How to do myth dance

Myths, Games, and Dances | Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History


Stories, myths, and legends are a universal characteristic of human cultures. They were passed on verbally from one generation to the next for thousands of years before the advent of written language. Tales were told around the fire in the evening for entertainment, and in the process they also served to teach children the social standards and history of the group. Some were adventure stories, some were funny and others were explanations of natural phenomena and features of the environment. Many of the most interesting and beautiful Indian legends are about the sky.

Chumash Sky Stories

The Sparks of The Sun

The Sun carries a torch of tightly rolled bark to light the world. After his daily journey across the sky, he snaps his torch to throw sparks which are the stars.

The Boys Who turned to Geese

Long ago, when animals were people, there was a little boy whose mother and stepfather wouldn't give him anything to eat, though they had plenty for themselves. So the boy went off to find his own food and met another boy who was also abandoned. Raccoon came along, felt sorry for the two boys, and helped them dig roots to eat. In the next few days, five more hungry abandoned boys came by, and they all went to stay with Raccoon in the temescal (sweathouse). Finally they decided to go north and take Raccoon with them. So they sprinkled themselves with goose down and sang songs. For three days they went around the temescal, singing and rising higher and higher off the ground. But Raccoon couldn't fly even though he was covered with goose down. All the mothers came to see the boys and begged them to come down, but they refused. They all turned into geese and flew away to the north, to become the seven stars we call the Pleiades. And when geese cry, they sound just like a little boy.

The Three Worlds

There is this world in which we live, but there is also one above us and one below us. There are two serpents that hold our world up from below. When they are tired they move, and that causes earthquakes. The World above is sustained by the great eagle. He never moves, he is always in the same spot. When he gets tired of sustaining the upper world, he stretches his wings a little, and this causes the phases of the moon. When there is an eclipse of the moon it is because his wings cover it completely. And the water in the springs and streams of this earth is the urine of the many frogs who live in it.

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder Makes Zaca Lake

Zaca Lake was formed when Thunder sat down there and made a great hole in the earth. There was once a village there, and one day, a man saw Thunder and said insulting things to him. The rest of the people ran away in fear, and when they looked back, the man was gone and there was water where Thunder had sat down.

There are two brothers who live in the upper world. They sometimes play the hoop-and pole game. One rolls the hoop and the other runs after it and tries to pierce it with his pole. That is what causes thunder. Also they can throw a light they have to make lightning, and when it hits the ground it makes flint.


The Chumash had two types of games: games that required skill to play, and games of chance. They often gambled on the outcome. Each village had a special area, called malamtepupi, where games were played. The ground there was made level and smooth, and a low wall surrounded the playing area.

Hoop and Pole Game

Hoop and Pole or payas, was very popular among Chumash boys and young men. A ring or hoop made from a willow twig wrapped in buckskin, about four or five inches in diameter, was rolled along the ground in a straight line. To one side and about twelve feet away, the player armed with a six-foot long wooden spear waited for the ring to roll by. At the proper time he would throw the spear, aiming for the center of the ring. Spearing the ring was worth one point. There could be two or more players, and when one of them had twelve points, the game was over. A variation of this game was to shoot an arrow through the ring as it rolled past.


Still popular among Southern California Indians, peon or 'alewsa was a game commonly played by the Chumash. There are two teams of two or more players each. Each of the players of one team has one black and one white short stick or bone, which they hide in their hands. After hiding the bones, the hands are brought in front and the arms folded.

The purpose of the game is to prevent the opponents from guessing which hand the white bone is in. The opposing team has a "killer" and it is up to him to guess by bending his head in the direction of the hand that he thinks holds the white bone. He does this for all of the players. If he guesses right the umpire gives him a counter stick. His team then hides the bones for the other side to guess. If he guesses wrong, he receives no stick. The game is played until all the counter sticks (as many as fifteen) are in the possession of one side, which is then declared the winner.


