Romanian Wedding Dances


Although a modern Romanian wedding (“Nunta”) looks more and more like a wedding in the West, many if not most Romanian wedding parties still feature two traditional dances.   After the wedding feast, musicians strike up a snappy medium tempo, and the bride leads (or people just start dancing) either:

A simple Hora Mare (Big Hora). STEP-STEP-STEP-TOUCH, then the same in the opposite direction, sawtooth-style.

or Hora Miresei (Bride’s Hora).   It’s pretty much the same footwork as Hora Mare, except a couple of large lit candles are involved, and the footwork tends towards side-to-side instead of in-and-out.



Immediately following the hora the musicians speed up the tempo and kick into a melody in triplets. The resulting dance is a Sarba (Sirba during the Communist era).

The footwork for Sarba, STEP-STEP-STEP-KICK-STEP-KICK, is that 6-count pattern familiar everywhere. I call it the Taproot Dance. Actually, in Sarba the STEP-KICKS come first, so the pattern is STEP-KICK-STEP-KICK-STEP-STEP.  This particular Taproot is so fast it looks more like SLOW-SLOW-QUICK-QUICK.   But occasionally you can see the kicks, or at least lifts or pauses. When young bucks dance, Sarba can be pretty energetic.


Often, couples dance inside the Hora or Sarba circle.


How about the folk who can’t afford a big wedding? Dance local to canned music!


Or hire a Roma band.

Here the Taproot Dance works for both Hora Miresei and Sarba.

Another dance – well, game – popular at weddings is Perinitsa

For more examples of Perinitsa, see



If you have any comments, or would like an expanded list of You Tube examples, email me at


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