Folk dances are dances by the ordinary people for enjoyment and celebration. They tend to be European, that is there is a huge tradition of music, song and dance all over the place that is now called Europe, characterised by much regional and ethnic variation.
Some folk dances are extremely old and have origins probably in prehistory, many are fairly modern adaptations of what was happening in 'society'. Just as with song and music, no one has written down the dances - they evolved.
Folk dances are linked to calendar events such as May Day or the Harvest, to social events such as weddings, to places such as villages or geographic features or to occupations or activities. There is something of the ritual in some dances (e.g. morris) and in others pure emulation of our betters (e.g. set dances).
Types of Dance
Some of the dances which are regarded as folk are: