Cornish Dance Varieties

Cornish dance is loosely defined by several categories.

First we have circle or serpent dances. These are relatively simple and resemble in form simple dances that have existed since at least medieval times. These were often performed at times of celebration for example tea treats or festivals.

Secondly we have scoot dances. Scoot dances are defined by the use of “scoots” or hard metal plates, which are attached to the soles of dancers shoes. This takes it’s rise from the shoes worn by working people and some of these dances reflect or emulate the professions of the original dancers.

Nos Lowen dances often use forms such as those found in serpent or circle dances, however many dances are influenced by the form and rhythm of Breton Fest Noz dances. Nos Lowen dances are extremely popular communal events aimed at simplicity and ease of access.

Fourthly are furry dances. Now famously part of the Helston Flora day, these dances were at one point common in most Cornish communities.  Furry dances are processional in nature and typically have two parts, a simple section with a movement forward and dance section (known in the Helston Furry as the “Polka”). Modern furry’s have been created for a variety of Cornish events including St Piran’s day.

There are also dances related to traditions like Guise dancing.

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