PRONUNCIATION: ahr-deh-LYAH-nah coo fee-GOOR
TRANSLATION: Dance from Transylvania with figures
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Dick Crum who learned it from natives of several villages around the town of Vîrşeţ in the Banat ethnographic region of Romania.
BACKGROUND: The Ardeleana is a member of the "Învârtita" (meaning "whirled dance") family of Romanian couple dances popular all over Transylvania but especially in the southern part. The couple dances are undoubtedly more recent than other forms. In some cases, it can clearly be seen how these have developed from older circle or line dances. For instance, the Sârba, a line dance, is danced today in some places in the form of a couple dance for pairs (Sî-n vals). One may often see, besides the main group of dancers who move in a circle or line, isolated couples dancing to the same music, sometimes with the same steps.

In its native setting, the Ardeleana is highly improvised with the variations being performed according to the whim and lead of the men. The following sequence will fit the recommended recording and is the routine presented by Mr. Crum. Once these figures are learned well, the men may wish to try to look less non-Transylvanian by varying the number of repetitions and the sequence of the figures described.

The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania (the counties of Timiş, Caraş-Severin, Arad south of the Mureş, and Mehedinţi), the western part in northeastern Serbia (the Serbian Banat, mostly included in Vojvodina, except for a small part included in Central Serbia), and a small northern part in southeastern Hungary (Csongrád county). It is populated by Romanians, Serbs, Hungarians, Roma, Germans, Krashovans, Ukrainians, Slovaks, Czechs, Croats, and other ethnicities. The Banat is a part of the Pannonian plain bordered by the River Danube to the south, the River Tisza to the west, the River Mureş to the north, and the Southern Carpathian Mountains to the east.

MUSIC: National (45rpm) N-4513-A
Cristea (45rpm) CR-507-B
FORMATION: Cpls anywhere about the dance area. For dance pos, see "Steps and Style."
STEPS/STYLE: BASIC ARDELEANA (2 meas): Ptrs facing each other and turned slightly to own L, W hands on M shlders, M R hand at W L shldr blade, his L grasping her R arm just above the elbow. Step L (ct 1); pause (ct &); step R (ct 2); step L (ct &); pause (ct 1); step R (ct &); step L (ct 2); pause (ct &). During these 2 meas, cpls revolve CW as far as comfortably possible. To reverse dir, pivot on final ct "&" to face slightly to own R; W keep hands on M shldrs, M reverse hold so that his L is at W R shldr blade, his R grasping her L arm just above the elbow. M and W use identical ftwk as they revolve CW. To revolve CCW, use opp ftwk.

CONTINUATION STEP (2 meas): Ptrs facing as in "Basic Ardeleana Step." this step is added to the "Basic Ardeleana Step" to form the "Short Turn" and the "Long Turn," and is the step used in the "Arches." When danced to the L, step diag fwd L with R (ct 1); pause (ct &); smooth lift on R (ct 2); step diag fwd L with L (ct &). When done to the R, cpls revolve CCW and begin stepping diag fwd with L.

MEN'S SHOW-OFF STEPS: These steps are actually personal improvisations done by the M. Ptrs face each other, M R and W L hands joined. W R (back of hand) on hip. M may place his L hand behind the head, elbow out to side, or it may be on his hip, or held low out to side. While M does Show-off Steps, W take small walking steps as she follows him from side to side, or does Basic Ardeleana Step.

Show-off Step #1 (2 meas): Moving R, hop R, kicking L out quickly (ct 1); step L (ct &); hop L, kicking R out quickly (ct 2); step R (ct &); dip slightly on R, swinging L down and across in front of R with inner edge of ft up (ct 1); hop R (ct 2); step L in place, turning to face L (ct &). Moving to L, repeat action of above 2 meas with opp ftwk.

Show-off Step #2 (1 meas): Hop R, swinging L fwd slightly (ct 1); step L to R of R so that outer edges are touching and roll so that outer edge of R is on floor (ct &); keeping ft in same pos, shift wt onto full R so outer edge of L is on floor (ct 2); in same pos shift wt onto full L so outer edge of R is on floor (ct &). Repeat action of above meas with opp ftwk.

NOTE: During steps in Basic Ardeleana pos, the farther the cpls can revolve, the better. Basic Ardeleana and Continuation Steps are done rather flat footed, although as the cpls revolve faster, the steps become a walking heel-toe motion.


1-2No action.
1-8Beginning L, dance 4 Basic Ardeleans Steps.
1-4Beginning L, dance 1 Basic Ardeleana Step followed immediately with 1 Continuation Step to L beginning R.
5-8Beginning R, repeat action of meas 1-4.
 Beginning L, dance a series of 8 Continuation Steps:
1-2M contact W L hand, her fingers up, palm out, with R hand at right angle to floor, his thump up, palm out, moving diag fwd L and raising R arm under which W makes 1/2 turn CCW as he turns 1/2 CW. Both begin L and dance 1 Continuation Step. Finish facing ptr and release hands.
3-4With 1 Continuation Step and moving twd each other, M contact W R hand with his L and as they pass W make 1/2 turn CW, M make 1/2 turn CCW under the joined hands.
5-8Repeat action of meas 1-4.
9-10With 1 Continuation Step dancers move twd each other, M take W L hand in his R, his thumb down, and turn her one full turn CW under the joined hands as he dances in place.
11-12M take W L hand in his L, his thumb down, and turn her again 1 full turn CW as each does 1 continuation Step. As W finishes her turn, M bring her L hand to the small of his back and place it in his R hand. Simultaneously she places her R at the small of her back and he passes his L hand under her L arm and takes her R hand where she placed it. The L shldrs are now adjacent, hands grasped at each other's backs.
13-14In the above pos, dance 1 Continuation Step moving CCW as a cpl.
15-16M release W R hand and withdraw his L. M dance 1 Continuation Step in place turning slightly to his R and pull W around CCW to face him as she does 1 Continuation Step.
1-8Dance 1 Basic Ardeleana Step to L and add to it 3 consecutive Continuation Steps to L, turning CW.
9-16Repeat action of Fig IV, meas 1-8, beginning R and turning CCW.
1-8Do M Show-off Step #1 4 times, starting hop on R.
9-16Do M Show-off Step #2 8 times, starting hop on R.
1-64 Repeat entire dance from beg.
1-4Dance 1 Basic Ardeleana Step to L, followed by 1 Continuation Step to L, beginning with R.
5-8Repeat action of Fig VI, meas 1-4, with opp ftwk.
 Dance may end with a stamp. Please do not bow.

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes