Šetnja, (Dodji, Mile or Prodje Mile) – Serbian Children’s Dance

Šetnja (SHET-nyah) means “a walk” or “stroll” in Serbian.   Google Шетнја (Šetnja in Cyrillic) and you’re likely to get YouTubes of religious processionals, walking tours, or political protest marches.  To Recreational Folk Dancers, it’s also the name of a dance – one of the all-time most popular opening dances.  Featuring a simple pattern almost any beginner can easily master, it also has a great “story”, thanks to the introduction provided by Dick Crum, based on his visits there in 1954.

Setnja story

Although there are many YouTubes of this dance performed by Recreational Folk Dancers, I can find only one YouTube of a dance called Šetnja that originates from Serbia. This one is performed by students of the phys ed department (presumably  teachers-in-training) of the University of Novi Sad.

Since Crum mentions the dance is from Šumadija, I tried Googling “Šumadija narodni” (dances) and “Šumadija igre” (games).  “Igre” yielded one YouTube of our dance as part of a performing group medley.

 

The melody, lyrics, and even name of the song associated with this dance vary slightly from version to version, but the basic meaning remains the same.

The 2 most popular lyrics start either with the line “Dodji, Mile, u naš kraj” (Come, Mile, to our region) or “Prodje, Mile, kroz naš kraj” (Passing by, Mile, through our region).

For detailed lyrics, click  folkdancefootnotes.org/music/lyrics-english-translations/setnja-dodji-mile-or-prodje-mile-english-lyrics/

For sheet music, click  https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/sheet-music/setnja-sheet-music/

By Googling the names of the song, I found LOTS of YouTubes, which reveal that Serbs today call this dance by the name of the song, and they consider the dance as heritage from the past, suitable for performing groups, or teaching to children (and phys ed teachers, as above).  Therefore, I consider it a 1st Generation dance, children’s variety.

Here’s some “Dodji Mile” YouTubes

 

And here’s some “Prodje, Mile” YouTubes.

 

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