Troika or “Trojka” means “THE TRIO”. One man dancing with two women” is the ideal way to describe the Troika Dance, a “Eurasian” folk dance form. This “partner” dance is said to have originated from Russia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Israel, and is considered to be historically significant. Apart from being performed in group this Russian dance is also known for the use of “horse like steps”. The rhythm to which this dance is usually performed may vary from fast to slow. A dance similar to the “Troika” can also be seen in the Cajun as well as in the Slavic culture.
a. History and origin of the Troika Dance:
This folk dance of Russia was essentially created by imitating the “movements seen in a horse”. In addition, it also involves the use of three performers, and hence has been aptly named “Troika” which in Russian means “three horses”.
b. Costumes used in the Troika dance:
Since this Russian folk dance involves both men and women, the costumes used vary accordingly. They are as follows:
1. For women:
The attire worn includes a Russian sarafan dress along with a beautifully embroidered blouse and a traditional Russian headgear called “Kokoshnik”.
2. For men:
The attire worn includes a “Kosovorotka” shirt with a belt, a narrow trouser, and a pair of boots possessing high heels.
c. Music involved in the Troika dance:
The music used in this dance style basically alternates between a slow and a fast rhythm.
d. Training availability and technique involved in the Troika dance:
In terms of technique, this dance basically involves the performer jumping from one foot to another, and thereby moving quickly from one spot to another. In addition, this basic step basically resembles the “movements seen in a horse”. As for training centres/schools, there are very few available around the world since this ‘folk dance’ is mainly performed in Russia and bordering countries like the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
How to dance troika?
Troika is a traditional Russian dance that is usually performed in a group of three people. Here are the basic steps for troika:
- Start in a line with two other dancers, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your arms around each other’s waists.
- Begin by taking three small steps to the right, starting with your right foot, and then bringing your left foot next to your right.
- Take one large step to the right with your right foot, and then bring your left foot next to your right again.
- Repeat this step to the left, taking three small steps to the left, followed by one large step to the left.
- On the last step to the left, pivot on your left foot and turn to face the opposite direction.
- Repeat the steps in the opposite direction, taking three small steps to the right, followed by one large step to the right, and then three small steps to the left, followed by one large step to the left.
- Pivot again on the last step to the left, and continue repeating the steps in this back-and-forth pattern.
- Add arm movements and spins to make the dance more lively and engaging.
It’s important to keep your movements light and graceful, as if you are gliding across the floor. Practice with a partner or group of people to get the timing and coordination right.