Q. Despite your rather reserved way of dancing you have special celebrations, don’t you?
A. We can speak about the folk dance movement including large-scale celebrations of dance.

The Folk Dance Movement and Dance Festivals

Collecting and recording Estonian folk dance have gathered momentum since the 20th century. One of the leaders of the folk dance movements was Anna Raudkats who was a collector, arranger and teacher of dances. Ullo Toomi laid the foundation to the tradition of celebrations of dance. In 1947 a large dance festival was added to the 12th nationwide Song Festival and together they were called the Evening of Folk Art. All-Estonian celebrations of dance take place every five years and there may be separate festivals for children and adult dancers.

In the1970s a distinction was made between folk dance and choreographed dance. A folk dance means that the dance was known by our village people in olden days and is performed nowadays as it was performed in the past. A choreographed dance has been created as a new dance or a new arrangement by the choreographer to be performed on the stage.


Present Day
There are all-Estonian celebrations of dance in Tallinn every five years. Local dance festivals take place every year. Several local folk dance festivals are well known all over Estonia, e.g. Võru folkloorifestival (See: Võru Folklore Festival  http://www.vorufolkloor.ee/en/ ), Folklore festival of Ida-Viru County - Kirde Killad, Folklore festival in Lääne-Viru County -  Viru säru. Children have their own festivals and this will help preserve the heritage, e.g. Porkuni Pillar. Celebrations of dance are usually in summer. But there are short, one day winter dance festivals organised occasionally in different localities in Estonia.