Chochek

REGION: Balkan

RHYTHM: 2/4 or 7/8

ARMS: “W” position

BACKGROUND: Chochek is a Macedonian Roma line dance.

Description

MeasureCountAction
11With weight on RF, slight lift on ball of RF
&Step on LF across RF
2Step on RF in LOD (slightly)
&Step on LF in LOD (slightly)
21Face towards center, then Chukche on LF
&Step on RF back (slightly)
2Still facing center, Chukche on RF
&Step on LF back (slightly)
31Still facing center, Chukche on LF
&Step on RF back (slightly)
2Step LF in place
&Step RF in place, as you face slightly to right

Some more background:  Roma is the name that gypsies call themselves.  Actually gypsy was the name given to them by Europeans because they thought they were from the middle east (Egypt).  The Roma people left the Punjab in northern India in the 1000’s to escape the invading Muslims.  Romas entered eastern Europe in the 1300’s.  They are known as superb musicians and currently are in great demand by people of the Balkans for weddings and social occasions.  Initially, a chochek signified a dance for women and is associated with belly dancing.  However, there are many variants of chocheks, from the individual, to the couple, to the small group, to the open circle for as many as want to dance it.  Also traditionally, chocheks are played by brass bands.  In Bulgaria the dance is known as Kyuchek

 

The chochek described above is an open circle moving in the counterclockwise direction.  Originally danced by Romas, it is now also danced by non-Romas, or gadjes as the Romas call everyone else.  The dance above is commonly called a syncopated chochek.


Other dances that are in the same category, i.e. gypsy influenced,  include Sa Sa, Ketri Ketri, Chupurlika, Jeni Jol, Rumelaj, Pembe, Raikos, and Tsifteteli.