„CSÁNGÓ” DANCES FROM MOLDVA - APPROACH, BASICS: Basic knowledge to dance better with others, in unity.

  1. "A living creature with a shared consciousness, a fused upper body and many legs"
    In circle dancing, we need to move together, keeping each other well at a constant distance, so that we end up feeling as one. In couples dances that move in a circle, we must also act as if we exist together. (Couples dances are similar, and even couples rotating in a circle are held together by an invisible link.)
  2. The correct hand position
    In a "hand" hold, we hold each other at shoulder height, with some strength, like strong farmhands, lads and lasses, not slack-jawed, school-school-educated city folk. The boy holds the girl's hand, the girl puts a little-fine pressure on it. She doesn't squeeze his hand with her thumb, she lets it go. Shoulder grip, not the upturned one, hold the neighbour but don't tear. In a twosome rotation, the girl holds the boy's upper arm, and he holds half of the rotating force. Here, the rotation is done by standing close together.
  3. Down and up movement, step
    The movement of the body and hands vertically is subtle, not exaggerated, but dynamic. Step up, don't skimp, as you will get lost in the dance. Steps should have energy, weight (and not bounce).
  4. Size of the circle dance
    Small circles are easier to dance in and more friendly. Don't create concentric circles where you can't see the eyes of the person dancing opposite you, but several small circles. Twelve people can be divided into two circles of six.
  5. Whose steps should you follow in a circle dance?
    Usually there is a respected good dancer or dance master who has been listened to in the dance for a long time. Today we follow the dance teacher's steps to keep the circle moving in unison.


  1. Hand dance, handshake
    Through the hands at shoulder height (lower elbows) the force holding the circle is ultimately horizontal. In this dance, there is no serious (pulling apart) force, so this handhold is perfect. The force is taken by one hand.
  2. Serba, shoulder grip
    The dancers connect at shoulder height with their hands stretched out straight. In this dance, the horizontal force, when danced well, is more of a push than a pull, taken up by the two hands next to each other with a double force, leaning ideally on the shoulders and neck. (It is common in Hungarian dance houses today that in large circles, especially when fewer and fewer people want to dance around the increasing number of couples dancing inside, and even start running, there is an increasing pulling force, resulting in dancers tearing each other's arms, forearms, clothes, skin.)
  3. Belt catch in the traditional way, with a belt grip (with a wide belt)
    The belt, which is about two metres long and about 15 cm wide, is made of thick homespun (800 gr/m2) and is tightly looped around the waist several times. By tucking it behind four fingers and holding it firmly, the neighbouring dancer can be held firmly and moved just at the centre of the body's weight. Between the dancers, two hands create a double-strength hold, the shoulder-waist orientation creating an X-shaped, rigid grid-like force relationship that holds the upper body together from shoulder to waist, with only the leg moving freely, independent of the movement of the circle community.
  4. Belt grip in a new way, without belt, with back cross grip
    Each person holds the second neighbour's hand behind the immediate neighbour's back, at waist-bottom level. Everyone simultaneously leans outwards against the hands behind them. The handshake is symmetrical, there are two ways of doing it, but the force is the same in all cases. In one case the four bent fingers grip the other four, a good pulling action. In the other mode, they grip each other's wrists; in this case, although the two hands are working in parallel, there is a double force, which is good, but at the wrist it is a sliding force-like grip (although the widening of the back of the hand helps to prevent slipping), which is less good, so the two grips are similar in overall strength. For these fast rotating small circle dances, this grip perfectly absorbs the greater outward pull on the dancers' hands. The outstretched hands also absorb the pulling force well. (While in the hand grip, the bent hands obviously less so.)
    With an even number of dancers (four is recommended only for skilled dancers, six is ideal), there are actually two independent, intertwined circles. With an unpaired dancer, as with a Möbius strip, the force, the handshake, returns to its initiator only after two rounds. If we look only at the second dancers, the hands are linked once, yet the interlaced dancers allow twice the force to pass through the hands between two neighbours.