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Spanish Dancers
the Spanish Dances

    This page mainly lists Spanish Dances but has some surrounding areas of influence such as Portugal, Mexico, etc. The Spanish dance is one of the finest dances done today along with ballet and contemporary dances. The Spanish dance history & documentation goes way back to the Hellenic period (550 B.C.). Generally considered to be from Andalucia. When Rome was ruling the western Empire, the "dancing girls from Cádiz" (Gadez, Spain) were already recognized as authorities.

    Spanish dance or the Sarabande (Arabic word meaning noise) was originally from Asia, but settled in Spain and would travel to France. It received its name from the Spanish La Zarabanda. The Sarabande was considered a dance of Moorish origin when the Moors invaded Spain in 711.

    Jumping ahead a bit, under the rule of Ferdinand (1452-1516) and Isabella (1451-1504) was born the Spanish drama and included dancing in the theater. As a choreography it found its way into the church which included the Pavane, Sarabande, and Pasacalle as well as other court dances of the time.

    Today the Spanish Sevillida is the national dance of Spain, grown from the Seguidilla Manchegras. Originally it was danced to bells and castanets, wild mannerisms, and only the women danced. The French smoothed it out and was done solo by male or female with three distinct styles southern, northern and Flamenco. Spain has 47 provinces and they each have their own style of dance.

    * The Spanish dances consisted of many types of dances ....
01) - Basque Dances (thirty)
02) - Bolero - 1700s - (couple or couples folk dance, could be done like Quadrille, 5 patterns [passo, final],
---- performed to a Seguidilla (dance or Song.) Bolero viejo o parado: A style derived from the Seguidilla. The Valldemosa bolero (Majorca, Spain) is the most popular in the Balearic Islands. The name parado (stopped) comes from the abrupt end of the dance.
03) - Cachucha (Spanish solo dance, better done by a lady than a male which is danced to the Andalusian national Anthem. Fanny Elssler made this dance popular at the time. The word Cachucha means a term of endearment or a kind of cap. Castanets are also used in this dance.)
04) - Cascaron (Mexican) - (Egg dance, filled with cologne, powder etc.)
05) - Chacona - exotic - (Guatemala) about 1560s
06) - Dansas hablados - (Pantomimic chants)
07) - Danse aux petits grelots - (Bell/Ring dance)
08) - Danse de espadas - (Sword type dance, clothed in white).
09) - Danza Prima (from Asturias)
10) - 'El Zapateado' - (3/8, same as Guaracha, steps are struck, making noise. Similar to Anglaise & Sabottiere'...aka Heel Taps).
11) - 'El Zorango' - (named after a head dress or hair ribbon.) Which in Spain is composed of ribbons, mingled with the hair. Its steps are simple, following a very sprightly movement, and are practiced backwards and forwards; while sometimes the hands are clapped to the time.
12) - Folia - (north of the Pyrenees around 1565)
13) - Fandango - (basically a Chica dance, usually a solo male or preferably female dance.) Also Malaguena
14) - Flamenco (originated with the Gypsies of southern Spain, some say India.)
15) - Jaleo de Jerez - (a passionate female only impromptu dance.)
16) - Jalisco - Originated same as name. Male dancer places his hat on ground, female dances around it, if she touches hat, she accepts his love.
17) - Jota - National dance of Aragon. Also a Valencia version. (Quick Spanish dance in 3/8 time).
18) - Guaracha - (3/8, one person dance, accompanied by guitar, Movement grows progressively quicker.)
19) - Gittana - A Spanish Dance ?
20) - Malaguena - (school dance from Valencia.)
21) - Milote (Mexican) - Danced in May, animated mask type dance.
22) - Minuet Afandangado - (Minuet & Fandango mix.)
23) - Minuet Allmandado - (Minuet & Allemande mix.)
24) - Morris Dances
25) - Pasacalle (around 1560s)
26) - Pie De Jibao - (Spanish couples Court dance of 1560, maybe from Jibado [hunchback])
27) - Sarabande - became popular 1100s - (3/4) - ( Main Spanish dance - erotic, gliding steps - Around 1560s.)
28) - Sardana - (from Cataluna)
29) - Seguidilla - (Spanish dance having many varieties in all provinces and country Hispanic. a.k.a.: Paso de Vasco, Sevillana) from Castile.
30) - Seguidilla's Boleras - (Paseo, Estribillo). When singing to a Bolero dancing to a guitar.
31) - Seguidilla's Taleadas - (part Bolero part Cachucha.)
32) - Seguidilla's Manchegras - Moriscan - (Spawned the Sevillana's) from La Moncha
33) - Sevillana - Spanish dance with many varieties, known as Coplas, closely related to the Seguidilla (the Seguidilla is often called... the Sevillana in Andalucia.)
34) - Tango (originally from Andalucia, later modified in Buenos Aires.)
35) - Zambra - is a Spanish Flamenco dance with direct Moorish origin, done entirely by women.
36) - Zapateado, El - (form of Flamenco,) This is the same sort of movement as the Guaracha, and is in the time of 3/8. There is in this dance a considerable noise made by the feet. Its steps are struck, as it were, similar to the Anglaise and the Sabottière.
37) - Zarandeo - a Lascivious movement of the of the hips, dancing in ecstasy, sexual power.