One of the most popular of team sports among the Chumash was tikauwich, or shinny. During large ceremonial gatherings, an entire village might play against another, with as many as two or three hundred players on the field. The game required a square playing area of about 300 yards on a side. Each team had facing goal posts, and the players were armed with shinny sticks, much like hockey players. The object of the game was to put the small wooden ball through the opponent's goal post by striking the ball with great force. Women seldom got into fights during the game, but men often fought to blood. The Ventura Indians had a great reputation as shinny players. It was the custom for the winning side to give half of the money it won in betting to the chief of the village hosting the fiesta. In that way they helped to cover the costs of the ceremony.


Ceremonial fiestas were attended by people from many Chumash towns. At these gatherings, dances were performed that honored the creatures in the Chumash world. The Bear, the Blackbird, the Fox and the Coyote all had their own dances, as did creatures of the sea like the Swordfish, the Barracuda and the Seaweed. Dancers wore special regalia and body paint for each of these dances, and there were particular songs that went with each one. Many dances were performed just for fun, but some had important religious significance.

What was the most important dance?

The Swordfish Dance was one of the most important held at ceremonies. The dancer wore an actual swordfish skull decorated with shell inlay, or a headdress to symbolize the "sword." The Swordfish was given offerings of beads and other gifts because he was believed to be the chief of all the sea animals. When whales were stranded on the shore, they were said to have been driven ashore by Swordfish as food for the people. In fact, swordfish sometimes are known to attack whales, so this Chumash "myth" was founded upon direct observation.

For more information on the Chumash and the Swordfish in prehistory follow this link (Links to “Swordfish in Chumash Prehistory” article)

Cave Painting

Daily Life

Health and Medicine



Top 10 Myths of Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom dancing has a long and reach history and actually it is something that every person should know. We will reveal most common misleads and delusions that people have about ballroom dancing.

Ballroom dancing is a category of dances including Salsa, Сha-Сha-Сha, Tango, Samba, Rumba, Foxtrot, Waltz and others. Now it's not as popular as it was in the 19th and 20th century - the time of extreme worldwide popularity of ballroom dancing, the main type of entertainment of our grandparents and great-grandparents. Today not all people are familiar with ballroom dances, that's why more and more myths and prejudices appear. Below we will discuss 10 most common myths about ballroom dances and will try to refute them.

Myth 1. Ballroom dancing is obsolete and extinguished.

When we talk about ballroom dancing some people can think of some old fashioned dances, considering that it’s something outdated.

However, the “ballroom dancing” category includes many different dances that are still very popular at dance parties and nightclubs.

People who are not familiar with it, may think that ballroom dancing is something old, even outdated and become deserted and extinct. And it is not suitable for modern life like night clubs and parties. That's completely wrong. Of course some dances like Tango or Waltz today are considered to be quite complicated or belong to obsolete fashion. But other dances like Salsa are still extremely popular. Dance parties take place not only in clubs, but also in restaurants, cafes, bars and of course in dance studios. It’s a great way of entertainment and relaxation, allows to have fun with your partner or friends and meet new people. Ballroom dancing parties are popular worldwide (read more about these parties).

Myth 2. Ballroom dancing is solely a dancesport.

It’s often considered that ballroom dancing is related solely for dance championships and competitions, so it is rather a scope of activity for professionals rather than amateurs. It's completely wrong. Many dance studios, clubs and even bars organize ballroom dancing events like Salsa parties. Salsa is a social dance and its main aim is a social function rather than performance. Social dances are quite easy to learn even for people who haven’t danced before. That’s why a dance master class event usually precedes the ballroom dancing party, where professional dance teachers and dance instructors give some dance lessons and show the correct moves. Our dance school also organizes such events and does the master classes (click here to read more about it).

Regarding the dancesport, it’s a vast area that is available for everybody, not just for professionals. There are different types of competitions and difficulty levels, including entry level events for beginners. Besides, there is a special format called ProAm when one of the partners is a professional dancer, and the other is amateur. This kind of format became very popular in Europe and America, and students of our dance school also take part in such events and show great results (read more about the achievements).

