International folk dance

International folk dance is a genre of dance wherein selected folk dances from multiple ethnic groups are done by the same dancers, typically as part of a regular recreational dance club, for performances or at other events. The dances are typically considered the products of national or cultural traditions rather than part of an international tradition. International folk dancers need not be a member of any particular ethnicity.

It is done for various purposes, typically for preservation, recreation, or performance. Groups that dance for different purposes tend to do dances differently, and to select different dances. Recreational dancers select and tend to alter the dances (often unintentionally) according to their own tastes, and as a result of the changes that inevitably occur as dances are passed on from one person to the next. Performers typically prefer dramatic, flamboyant, or athletic dances, and they often tend to dance with stylized techniques and exaggerated movements. Dances for performances are usually selected and choreographed for presentation on stage. Nevertheless there is substantial overlap between the dances done for recreation and performance. Some dancers of both types are often concerned with the preservation of a dance for its cultural value.

Some recreational international folk dance groups also perform dances not strictly considered folk dances. These are dances which are choreographed, or are aristocratic in nature. Choreographed modern Israeli folk dancing is often incorporated into international folk dance repertoire.