    The Agitanado is heel work used in non-Flamenco type Spanish dances while Taconeo is Gypsy. The Castanets is Spanish but not Flamenco!. Good Castanets are tuned to the left being 1/3 higher in tone than the right. In the Ballet "'El Amour Brujo," one of the routines called "Ritual Fire Dance" is a favorite among Spanish Dancers.

    The Cachucha, danced either by a man or a woman alone, though better suited to the latter, is admirably calculated to accompany the medley of music peculiar to this dance; which is sometimes sprightly, and sometimes impassioned. It seems expressly designed to display the elegance's of ones posture and attitude.

    The Danzas: There were many and varied danzas. Most Danza's were executed only by the men:
Danzas de espadas : in which the dancers clothed in white cloth and armed with a sword, flutter to the sound of instruments.
Danses aux petits grelots : rings adorned with little round bells, which the dancers carry on hamstrings.
Shoe Danzas : The dancers mark the measure by striking their shoes with their hand.
Danzas habladas : expressive dances, kind of pantomimes intermingled with dances and recited chants.

    The Folies d'Espagne was almost universally practiced by the Spaniards. It was first sung, then played on instruments, and finally danced. Any kind of step was adapted to it, every one forming for himself a measure, according to his own peculiar taste and style.

    The Guaracha, the music of which is in 3/8 time, is danced by one person, accompanied by the guitar. Its movement, which should grow progressively quick, renders it rather difficult. It is now but seldom danced, and never except at the Theaters.

    The Menuet Afandangado is partly composed of the Minuet and Fandango.
    The Menuet Allmandado is intermixed with steps from the Minuet and Allemande.

    The Sarabande - is said to be originally from Asia, rather than Spain. It is sometimes spelt Zarabanda or Sarabanda, a graceful dance traced to the twelfth century, which, according to Padre Mariana, received its name at Seville from a devil in a woman's form. These dances gave great scandal, and in 1621 they were finally modified. The name Zarabanda means noise, and is of Arabic-Moorish origin. It may well have been a survival of the licentious Greek Cordax. It is danced to alternating 3/4 and 3/8 time, using castanets and tambourines. Among other theatrical dances of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were the Chaconne and the Escarraman; these, together with the Zorongo, are similar to the Zarabanda, which Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) denouncement of the dance spread throughout Europe and would be suppressed at the end of the reign of Philip II (1556-1598.) The Gallarda, a merry dance with five steps--hence cinque-pas--and the Pasacalle, were of the same type.

    The S'a llarga y S'a curta: These are the two most typical dances from the island of Ibiza, Spain. Depending on the beat of the music "S' a llarga" stands for long and "S' a Curta" for short. The woman dances slowly, barely moving while the man dances vigorously trying to prove his manhood and strength.
The S'escandalari is another dance from Ibiza and is a peasant dance celebrating planting and harvesting.

    The Seguidilla's Boleras is a name which was given when the Boleros were sung, and accompanied by a guitar. The great difficulty of this dance consists in resuming the part called the Paseo, which is immediately after the first part of the tune in the prelude of the accompaniment, which precedes the Estribillo. The Estribillo is that part of the couplet, not indeed where the moral is found, but which contains the epigrammatic point or turn.

    The Seguidilla's Manchegras which are danced by four, six, eight, or nine persons, are far more rapid in their movements, beginning without the Paseo. The traversias of it is shorter, and its bien parado is without gesture. This dance is very sprightly in its motions, and a great favorite with the lower orders, who give themselves up to it with a peculiar zest. It is of Moriscan origin.

    The Seguidilla's Taleadas is a species of the Bolero, mingled with some measures of the Cachucha.

