Folk dances of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand involve a lot of interesting tales. The art of dancing is as important as wearing clothes for the people of Uttarakhand. The people of the state believe that the only way to influence God is through dancing. There are various mythological stories that are associated with the dances of this state. It is said that the dances owes their inspiration to the fascinating mystical dancing girls who lived on snow filled peaks and are variously interpreted as Kecharis, Paries and Ancheris.

They are fairies or women who move in the firmament, young women of surpassing beauty, sumptuously clothed and supposed to belong to the court of Indira. These dancing girls, they are said to fly or float along the sky without any visible wings. Some people believe that they are actually the souls of young maidens who died without any funeral rites. They are Ravana's daughters who were offered to Lord Shiva as his hand rites. Some of the popular versions make them a part of Krishna folklore, making them into Gopis who dance the 'Dance Celestial' with their Lord. There are various types of folk dances of Kumaon that can be seen. Some of the dance forms dates back to thousands of years and some of which are performed to satisfy the gods and goddesses of the region


Jhora dance is mainly performed to ensure peace between communities. Both men and women enthusiastically participate in this dance. Jhora is performed along with the music of various instruments. It is performed at the coming of spring, at fairs, and also to celebrate weddings. The dancers dance in a circle by holding each other’s arms. The dance is a beautiful amalgamation of various steps.


This is a dance form which is quite similar to Jhora. It is a collective dance form of Kumaon which is danced by both female and male. Chancheri is danced in a semi-circle in a very slow tempo but it follows the traditional group dance by unconfined joy. The Chancheri dance form is most famous in the Danpur Patti of Bageshwar District, lying north of the Pindari Glacier.


Jagar is a particular dance form which falls in the spiritual category of worship. This is typically a regional dance form of the state. The performances are based on 50 Ballads on local gods, goddesses and spirits, ghosts and fairies, the most famous being the Gorilla, Bholanath and Ganganath. The instruments used are a big drum (Dhol), a smaller drum (Damua), Hurka and Thall


Ramola is a popular dance form in the state and is mainly performed as worship to Lord Krishna. It is celebrated during the festival of Holi where people come together to celebrate and the festivity lasts for more than a month.


Choliya dance is a Rajput dance form which is mainly performed during the marriage ceremonies. The dance is performed with sword and shield in pairs, the drummers are usually Harijans called Dholies, while the Turi and Ransing are played by Bairagis, Jogis or Gosains.

Thali, Jadda and Jhainta are some other folk dances of the state that are performed with equal enthusiasm. The Thali dance form is actually very graceful and is performed by the womenfolk. The Jadda and Jhainta are dance form where women and men whirl together with a gay abandon. The region is actually a kaleidoscope of folk dancing. The Kumaonis with their power of patience can continue dancing even after a hectic day at work. Dancing is an integral part of the Kumaoni people. It satisfies their social and emotional needs and helps to keep them alive and fresh. The Kumaonis prove the old adage. "The tribe which dances does not die."