The Art of the Kolomeyka
Dancing is the most well-known and popular form of Ukrainians expressing their roots and vibrant spirit. If you are Ukrainian you’ve probably danced a polka or perhaps the butterfly at a wedding or Zabava, been in Ukrainian dance lessons or watched performances of a dance group at a festival or event. The one dance that is a MUST at a fun loving Ukrainian event is the Kolomeyka.
The kolomeyka, kolo meaning circle, is a social dance involving everyone on the dance floor. This dance originated from the eastern Galician town, Kolomyia which is along the Ukrainian, Polish and Romanian border. People gather round in a circle leaving room in the center for those who want to show off their moves. Guys do impressive leaps, girls twirl fast and as the band increases tempo, people get more and more daring performing tricks and acrobatics. Dancers get to show their true spirit and love of dance. The band will play as long as the crowd wishes, and if per chance the band stops early, listen for the chants letting the musicians know the crowd wants more!
The kolomeyka is a dance off like no other! If you ever get the chance, put your dancing shoes on (or kick them off) and join in! Show off your skills and have a blast! Or, if you’d rather watch, simply stand in the circle and encourage others by clapping to the beat and cheering. The Kolomeyka is a great expression of the Ukrainian dance spirit.