Myth 4. Ballroom dancing is boring.

Even Waltz can be very dynamic, it sometimes can be considered to be boring, because it doesn’t comply with modern tastes of music, rhythm and fashion.

However, there are many other ballroom dances that are sensual, passionate and exciting and can be danced to the modern music! These dances are definitely not boring at all!

When people think about ballroom dancing, some may imagine a soft slow music, elegant old fashioned dress and smooth dance moves. It’s partly true, but only for some dances like Waltz, that is used nowadays only on special occasions, e.g. as a wedding dance. Latin dances (e.g. Сha-Сha-Сha, Samba, Rumba, Jive) are much more passionate and suitable for modern night clubs and music.

Myth 5. Ballroom dancing is very difficult.

Most of our grandparents and great-grandparents were very good dancers. They knew various styles and often could perform any ballroom dance. The explanation is simple, because dancing was extremely popular as a form of entertainment. Today some dances such as Tango are considered to be difficult, therefore are rejected by many newcomers of dance schools. As a result, more people prefer social dances like Salsa or Bachata that are much simpler and less complex. The benefit of social dances is that it’s possible to learn basic moves even after one dance lesson. So even a newcomer can start dancing very quickly. Of course he or she will need some time and practice to sharpen the moves, feel the rhythm and keep the time frame. But in any case minimal efforts are required to start dancing. However, we think that other more complicated dances like Tango are often overestimated as too difficult. Actually, you don’t need some extraordinary powers or special gift or a talent to learn these dances. It’s like lessons for driving a car: it may be difficult for the first time, because it’s something completely new for your body and brain, but then driving becomes easy and even enjoyable action. The same is true for dancing. You just need a desire to start and you will quickly get involved into the world of dances and your dance skills will progress gradually. The more you practice – the better you dance and enjoy the process.

Myth 6. You need a partner to start dancing.

Being an activity for couples, obviously you need to a partner for ballroom dancing. However, it's not a problem if you don't have one. If you want to take ballroom dancing lessons, then there are several solutions that are true at least at our dance studio:

  • You can take private dancing classes. In this case the teacher will also play a role of your partner. Such approach is usually much more effective comparing to a situation when both partners are newbies. Having a professional partner helps you to eliminate any possible mistakes immediately and progress faster. That's why it's a common practice for Pro/Am dance competitions. There's a list of our dance instructors that you can use to pick a desired male or female teacher, usually who is opposite to your sex.
  • You can attend group dance lessons and practice sessions. It allows to meet new people and find a partner.
  • Social dance parties are events where people dance with each other. It’s assumed that people dance with each other and change partners. Changing partners is a natural form of sociability. Such events allow you to meet new people or find a dance partner. Click here to read more about it.
  • We can help you to find a partner among our students.
  • If none of the above are suitable for you, contact us and we will solve this situation.

Myth 7. It's very expensive.

Another myth is that dance lessons cost a lot of money. Actually all the dance classes have reasonable prices and are affordable for everybody. Besides, there are various discounts and special offers that can reduce the price. Please, contact us to get more information about pricing.

Myth 8. It's difficult to find a place to dance.

Ballroom dancing is still a very popular activity in the world and in Dubai. If you are looking for dance lessons, then our dance school offers a complete list of services and various dances to learn. We have group dance lessons, private dance classes with a special individual schedule, both available for adults and kids. Our dance instructors can also be your dance partners – it frequently happens and is called ProAm format (click here to read more). Besides, our studio organizes various dance events and parties, practice sessions that are open for everybody.

There are various dance clubs and bars in Dubai where you can perform the ballroom dancing. If you experience difficulties in finding one, then we can gladly help and give you some addresses.

Myth 9. You should learn how to dance when you are a kid.

