Basic Steps – Wish I’d had this ten years ago!

Yemenite Back Step  

In Circle dance we play with this saying that when  the step starts with the left foot we call it a lemenite and when we start with the right foot we call it a remenite.

Tcherkessia Step:

And the mystery is solved of why I could never find anything about “cherkassia” no matter how much I tried–it starts with a “T”!

And from the land of Scottish Country Dancing


We don’t do this one much




Alunelul with some side steps

Alunelul from Rumania.  Pronunciation: ah-lu-NEH-loo

Translation: Hazelnut

More information here:

If you’re new to circle dance, this has lots of side steps in it.  (I’ve promised to look for some dances that use some of the common steps we do.)

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Dance Steps: Grapevine

A new dancer asked me to share a video of the grapevine step (and other basic steps). I found it’s not that easy to find. We haven’t danced this dance, but it’s got a nice slow grapevine in it.

The thing about grapevines is:

  1. it’s always the same pattern: you’re putting one foot in front of the other and the same foot behind the other, travelling in one direction or the other
  2. however… you might start with a side step and then foot in front or just foot in front or just foot behind
  3. and you may go left or you may go right.
  4. I learned that this “complete” pattern is not what they do in tango, salsa, line dance or hip hop. There it’s what we might call 3/4 of a grapevine.

I find it a great relief to do a dance where there are several full grapevines all in a row–you really get into the rhythm of it.

At the time marker of 0:20-0:24 is a complete grapevine to the left!

When I put out a request to a serious circle dancer friend she told me that it’s also called  Mayim, Mayim or Maim Maim (mime mime) aAnd found this helpful tutorial for Israeli folk dance:

I hope some circle dancers might take up the challenge of making a series of videos with basic steps. It would have really helped me when I was brand new. It was all very well and good to have such a lovely supportive group assuring me I’d learn over time but I would have practised the basic steps at home and enjoyed dance earlier than I did.

What about other newbies? would this (have been) be helpful to you?