There is a story, dating back to the 10th Century, about a man in Kiev. He was a shoe-maker, and spent all of his days sitting down to work. The story goes that one day while he was out stretching his legs with his "dance" moves, the Grand Duke Vladimir Monomah was passing by. The Duke so liked what he saw, that he invited the man to his palace to perform these dances for him every morning, noon and night over dinner.
It was customary that each Russian Duke (and later the Tsars) had many special entertainers, such as dancers, and actors, to perform for them, and perhaps this is one reason why the traditional dances have remained such an important aspect of Russian culture.
The traditional dances listed below have all developed from olden times. After a long day at work, the people would come together for dancing, playing and fighting.
Khorovod – All dancers are dancing together in a circle.
Skhodbishcha – All dancers gather together, talking and making fun.
Koza – The goat dance
Chort – The devil dance
Prisyadki – Dancers are jumping on the floor as if trying to stretch their legs after sitting for a long time.
Tanets s Medvedem – Dance with a bear. (The bear is a symbol of Russian games where young boys try to show their strength.)