What is a folk dance?

   A folk dance is a traditional dance step or figure that is characteristic of a race or nation. Some folk dances originated in religious rites. Others describe primitive folk or tribal customs. In England, the United States, and other countries, folk-dance societies have been organized to preserve knowledge concerning the various national and regional dances. Details of costumes, form, choreography, and rhythm are carefully recorded. The dances of different regions and countries are compared in relation to each other as well as to such universal themes as animism and fertility. Notable folk dances include the English morris dance, the Spanish saraband, the Scottish Highland fling, the Irish jig, the Polynesian hula, American square dances (such as Turkey in the Straw), and the Latin American rumba.