Folk Dance of India

India a country with such a huge diversity leads to occurrence of different groups on the basis of some homogeneous traits. Folk dance is best way to depict cultural landscape India carries. This shows certain insight into different traditions, rituals, religion of different groups.

Folk dance are basically a performance done for celebrating, enjoyment, shows happiness for just anything it maybe for coming season gone season, for any deity, day etc.

If we observe past papers of different examination we come across some number of questions from folk dance of India every year. We at LST committed for your excellence has made this extensive list of Dances with choosing certain important folk dance otherwise there are vast number of folk dance candidate may find it impossible to cover them up. This post includes folk dance of Rajasthan, Madhya Pardesh, Gujrat, Punjab

For classical dances click here.

Important folk dance of India


Kalbelia Dance

  • Kalbelia literal meaning is snake charmer
  • Performer wear long black skirt with silver color ribbons
  • Shows acrobatic style with spins
  • Use of snake charmer music instruments like pungi, been etc.
  • declared as part of Intangible Heritage Listby the UNESCO
  • Gulaboo sapera is world renowned artist for this dance.


  • Women folk dance
  • Performed by veiled women in group usually
  • Watchful thing is swirl by women wearing colorful long Ghaghras(long skirt of rajasthani women)

Terha Taali

  • Performed by Kamad tribe females
  • Ritual dance in Baba Ramdev temple(folk deity of Rajasthan temple in Jaislmer)
  • Accompanied by Iktaara and Manjeera and cymbal tied on artist

Bhawai dance

  • Dance which include great balancing skill
  • Seven to nine earthen pot on artist head with several swirls and dance along with balancing them


Bhangra dance

  • One of India’s most popular folk dance
  • Related to one of the martial dance of Punjab “Baaga”
  • Dance is accompanied with drums beat and usually a song
  • Male wear pug(headgear) and Kameez and lungi; females with chunnis and piece of cloth in fingers(rumal)

Giddha dance

  • Dancers are female
  • Shows feminine energy with grace and elegance
  • Use of rhythmic claps with a folk song

Gatka dance

  • Also called as sword dance
  • Use of wooden sticks showing them as sword a dance of valour
  • Martial dance done by Sikhs

Sammi dance

  • Done by women of bazigar, sansi, rai, lobana tribes
  • Resembles with giddha

Other dances of Punjab are Jali, Jugni, laddi, kikli etc.



  • Connection with Shakti Puja
  • Dancers dance in circular path performed by females on the nine nights of Navratri
  • In this performers get lamp on their head and dance and singing at posing same postures at the same time
  • Garba performance start at night
  • Garba is before the Arti or prayer of Godess


  • Also known as stick dance
  • Traditionally done by males as a counterpart to Garba
  • Circular path dance in which dancers hit each others stick i.e. Dandiya in a rythemic manner
  • Dandia is played after paryer of Godess

Tippani dance

  • Tippani dance a dance done by women
  • Basically idea behind it is the laborer women having long stick in hand tap the stick on ground in a rhythmic and melodious manner with a combination of song
  • Performed generally by Halli Community

Other dances are Garbi, vincchudo, hudo, dangi nritya etc.


Madhya Pradesh


  • Operatic ballet done in Malwa region
  • Started by Guru Balmokand
  • Performed in open space with no curtains or covered from any side, a round shape stage
  • Can be participated by men only
  • Start late in Night

Gaur Maria

  • Dance of Abuj maria tribe
  • Wears headgear stringed feather of peacock
  • Basically it’s a narration of hunting valor of tribe by attacking on each other and chasing female performer

Saila dance

  • Stick dance or also known as Dand Nach
  • Standing on one foot and griping each other
  • Climax is known as Snake dance

Karma Dance

  • By Gonds, Baigas and Orans
  • One of the oldest dance of tribes of Madhya Pradesh

Kaksar dance

  • Dance of Abuj maria tribe of Bastar region

Other dance are sua, chitra, gavar, ger, pali etc.

For more topics see here

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