How To Dance the Hora

Join in this festive folk dance performed in a circle at bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, and Jewish weddings.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Perform this dance at a wedding with the bride and groom sitting in the center of the circle while the guests dance around them.
  • TIP: At Orthodox weddings, males and females don't dance together, so have the newlyweds each hold one end of a scarf to connect them.
  • Step 2: Hoist the newlyweds up in the chairs and dance around them.
  • FACT: Most Jewish weddings include the symbolic act of the groom smashing a glass or piece of glass with his foot.
  • Step 3: Stop and take small steps toward the middle of the circle, raising both of your arms and continuing to hold hands with the people next to you. Move backward and lower your arms. Repeat this several times.
  • Step 4: Continue sidestepping and alternating one foot in front and one in back, adding hopping steps as the circle rotates faster.
  • Step 5: Form a circle holding hands with the people on either side of you. Feel free to kick off your high heels and put on comfy shoes.
  • TIP: At certain functions, women and men may dance in separate circles.
  • Step 6: Step out your left foot and put your right foot behind your left. Step out again to the left, but this time cross your right foot in front of your left.
  • TIP: Some traditions have the circle going to the left, some to the right, and some alternate between left and right.
  • Step 7: Request that Jewish folk music be played. "Hava Nagila" is a popular choice.

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