If you want to become a professional dancer, then it’s better to learn how to dance from your childhood. However, most people begin to take the dance classes when they are adults and they achieve excellent results. Moreover, there are many international dance competitions for amateurs, so if you want to take it seriously then you can always participate in such events. Winning a competition is a good recognition of your dancing skills and certainly it gives you a great boost of positive happy emotions. Many of our students enjoy taking part in competitions and achieve high ranks (click here to read more).

Myth 10. You need a special dress to dance.

This kind of fancy dress is usually required only for dance competitions or parties with a dress code.

Social dances are probably most popular among ballroom dances. It’s fine to wear any causal and regular clothes, even jeans.

There is a special dress code for dancing that is usually important only at dance competitions or parties with predefined rules for the clothes (read more about male dress code). In everyday life you don’t need a professional dance costume to dance Salsa or Merengue. It’s fine to wear a dress that you like, which is comfortable to do the dance moves. The only item of your wardrobe that really matters is the dance shoes. It’s better to have a special pair of shoes designed for dancing. Such shoes allow to do any dance figures safely, provide correct contact of the feet with the floor and have better durability, weight distribution and level of comfort (click here to read more about the dance shoes).

Other articles you may like:

  • Ballroom Dances: Types, Classifications, Competitions
  • Male Dress Code for Ballroom Dancing
  • The Popular ProAm Format in Ballroom Dancing
  • Top 5 Reasons Why Dance Lessons Are Important for Kids
  • Learn how to dance and have fun at the Salsa Party

Greek dances: the history of appearance - myth and reality

The most ancient means of self-expression of the inner world of a person is dancing. Greece is known all over the world for its Sirtaki, Kalamatianos, Zeibekiko and other dances. They are known and studied in different countries, and the Greeks themselves cannot imagine their life without national dances, which make it possible to express a lot of feelings with body movements.

The ancestors of modern citizens living in Greek cities were sure that the gods brought dance to the earth. According to ancient beliefs, the celestials taught them to chosen people, and they, in turn, recruited students among mortals. The first dance appeared on the shores of Hellas thanks to the mythical Gaia. This story of the origin of the dance "Smokes" is known to every Greek student. Find out about her too.

A parable about how the Kurit dance appeared

Ancient Uranus was removed from the heavenly throne by his son Kronos. Realizing that his offspring could do the same to him, the new Supreme God ate all the babies that his wife, the goddess Gaia, gave birth to. When Zeus was born, who later became the supreme god of Olympus, his mother hid him in one of the caves of the island of Crete, and fed a stone wrapped in a diaper to her ruthless husband.

So that the deception would not be revealed, the goddess taught the warlike deities (they were called kurits) to "loud" dance with shields and sabers, and ordered them to dance near the cave so that the cries and cries of the baby would not attract the attention of Kronos' spies.

The Kurita demigods rescued Zeus. He, of course, removed his father from the throne, and made the dancers priests. The descendants of the ancient smokes during religious services necessarily used the dance that once saved the supreme god of Olympus, as an obligatory part of the ceremony.

When dances appeared in Greece

Scientists say that mass dances appeared in Greece around 3000 BC. Excavations of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete showed that for the people of that distant era, dancing was an important element of their daily life, as well as religious rituals.

Cretan dance had a close relationship with work and love, fun and sadness, and even with the death of a person. In 1500 B.C. Mycenae captured Crete and adopted their dance and cultural traditions from the locals, spreading them over time throughout the continent.

As a rule, the Cretans danced around an altar, a large tree, or some objects endowed, according to people's beliefs, with mystical powers. The dancers believed that in this way they expel evil spirits from their bodies and thoughts, make their soul pure.

Cretan dances, according to the sculptures and images left from ancient times on the rocks, could be paired (women danced with men). But in ancient Greece, two circles of dancers were created. One was all boys, the other only girls.

The best hotels in Crete

More hotels in Crete

The ancient dances of ancient times were accompanied by music with a distinct rhythm made by bells, cymbals made of metal material, seashells and pieces of wood.

