Cossack dancers set to Run DMC

via Boing Boing

It seems the ‘dance off’ was not invented on the streets of modern-day Brooklyn. Here are some Russian Cossack dancers breaking out some amazing freestyle moves in 1941.

Cossack (or Hopak) dancing originated in southern Russian and Ukranian military communities. The general plan was to have a battle, win, then return and have a big dance off with all your comrades. The party was male-only, of course, and often involved pantomime style re-enactments of battlefield moments, with sabres et al.

Those not content with just re-enacting the battle could look into Combat Hopak, a modern day martial art derived from this dancing.


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