Squat dance

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Russian dancer doing the squat dance, in Russian it's called prisyadka
Russian folk ensemble Berezka performs traditional dance with boy who is squatting

The squat dance (Russian: присядка, prisyadka) is an important characteristic of eastern Slavic folk dance. East Slavic culture arose from Slavic, Uralic, Germanic (Vikings) and Turkic peoples and was influenced by eastern and western cultures from Asia and Europe, mainly from Scandinavia and Baltic regions, as well as from nomadic Eurasian steppe cultures.[1] The squat dance originated in regions where Eastern Slavic people lived (and later where Russian and Ukrainian states appeared in Europe, formerly Kyivan Rus').[2] Beside East Slavic-speaking countries squat dancing is also used to some degree in Indian dances.[3][4]

The squat dance is an integral feature of Russian folk culture. With kicks in the air, turns, and stomping movements, it is one of the main elements in Russian fast dances. The squat dance appears in Russian dances such as Barynya, Leto, Kalinka, Yablochko, Trepak, Kozachok and others. The squat dance is performed only by males.[5]

While dancers squat with folded arms, they kick their legs, alternating between high and low kicks. Accelerating the legs and walking while squatting is common. Some dancers squat with their feet on the ground while others stay on their toes. The dance demands tight muscles and good balance.[6][7]


Squat dance mainly developed out of the culture of the eastern Slavs. In Old Russian villages there were contests of dancers held. People bet and typed which dancers will win. The winner either received a material gift or money and the gifts were then shared with the crew. The Squat dance existed in Old Russia as a dance and as a fighting dance.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Co-operation between the Viking Rus' and the Turkic nomads" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Traditions of Russian Folk Dance :: Manners, Customs and Traditions :: Culture & Arts :: Russia-InfoCentre". russia-ic.com. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  3. ^ Svin'in, Pavel. (2014). A Russian Paints America : the Travels of Pavel P. Svin'in, 1811-1813. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 115. ISBN 9780773575066. OCLC 951203765.
  4. ^ Scheff, Helene, 1939- (2010). Exploring dance forms and styles : a guide to concert, world, social, and historical dance. Sprague, Marty, 1950-, McGreevy-Nichols, Susan, 1952-. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. p. 133. ISBN 9780736080231. OCLC 436866939.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Alexander Kalinin Russian Dance ‘Trepak’ Nutcracker - Dance Channel TV, retrieved 2019-04-18
  6. ^ "Русская пляска: хоровод, кадриль, танок, калинка, барыня, казачок, присядка". www.culture.ru. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  7. ^ "Русский танец присядка - немного истории". Россияне - ансамбль русского танца (in Russian). 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  8. ^ "Traditions of Russian Folk Dance :: Manners, Customs and Traditions :: Culture & Arts :: Russia-InfoCentre". russia-ic.com. Retrieved 2019-08-19.