Among the Minoans, the dances took place to the sounds of cithara, various stringed musical instruments and the famous lyre, without which not a single ancient Greek myth can do. By the way, both dances and songs in Crete were called “Musiki”, as such, there was no division into dancers and performers.

The ancient system of education attached special importance to dance. We know from ancient manuscripts that it was a separate discipline, along with writing, music and physical development, in the educational institutions of Ancient Greece. Moreover, each Greek region had its own dance traditions. In peaceful cities and lands, calm dances were held in high esteem, but, for example, the Spartans recognized exclusively warlike dances before the start of battles with enemies, or after defeating the enemy.

A cardinal transformation of the deep Greek dances, filled with hidden and mystical meaning, took place after the conquest of the brilliant Hellas by the Romans. They fully accepted that the cultural traditions of the Greeks were superior to those of the Roman Empire, but at the same time, the Romans divided the single "musiki" into music and dance. Since then, the legendary Greek dances have become mere entertainment, having lost all their hidden meaning and educational value.

Also read:

Traditions and customs of Crete

Films shot in Greece

National music of Greece


Greek dance: the joy of movement - Greece today

Added: August 20, 2013 20:31

Dance is one of the oldest means of self-expression: in Greece, its origins go back to the 1000th century BC. e. Dance owes its origin to the need to express those feelings that cannot be expressed in words. It is inextricably linked with all aspects of human life: holidays, love, work, and even death. Dance is the voice of the soul, expressed by the movements of the body; it helps us express our personality, stimulates creativity and liberates.

Dance is not just a game, it is a ritual, which is one of the most vital aspects of the cultural wealth of any nation, a source of inspiration and creativity. Traditional dances are closely intertwined with the manners and customs of the Greeks. Folk Greek dances are exceptionally varied. They are divided into different categories depending on the purpose (love, military and religious), on gender (male, female and mixed), on the region (folk, local, island). In addition, dances are divided into fast, consisting of bouncing, and slow, with calm smooth movements.

For more than 7 years, the Greek Cultural Center (GCC) has been successfully operating the School of Greek Dance, where everyone is given a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the rich musical and dance traditions of Greece and learn how to dance the most popular national dances from different regions of the country. The repertoire of the GCC Dance Company includes more than fifty (50) dances from mainland and island Greece.

The purpose of the School is teaching based on the philosophy of movement, developing creativity and allowing a deeper understanding of the history of Greek dance. Fast, high-quality and effective training takes place in a warm and friendly environment and is designed for people of all ages. In addition to introducing students to Greek traditions, dance lessons aim to develop psychomotor abilities, aesthetic education and improve social communication skills. Dancing helps to reduce stress, develop a sense of rhythm, tone the muscular system, give movements plasticity and grace, and increase physical endurance.

The ancient Greeks believed that dance is a gift from the gods to man, which makes it possible to forget all sorrows and make life more beautiful, filling it with joy and fun. This delightful art was revered by the ancient peoples throughout Hellas. And today, the art of dance, which has not lost its value, remains loved by many people. Dance ennobles our life and takes us to a beautiful mythical world, we just have to approach it with respect and love.

A few words about the most popular Greek dances.

Zeybekiko is a dance whose name comes from the Zeybeks, a people who inhabited Thrace. These people kept their customs and wore national costumes, emphasizing the purpose of severe military dances. The peculiarity of zeibekiko is that this dance is performed by one person; there are no steps in it, and its main figures are turns and squats. The dance is mostly performed by men, and it expresses melancholy and sadness.

It is customary to dance Hasapiko standing in one line and placing hands on the shoulders of neighbors. In this case, the steps alternate with figures. This dance served as the basis for the creation of the famous Greek dance sirtaki. According to one version, the history of the hasapiko dates back to the Byzantine period, when this military dance depicted a sword fight; according to another version, the dance owes its appearance to Greek butchers from Constantinople.

Kalamatianos is a folk dance belonging to the category of sirtos dances. It consists of 12 basic steps: the first seven are forward, and the remaining five are in place. This popular dance originated in the Peloponnese.

Learn more