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The Jota Dance History Origins

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Streetswings Dance History Archives: The Jota
The traditional Spanish Jota Dance History Origin Page

          The Spanish dance Jota came to be in the 1700's and is the  National folk dance of Aragon, Spain. This is probaby the most traditional dance of Spain. It is a quick Spanish dance in 3/8 time. The "Jota of Aragón" is the oldest of the styles and corresponds with the ancient carols, which in Chaucer's time meant a dance as well as a song. Funerals and wakes also afford opportunities for the dance, the Jota, for instance, is often performed in watching the dead.

    At the feast of   La Virgin del Pilar,  the Jota is in great favor with the crowd which assembles in Sargasso from outlying parts. The verses in the improvised couplets are not always in true metre, the performers not being very particular. They

make up for the loss of a syllable or two in one line by adding it to the next, or they clap their hands, twang the guitar string, or stamp their feet to cover the defect. The Aragonese in their pride in the dance say that a pretty girl dancing the Jota sends an arrow into every heart by each one of her movements. Sometimes the couples of the Jota indulge in a satirical vein.

  • Some Jota's are:
  • The Jota of Alcañiz is also relatively rapid with cheers, jumps and leaps and Batudas or hitting the legs while jumping.
  • The Jota of Albalate is similar to that of the Alcañiz but is done much slower and not as much movement.
  • The Jotas of Calanda and Andorra is also similar but much more stately and starts off slower in pace and picks up speed with a style of a Valencian dance.
  • The Jota of Huesca is not as fast as the Zaragoza but is very energetic as well with many French influences throughout the dance and uses some tricky step patterns.
  • The Zaragoza Jota is the most exuberant of all the Jotas. It is much more diverse than the others and vary considerably, there are no 'punteados steps', the speed varies intermittently and occasionally raising the legs, Kneels and the arms are not used.
  • Jota de la vendimia is a 'wine harvest dance' from Ciudad Real, Spain. The guitar, bandurria and percussion may accompany the dancers.

There are many versions of the Jota dance from Spain, not just the ones above and all from her former colonies... Jota Aragonesa, Jota Manileña, Jota Caviteña, etc. Not all Jota's are strictly danced only in Spain, other countries may have the Jota dance in their répertoire of dances.

Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Aragón, Spain 1700s n/a Spanish

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a n/a Gran Jota De Concierto [MP3] (Tarrega)
            La Bruja (Chapi)
            La Jota [MP3] (Murcia)
            La Madre del Cordero
            Jota [MP3]
            Jota Catellana
            Jota de baile Cataluna
            Jota de Cintruenigo
            Jota de la Dolores
            Jota de Pablo (Op. 52) (Vasa Prihoda)
            Jota de sa Potada
            Jota Navarra [MP3]
            Mendez Jota [MP3] (Méndez)
            Rhapsodie Espagnole (Liszt)
            Suite populaire Espagnole: Jota [MP3] (de Falla)
            Zarzuela Jota de los etudiantes [MP3]

Night Clubs



n/a n/a Albalate of Arzobispo
            Ciudad Real, Spain

Video Clips (pop-up)

Films / Movies


Ballets / Stage

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1940 - (Jota de) La Dolores n/a n/a
Video Clip not available at this time 1957 - Por el Camino de la Jota (Jota documentary)        
Video Clip not available at this time          
Video Clip not available at this time        


Video Clip not available at this time         12/2/1934 - Fresno Bee (La Jota and Continental)
Video Clip not available at this time         $ La Jota Aragonesa and other Favorites for Piano
Video Clip not available at this time         $ Gran Jota Aragonesa

Other Related Dances of the time...

Fandango Jota de la vendimia Jota of Aragón Sardanas Zapateado
Flamenco Jota of Albalate Jotas of Calanda Spanish Dance Zaragoza Jota
Isas Jota of Alcañiz Jota of Huesca Stick dances  
Jaleo Jota of Andorra Muñeiras Tanguillos  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Arturo Nadal Juan Antonio Gracia? n/a
El ciego de Mainar: Lamberto Funes Merche Doñate  
Felipe Colmán DOÑA CONCHA  
Joaquín Numancia Imperio Argentina

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


n/a n/a n/a n/a




Poets / Writers

Chapi, Ruperto (1851-1909) n/a Alquézar and Antonio Aznar n/a
de Falla, Manuel     Brown Juanito    
Liszt, Franz     Imperio Argentina    
Méndez, Rafael     Juan Félez    
Murcia, Santiago de     Maria Blasco    
Stoessel, Albert     Marianico    
Tarrega, Francisco     Pedro Nadal    
      Sansón de Zuera    
      Vicente Soler    

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

Banduras xatha Zapateado -
Rondalla flautas and fagotes