Jeni Jol, Yeni Yol, (1*), Rumelaj (S**)- North Macedonia, Turkey

*1st Generation dance. A dance that developed in a traditional way – not ‘taught’ by a teacher or choreographer, but ‘learned’ by observing and imitating others in your “village”, where the village’s few dances were the only dances anyone knew. It usually is ‘generic’ – the dance pattern is fairly simple and not tied to any particular piece of music. The dance phrase may or may not match any musical phrase, but the music’s rhythm must be suitable for performing the footwork. This dance may have many variations, but they’re performed at the whim or inspiration of the leader or (sometimes) any other dancer so long as it doesn’t interfere with the flow of neighboring dancers. For more, click here, here, and here.

**Song. *S stands for Song, a category I apply to part of the repertoire of recreational folk dancers. Songs are just that – songs, or sometimes merely melodies, that are well-known in their country of origin, but aren’t necessarily associated with any particular dance. They may be traditional folk songs, or pop songs written in the folk style, or ‘pure’ pop creations that are dance-able. People will dance to them, but there is no culturally agreed upon ‘traditional’ dance that is particular to that song, just as we don’t associate any particular dance with “Blowin’ in the Wind” or “Lady Madonna”. For more, click

Though seldom danced in either its native Macedonia or in IFD groups, Jeni Jol is still interesting as an example of Turkish culture in Macedonia, as a dance performed to Čalgija bands (see Čalgia under MUSIC), and as an example of an adaptation gone wrong (see Rumelaj below).

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Jeni Jol was taught to IFD groups by many well-known instructors.

Here’s the recording used by Pece Atanasovski when teaching Jeni Jol

8-count version

Begins with a 12-count Jeni Jol, then at 3:25 minutes, becomes the 8-count dance. Folklore Studio “Etnos”, Skopje, 2014.
12-count, peformed by KUD Ilinden, Bitola, 2020.
12-count, performed by KUD “Mirce Acev” Prilep, 2016.
Romani wedding. Jeni Jol footwork, Čoček music. 2014

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