What Dance is Popular in Belgium? Your Guide

What Dance is Popular in Belgium? Your Guide

If you are interested in the vibrant dance scene of Belgium, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will explore the popular dance styles that have captivated the hearts of Belgians. From traditional folk dances to contemporary forms that have gained international recognition, Belgium offers a rich tapestry of dance experiences. Whether you are a dance enthusiast or simply curious about the cultural heritage of this country, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into the dances that take center stage in Belgium.

Traditional Dances in Belgium

1.1 Flemish Folk Dances

Flemish folk dances are an integral part of Belgian culture, particularly in the Flanders region. These traditional dances have been passed down through generations and are still celebrated today. Flemish folk dances reflect the rich history and traditions of the Flemish people, showcasing their love for music, community, and storytelling through dance.

One of the most popular Flemish folk dances is the "Bourrée." This dance dates back to the 18th century and is characterized by its lively and energetic movements. The dancers form a circle, holding hands, and move in a coordinated manner, often accompanied by traditional Flemish music. The Bourrée is often performed during festivals and special occasions, bringing people together to celebrate their heritage.

Another noteworthy Flemish folk dance is the "Gavotte." Originating from French influence, this graceful dance involves intricate footwork and elegant arm movements. Dancers perform in pairs, gracefully gliding across the dance floor. The Gavotte is often performed during traditional weddings or social gatherings, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to the event.

1.2 Walloon Folk Dances

In the Wallonia region of Belgium, Walloon folk dances hold a special place in the hearts of the local community. These dances represent the unique culture and traditions of the Walloon people, showcasing their vibrant spirit and passion for music and dance.

One of the renowned Walloon folk dances is the "Tchiribi." This lively dance is characterized by its energetic and fast-paced movements, accompanied by joyful music. Dancers form lively circles, often clapping their hands or stomping their feet to the rhythm of the music. The Tchiribi is commonly performed during festivals and carnivals, bringing people together in a joyous celebration of their Walloon heritage.

Another popular Walloon folk dance is the "Branle." This traditional circle dance involves couples moving in a synchronized manner, often with intertwining arm movements. The Branle is known for its lively and festive atmosphere, encouraging active participation from everyone involved. This dance is often performed during weddings, parties, and other social events, creating a sense of unity and fun among the participants.

1.3 Brussels Folk Dances

Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, also has its own unique folk dances that reflect the diverse cultural influences present in the city. The Brussels folk dances represent a fusion of different traditions, combining elements from both Flemish and Walloon cultures.

One prominent Brussels folk dance is the "Scottish." Despite its name, this dance has its roots in Belgium and is often performed during social gatherings and festivals. The Scottish is a lively partner dance characterized by fast-paced movements and intricate footwork. Dancers move in pairs, spinning and twirling across the dance floor, creating an energetic and joyful atmosphere.

Another notable Brussels folk dance is the "Mazurka." This dance originated in Poland but gained popularity in Brussels during the 19th century. The Mazurka is a romantic and graceful dance, often performed in pairs. Dancers glide across the floor in a smooth and flowing manner, displaying elegance and poise. The Mazurka is frequently seen at formal events and ballroom dances in Brussels, adding a touch of sophistication and charm.

Belgium’s traditional dances are a testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage. Whether it’s the lively Flemish folk dances, the spirited Walloon folk dances, or the diverse Brussels folk dances, each one showcases the unique traditions and values of the Belgian people. These dances play a significant role in fostering a sense of community, unity, and pride in Belgian culture.

Popular Modern Dances in Belgium

2.1 The Belgian Club Dance Scene

Belgium boasts a vibrant club dance scene that attracts both locals and tourists alike. With its pulsating beats and energetic atmosphere, club dancing has become immensely popular among the younger generation in the country. The Belgian club dance scene is known for its diversity, with various styles and genres thriving within the clubs.

One of the most prominent club dance styles in Belgium is techno dance. Originating from the underground rave culture of the 1990s, techno dance has evolved into a mainstream phenomenon in Belgium. The country is home to numerous renowned techno clubs, where enthusiasts gather to enjoy the hypnotic rhythm and immersive experience.

Another popular club dance style in Belgium is house dance. Known for its groovy beats and smooth footwork, house dance has gained a strong following in the country. Many clubs often host dedicated house dance nights, where dancers showcase their skills and express themselves through intricate movements.

2.2 Street Dance Styles

Belgium also embraces a vibrant street dance culture, with various styles thriving within the urban communities. Street dance has gained popularity among the youth, offering a creative outlet for self-expression and a sense of belonging.

