors. Moscow Salsa Congress and St. Petersburg Bachata Festival are just a few.
Other dance styles like Rock 'n Roll, Hip-Hop, Hustle have lots of admirers especially among the younger peoples as these dances require strong physical skills and stamina. Hip hop dance battles and parties are constantly arranged. Russia's most famous hip-hop union is Flammable Beats.
Pole dancing classes and belly dance has become a real craze. While pole dance demands not only dance art but also good sport skills and real hard work, it is mainly a sport for younger Russian girls.
Pole Dance Federation of Russia was officially registered in 2009. It goes over all stereotypes and develops pole dance as a definite kind of sport. The championships are held since 2009. Miss Pole Dance Europe is a project of the Federation pole dance in Russia and aims at developing Pole Dance in the country.
Belly dance is more democratic and women of nearly all ages eagerly attend the classes. The League of Bellydance Masters is a community of bellydance masters in Russia. It annually organizes All-Russia Rating Championship of Bellydance Performers; International Bellydance Cup. Most fitness clubs include belly dance elements in their routines.
Traditional Russian folk dance has its origins in various groups. These include: Slovenian and Tatar origins. A cultural mix of music and dance helped develop Russian folk dances Russian folk dances were essential part of the lifestyle in Russia and made an influence on Russian theater and ballet and various music trends.
The modern revival of folk dances in Russia is explained by the interest in traditions and culture of Russia and the attractiveness of the folk dance that are usually a combination of a folk show, aerobic dance, circus and gymnastics. Beautiful ethnic Russian music and colorful costumes add them extra charm. Folk dances are an essential element of Russian Maslennitsa festival where anyone can show their best in dance.
Some of most known Russian folk dances are:
Kalinka developed around the traditional Russian folk song Kalinka Malinka, written by Russian composer and theater performer Ivan Petrovich Larionov in 1860. Kalinka dances are notable for the crossed arms and kicks of the dancers. Kalinka was frequently performed by the Red Army Choir of the Soviet Union. Modern interpretations of this dance are now suggested by various performers.
Barynya is a fast Russian folk dance and music. The word barynya (Russian: Барыня, landlady) was used by simple folk as a form of addressing to a woman of higher class, a feminine form for the word "barin", landlord. A number of Russian folkloric dance ensembles bear the name Barynya. The dancing was without special choreography and consisted mainly of fancy stomping and traditional Russian squatwork – knee bending ("вприсядку", vprisyadku). There are a number of scenic, more refined versions of the dance.
Troika is a Russian folk dance, where a man dances with two women. The Russian word troika means three-horse team/gear. In the Russian dance the dancers imitate the prancing of horses pulling a sled or a carriage.
Khorovod is a Slavic art form, a combination of a circle dance and chorus singing.
Kazachok derived from Kozak ("Cossack"), is a folk dance from Ukraine. It is a fast, linear, couple-dance in 2/4, typically in a constantly increasing tempo and of an improvisatory character in a major key. The woman leads and the man follows, imitating her figures- she signals movement changes by hand clapping. The history of the dance is traced back to late 16th and 17th. But has been revived in many countries. There are famous arrangements of made by Russian composers like Alexander Serov and Piotr Tchaikovsky.
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