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Updated 07/16/2013


The Circassian Circle

The Circassian Circle is a mixer type of collective folk dance. It is commonly found in folk balls in France, but also seems to be found around the world where it is danced in similar fashion. This dance stands out because France has a number of dances which are particular to the region from which they come. The Circassian Circle is one of the few mixer dances that everyone will know - and which is so easy anyone can figure it out with no explanation.

Circassia is a mountainous region located in the Caucasus of Eurasia, in today's Russia. It consists of various ethnic groups and tribes that were at some points allied with each other with differentiations made between eastern and western Circassians.  However, the dance seems to have originated in England (and not Circassia as one might have thought) during the 19th century, where what is now called "Circassian Circle" was only the second part of the original dance.

In the Carmichael district of Lanarkshire, Scotland, around the turn of the 20th century it was always the first dance of the evening. The vehicle for the dance was usually the namesake melody followed by additional tunes at the same tempo, capped by a return to the original "Circassian Circle" melody. Canadians frequently have employed the tune "La Bastringue" to accompany it.