    The Tripili Trapola is nearly similar to the Zorongo, excepting that it finishes with three demi-tours or half turns.

    The Zorongo has given name to a headdress for women, which in Spain is composed of ribbons mingled with the hair. Its steps are simple, following a very sprightly movement, and are practiced backward and forward; while sometimes the hands are clapped to the time.

    The Zapateado is the same sort of movement as the Guaracha , and is in the time of 3/8. There is in this dance a considerable noise made by the feet. Its steps are struck, as it were, similar to the Anglaise and the Sabottière .

    Portuguese Dance - Portugal is closely allied to Spain by its geographical position and by the common origin of the race, so expect in some respects to find the two countries resembling each other in their dances. But as North Spain differs from South Spain, so does Portugal differ from her sister country; and, moreover, Portugal was not one province, but a group of provinces. Each one of which has to some extent dances and dance-music peculiar to itself (like the Fofaor Fado dance.) In this southwestern corner of Europe we find many remains of old Moorish civilization, and the traces of Saracen culture are greater in Portugal than even in Southern Spain; it is stated that the Saracens taught the Portuguese Cymons "all the sweet civilities of life," and among these the dance were prominent. These dances were said not to be specially graceful; they were slow in movement, and similar to Oriental dances, similar to the East because they consisted mostly of movements of the body and arms, and because they had no steps worth mentioning.

    They were simple and expressive, and were often performed as a rest after labor; the threshing-floor was generally the scene of the dance, and its season is mostly that of harvest or vintage. The dances are generally innocent and decorous; they resembling Quadrilles, with hops and skips, but without much spirit, and the faces of the performers maintained a solemn gravity. Castanets were seldom used in Portugal, and the dance is accompanied by the guitar, or by songs, the theme of which is usually the bright-eyed maids or the brave sons of Lusitania. The name of the principal dance of a Romaria is the Fofa. Portugal is famous for its Ballets ambulatories, which are religious processions with dances, in imitation of the Tuscan pomp, and such as we meet with all over Italy. The canonization of Cardinal C. Borromée (c.1700s) was celebrated by a ballet of this kind. There is also a well-known dance called the Fado. Portugal really consists of two distinct parts -- the north is Celtic in character, while the south is Arab.

    In contemporary Spain the word Danza implies a dance performance at public festivals, and ordinary dances are called Bailes.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Andalusia, Spain 550 BC n/a Spanish

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

Related Spanish Posters 1917 - Spanish Gipsy Dance Bolero
Bolero (George Raft) 1923 - Bella Donna (Negri) Bunch Of Roses (Spanish March)
$ Bullfight 1923 - The Spanish Dancer Danza Espanadas
Carmen Jones La Manola Fada Blanquita
Chita Rivera       In Old Castille (Minuet)
Flamenco (20)       Járabe Tapatio
Hallucinogenic Toreador, the       Jota
la Zapatilla de Cristal       La Cucaracha
Rumba Caliente       $ La Fiesta (with Anna Case)
Mambo Madness       La Madre del Cordero (Jota)
        La Manola 3/4

Spanish Music Compilations


$ Malaguena
$ Carmen without Words $ Latcho Drom: Bande Originale Mexican Hat Dance
$ Léon Minkus: Don Quijote $ Dance With Me Ritual Fire Dance
$ Aaron Rosand: Sarasate
$ Spanish Guitar Favorites
$ Sevillanas: Rumba Flamenca        

Night Clubs, ETC.



1893 - Kirmess Opera House (Ohio)* M.E.T. (N.Y.) Andalucia
1842 - Café Cantante's (Spain) The Teatro (Havana) Buenos Aires
1940s - Palais de Chaillot       Bolivia
Bourgeois House (Seville)       Brazil
Moriz Palace (Seville)       Chile
Traymore Hotel (Atlantic City)       Ecuador
            Havana Cuba
            La Plata
            La Triana (Seville)
            Puerto Rico

