Russian folk dance was and still is an important part of Russian culture. Traditional Russian folk dance has its origins in various groups, including those with Slavonian and Tatar origins. Some of the first Russian folk music and dance appeared around the 10th century when the Slavic tribes moved into Russia. As well, Russia witnessed various invasions from other countries. In turn, a cultural mix of music and dance helped develop Russian folk dances. Many of these early dances were performed and practiced by the lower classes. Typically the upper classes would watch performers rather than participate in the dances themselves.
Costumes were beautifully designed with great detail. Typically, the clothing for the dances was based on specific events, such as holidays, and would vary between these events. Women wore holiday headdresses, embroidered shirts, belts, and ornamented aprons. Men wore shirts, a belt, narrow pants, and high boots. The color red was incorporated in many of the costumes because it is associated with beauty in the Russian tradition.
Russian folk dance traditions continue to play an important part in the culture of Russia’s many ethnic groups. One example can be seen in the Ballets Russes, which invokes Russian folk dances and music in its pieces.