One of the most prominent street dance styles in Belgium is hip-hop dance. Influenced by the global hip-hop movement, Belgian dancers have developed their unique style, incorporating elements of popping, locking, and breaking. Hip-hop dance battles and competitions are frequently organized, attracting talented dancers from all over the country.

Breaking, also known as breakdancing, is another street dance style that has found a strong presence in Belgium. With its acrobatic and dynamic movements, breaking captivates both dancers and spectators alike. The country hosts various breaking events, including battles and showcases, where dancers push the boundaries of their skills and creativity.

2.3 Latin and Ballroom Dancing

In addition to modern club and street dance styles, Belgium embraces the elegance and grace of Latin and ballroom dancing. These classic dance forms have a dedicated following in the country, with numerous dance schools and studios offering classes for enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Latin dances, such as salsa, bachata, and merengue, have gained popularity in Belgium. The infectious rhythms and passionate movements of these dances attract people of all ages, creating a vibrant social dance scene. Many clubs and social events feature Latin dance nights, providing an opportunity for dancers to showcase their skills and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Ballroom dancing, including waltz, foxtrot, and tango, also holds a special place in Belgium’s dance culture. Known for its elegance and precision, ballroom dancing appeals to those who appreciate the artistry and sophistication of partnered dance. Competitions and showcases are organized regularly, allowing dancers to demonstrate their technical abilities and artistic interpretation.

In conclusion, Belgium offers a rich and diverse dance scene, encompassing popular modern dances, street dance styles, and classic Latin and ballroom dancing. Whether you are a club enthusiast, a street dance lover, or a fan of elegant partner dances, Belgium has something to offer for every dance enthusiast.

Influence of International Dance Styles

3.1 Ballet and Contemporary Dance

Ballet and contemporary dance have a significant influence on the dance scene in Belgium. These dance styles originated in Europe and have been widely embraced by Belgian dancers and dance enthusiasts. Ballet, with its precise and graceful movements, is highly revered in Belgium, especially in prestigious ballet companies like the Royal Ballet of Flanders. Many young dancers in Belgium aspire to join these renowned ballet companies and receive training in the traditional techniques of ballet.

Contemporary dance, on the other hand, offers a more experimental and expressive approach to movement. It combines elements of ballet with other dance forms and often incorporates innovative choreography and storytelling. Belgian choreographers and dance companies have been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of contemporary dance, creating thought-provoking performances that captivate audiences.

3.2 Hip-Hop and Urban Dance

The influence of hip-hop and urban dance styles in Belgium cannot be overlooked. These dynamic and energetic dance forms have gained immense popularity among the younger generation in recent years. Hip-hop dance battles, workshops, and performances are frequently organized in cities like Brussels and Antwerp, attracting both local talent and international dancers.

Belgium has produced some exceptional hip-hop dancers who have gained recognition worldwide. Their unique style and creativity have helped in shaping the hip-hop dance scene in the country. Urban dance styles like popping, locking, and breakdancing are also widely practiced and celebrated in Belgium. Dance studios and schools dedicated to teaching these urban styles have emerged, providing opportunities for aspiring dancers to learn and showcase their skills.

3.3 Salsa and Tango

Salsa and tango, two vibrant Latin American dance styles, have found a dedicated following in Belgium. These partner dances have become popular among people of all ages who are captivated by the passionate rhythms and intricate footwork. Salsa clubs and dance events can be found in various cities across Belgium, where dancers gather to socialize and showcase their salsa skills.

Tango, with its elegant and sensual movements, has also found its place in the Belgian dance scene. Tango festivals and workshops are organized regularly, attracting both beginners and experienced dancers. Belgian tango dancers have even participated in international tango competitions, showcasing their talent and dedication to this beautiful dance form.

In conclusion, Belgium’s dance scene is heavily influenced by a diverse range of international dance styles. From the precision of ballet and contemporary dance to the high-energy of hip-hop and urban dance, and the passion of salsa and tango, there is something for every dance enthusiast in Belgium. Whether you are a professional dancer or simply enjoy dancing as a hobby, Belgium offers a rich and vibrant dance culture that continues to evolve and captivate audiences.


In conclusion, Belgium boasts a vibrant and diverse dance scene that is constantly evolving. From traditional folk dances to modern styles, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The popularity of dance in Belgium can be attributed to its rich cultural heritage, the influence of neighboring countries, and the passion of its people. Whether you are a local or a visitor, exploring the various dance forms in Belgium is a must-do experience. So put on your dancing shoes and immerse yourself in the rhythm and grace of Belgium’s popular dances.

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