Filipino folk dance is essentially same as ballet, however the folk dance is more looser, less hard and more cheerfuly. Most themes in Filipino folk dances are love, flirtation and romance. Influenced by European dances like the waltz. The Philippines added their own culture and style to create their own unique folk dance.
The Maria Claira Suite: Aray
Perhaps the most famous of all Filipino folk dance styles is the Maria Claira Suite. This style is composed of many different dances and steps that convey similar themes and ideals.
The Aray is similar to the Spanish jota dance. The dance is composed of jubilant and sprightly steps. The hopping-style steps consist of leaping into the air on one foot and landing on the same foot, as well as bounding from the ground with both feet and then landing on both feet. The style is flirtatious and often accented by the clap of a tambourine.
The Chotis Taaleño utilizes a waltz tempo, which is typically 3/4 time, and is punctuated by female flirting via the graceful waving of hats. The steps are swaying and brushing, which consist of sweeping and scuffing the foot across the floor.
The Estudiantina was typically danced by the wealthy children of convent schools and often is depicted by dancers holding books. Leaping steps transfer the weight from foot to foot by jumping from one foot to another. A pivot step is a turn that travels slightly by turning direction on the balls of your feet, with your feet spread apart. The dance is described as upbeat and spirited in nature.
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