Dancing seems to be very popular here, everyone from knee high to a grass hopper to the oldest man/woman in the town loves to dance. I think the Italian people have such a passion for it, and it is catching. I recently joined a Salsa group and although I haven’t done it for… Um, 10 years or so, I loved it, despite a complete ‘newbie’ crushing my big toe!
But it’s not just Salsa the Italians enjoy, it’s everything from Ballroom dancing to Street dancing, and everything in between. There is even a song written by Caparezza all about people dancing in Puglia ‘Vieni a ballare in Puglia’.
However, the most famous and important local traditional Pugliese dance is the Pizzica. Children learn this from a very early age and it is ingrained in their hearts for the rest of their lives. This dance is celebrated at local Festas throughout the year and its melodic rhythm is captivating.
A strangely popular dance here is, Line dancing, or ‘Gruppo di Ballo’ as the Italians call it, this seems to be their favourite, and they take it very seriously. You can see the concentrated look on their faces and you would be fooled into thinking that they are not really enjoying it, because you rarely see anyone cracking a smile but they love it, and everyone knows all the moves to every single dance. But what I really think they enjoy more, is grabbing an unwilling Brit up to have a go, that is when they have a good laugh! I am of course speaking from experience whilst at a friends birthday party, I was subjected to this fate but strangely enjoyed it!
So if you want to impress your Italian friends next time you are at a birthday party or a wedding, then why not join a local dance group. There are plenty in the area, check out the Italian ‘yellow pages’ for Dance groups in Puglia.