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El Salvadors Traditional Dances

Updated on April 12, 2017

There are some interesting aspects to El Salvadoran culture one such aspect is the traditional dances that they perform. These are the magnificent renditions of their history and culture and you find yourself drawn into the spirited dances when they are performed.

The Dance of Chapetones

There is one Dance in particular that is very traditional that goes back many generations. The dance is called the “The Dance of Chapetones.” This dance involves a group of twelve men wearing shoes and tuxedos. There is one woman all in white with an immaculate headdress placed on her head. This woman symbolizes the queen and the dance mimics the style of the Spaniards with very robust and lazy moves according to the music.

The Dance Of the Lance

This is an ancient dance that involves battle the dance is “Lenca” in origin. Most of the time you will see this dance performed in the eastern towns of the country. The “Dance of the Lance” is an ancient battle dance that involves four to twelve men carrying a long lance that is vibrantly decorated with metal curls. The lance that they carry is called “Partesana.” Along with the four to twelve men an equal number of others will accompany them carrying another assortment of things like banners, ribbons, batons and bows decorated with vibrant colors and color balls. The dancers as they are performing the ritualistic dance with then throw the lances to the sky and catch them as they go along. After having made many flips in the air the dancers moves while they are turning and flipping the lances in the air. This helps the dancers create a realistic battle affect while dancing.

The Dance of the Wild Pig

This dance has ancestral origins back to the original Indians who inhabited the lands of El Salvador. This dance is seen at many festivals in almost any town you come too. The Main dancer wears a wild pig skin disguise and is performing an interpretation of the animal. There is then another man in the nearby area that is elegantly dressed and his wife with the traditional outfit of the region and a very large hat decorated with vibrantly color flowers and paper. Then another man that is with the chorus is dressed up like an old dog and he conduct the chorus. The members of the chorus are dressed in small “pacaya” or small sorts or skirts that have colorful feathers and paper bows and arrows with wooden lances or twigs from a local sacred tree.

The Dance of the Little Bull

During certain gigantic feast that takes place in communities that are labeled as “nonualcos”, this is where this dance is normally carried out. One example of a “nonualcos” is in San Pedro. A man dressed up in a bull costume with a long tail and sharp horns on his head. Then some people dressed up in bull fighters appear and as the music is pounding in your ears the drums and whistling the bull fighters attack the loan bull while dancing. Just a the climax the bull heads towards heaven a deathly silence engulfs the crowd and dancers. Then ancient verses are read in the native tongue translated are this little bull, I bring it to eat a bucket of grass only by coming to dance in front of mister mayor.

These are some of the most traditional and spirited cultural dances that are still done in the traditions of their history and ancestors. So if you spot the music o and take a look and be drawn into the symbolism, tradition and spirit of the El Salvadoran people.

If you would like to learn more about El Salvador’s History, Traditions, Culture, News, and expat living come and visit my website at


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    9 years ago

    it looks kool

  • prasetio30 profile image


    9 years ago from malang-indonesia

    It looks interesting dance. have ever seen it before? or you can dance like that?


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