Travel Picks: Top 10 local dances around the world

Fri Jul 5, 2013 12:59pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

LONDON (Reuters) - Whether it's cathartic, energizing, romantic, funny, celebratory or just plain embarrassing, the excuses to get out on the dance floor are seemingly endless. The urge to move with the music has inspired online travel advisers Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com) to come up with its list of the top 10 local dances. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Hula, Hawaii, United States

Nothing says Hawaii like hula dancing. This ancient dance tradition was brought over by the Polynesians to the Hawaiian Islands as a form of entertainment for the high chiefs and a way to worship the gods. Many traditions of hula have been altered in recent decades, like the lei (a traditional flower necklace), which was intended as a gift to the gods that dancers were not allowed to wear after their routine, and the costume, which consisted of topless women wearing grass skirts and men wearing loin cloths. But despite becoming a more family-friendly event for tourists, the art form of hula dancing hasn't lost its beauty.

2. Bon Odori, Japan

Bon Festivals, known as Obon, have been a part of Japanese Buddhist culture for more than 500 years, and, like many traditional festivals, there is a dance affiliated with the celebration known as bon odori. The Obon festival typically lasts for three days, and during this time it is believed that one's ancestors revisit him or her to make sure all is well in the family. Bon odori is a way to welcome the ancestors and thank them for their sacrifices. While there are different varieties of the dance depending on the region, many are performed during street parades where anyone is welcome to join.

3. Irish Stepdance, Ireland

Michael Flatley and his Riverdance might make Irish stepdance look unsuitable (if not impossible) for amateurs, but this long-standing dance tradition has many styles performed at all levels. While Irish stepdance can be traced back to pre-Christian times across Ireland, nowadays it has become a staple at Irish festivals or St. Patrick's Day events all over the world. But for those looking to strut their stepdancing stuff, it's not just about the dance moves; traditional garb and Irish music are usually necessities.

4. Ghoomar, Rajasthan, India   Continued...