Films / Movies

Ballets / Stage

$ 1900s - Exotic & Acrobatic Dances 1890s - La Cigale (cyr)
1901 - The Spanish Dancer (1901?) 1927 - Pin Wheel
1926 - Anna Case 1939 - Laurencia
1926 - La Fiesta 1939 - Capriccio Espagnol
1935 - Under A Pampas Moon 1934 - Sarabande (Ballet)
1935 - Here's To Romance La Esmerelda (Ballet)
1936 - Devil on Horseback 'El Amor Brujo
1941 - Gay Señorita Land Of Joy
1943 - Two Senorita's from Chicago The Gypsy Dance
1945 - Gay Señorita The Tambourine Dance
9/26/1955 - Pathe Newsreel: Egon the Artist (w/ Karen Carena)  
$1956 - Around The World In 80 Days  
2/20/1956 - Pathe Newsreel: Castanets and Castanets  
7/8/1957 - Pathe Newsreel: Spanish Dancing (features Cordoba and Torres and Maya)  
1959 - Maria de la O  
1960s - Toreador (16mm)


1970 - Flamenco en Castilla 11/1927 - Dance Magazine
$1984 - Flamenco at 5:15 3-28-1931 - Colliers Magazine
$1987 - Tango: Our Dance~ Zapateadode Negro Mania
1992 - The Sevillana's (Flamenco)  
$ 1993 - Strictly Ballroom[DVD]  
$1994 - Latcho Drom  
$1997 - Flamenco~[English DVD]


$1998 - Baila Conmigo (Dance with me) [Espanol DVD~ | English DVD, VHS] n/a
$1998 - Flamenco Woman  
$1999 - Danza de la Pluma (Mexican)  
$1999 - Festival de la Danza  
$2000 - Burn The Floor[DVD]

Instructional Videos

$2000 - Gypsy Heart n/a
$ 2000 - Vengo[DVD]  
$Carlos Saura Dance Trilogy Pt. 2~  
$Carlos Saura Dance Trilogy Pt. 3  
= In Espanol with English Subtitles

Other Related Dance ...

Andalusan Czardas Habanara Quaternaria
Ballet Egg Dance (Hop) Jaleo Saltarello
Basse Fandango Jota Sarabande
Bayaderes Farandole La Manola Seguidilla
Bolero Fire Dance Latin Dances Sicilian
Chacona Flamenco Malagueña Taresca
Cachucha Gallega Mexican Hat Dance * see top of page
Calenda Gibao Morresca  
Chica Gigantones y los Enanos Pa lotéo  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Arthur Mahoney La Paquera Anna Bolena (1837) (Taresca)
Aurora Arriaza La Señorita Martinez Ferdinand (1452-1516)
Carmalita Maracci Maria de Cordoba (& Pietro Torres) Isabella (1451-1504)
Carmen Amaya María Medina-Vigano Nina Of Lenclos (1620-1705)
Carola Goya Marius Petipa Philip II (1556-1598)
Dancing Cansino's Maryelle Krempff Philip III (S) (1578- 1621)
de Marcos Mimi Kellerman Phillip Of New Orleans
Florence Reed Mimi St. Cyr Sebastian Zerezo (1780)
George Raft Miss Plato (1893)*  
Gritos de Guerra Pietro Torres (& Maria de Cordoba)  
Helene Veola Pilar Lopez  
Jaun Martínez Pola Negri  
Jean Erdman Rita Hayworth  
Jose Fernández Rosario & Antonio  
José Greco Rosita Ortega  
José Limon Ruthanna Boris  
La Argentina Sara Luzita  
La Argentinita Teresina  
La Caita Thallia Mara  
La Maccarona Tomatito  
La Malena Valentinoff  
La Mejorana Vincente Escudéro  
La Meri    

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


A Code Of Terpsichore Blasis, Carlo 1830 London
The Zincali Borrow, George 1841 ??
Grammar of the Art of Dancing Zorn, Friedrich Albert 1905 ??
The Soul Of Spain Havelock Ellis 1908 Houghton Mifflin & Co.
The Dance (Ancient & Modern) Moore, Arabella C. ?? ??
Life Magazine article-"Gypsy Dance" 1949 ??
Dance Encyclopedia Chujoy, Anatole   A.S. Barnes
$ panish Posters From 1890 to 1940 Carulla, Jordi & Arnau 6/2000 (at




Albeniz, Issac (1860-1909) Robert Frederick Blum (1857-1903) Beaucaire - Montalvo
Carreño Salvador Daly Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
Chapi, R. Pablo (Ruiz y) Picasso
de Falla, Manual (1876-1946) Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1926 Sevilla)  
Gilbert, Ralph      
Moszkowski, Moritz (1854-1925)      

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Agitanado Cale Danza Jondo
Bailar Caliphs Española Payo
Bailes Cuadro Flamenco (divertissement) Follies d'Espagne Taconeo
Bailes Regionales Dansa Gypsy    


February 3, 2013