Folk Dancing: Alunelul

In this World Folk Dance lesson, Jaclyn shares a Romanian line dance called Alunelul.

A traditional characteristic of Romanian folk dance includes fancy footwork and rhythmic foot stomps. Alunelul, a dance with varying stomping movements, represents the great effort required to crack the hard shell of the “Little Hazel Nut”. As is the case of many Eastern European folk dances, the boys are free to exhibit a performance style of larger movements and harder stamping. Traditionally the girls dance with a more feminine, less energetic approach to their movement. For this reason it might be appropriate, assuming these dancing styles become apparent, to have separate lines of boys and girls. Of course this division of gender is an optional choice in almost all Eastern European folk dancing.

FormationA broken circle with a leader at each end of the line.
PositionEach of the dancers in the broken circle lightly rest their hands on the nearest shoulder of the dancer on either side. dancers on both ends of the circle can keep their free arm elevated at shoulder height or may rest their forearm around their lower back.
StepsThe footwork combinations include varying patterns of stepping to the side (both to the right and to the left); crossing behind; and stampin.
MusicThe music is performed in a 4/4 meter but counted in a phrase of 8 count divided beats. Therefore, the music counts, 1, &, 2, &, 3, &, 4, & (in the 4/4 music) actually become the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, dance counts
Teaching HintsTo help differentiate one pattern fro another, it might help the dancers to know that the step patterns occur in a descending sequence of counts (8, 4, 2 with an ending of 4).
  • Introduction: 16 counts (this is a good time to practice the above counting if the concept is new.)
  • 8 counts: step to the right (1) cross left behind right (2) step again to the right (3) cross again (4) step right a third time (5) stamp left foot twice beside right (6,7) rest (8).
  • 8 counts: Repeat the above pattern, starting on the left foot, left end leading.
  • 16 counts: Repeat both of the above patterns again to the right and then again to the left.
  • 4 counts: Step to the right (1) cross left behind right (2) step right again (3) stamp left once (4).
  • 4 counts: Repeat the above 4 count pattern starting on the left foot, left end leading again.
  • 8 counts: Repeat both of the two 4 count patterns above to the right and to the left
  • 2 counts: Step right (1) stamp left (2)
  • 2 counts: Step left (1) stamp right (2)
  • 4 counts: Step right (1) stamp left twice (2, 3) rest (4)
  • 2 counts: Step left (1) stamp right (2)
  • 2 counts: Step right (1) stamp left (2)
  • 4 counts: Step left (1) stamp right twice (2, 3) rest (4)
  • Repeat the entire dance from the beginning

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Jaclyn Brown is originally from Roosevelt, Utah. Jaclyn hails from Utah Valley University’s (UVU) BFA Modern Dance program, where she performed with Contemporary Dance Ensemble, the department’s pre-professional modern performing group, and also choreographed and performed for Synergy Dance Company. Outside of RDT, Jaclyn performs with Monica Campbell & Dancers. As a member of these companies, Jaclyn has worked with nationally recognized artists, such as, Susan Hadley, Damon Rago, John Allen, Doris Hudson de Trujillo, Jennifer Huffman, Omar Olivas, and Mike Esperanza. Beyond her local training, Jaclyn also traveled to Spain for a study abroad in dance (2010). She also appeared in Alex Boye’s music video “Merci Bon Dieu.” Jaclyn was also honored to first perform for Repertory Dance Theatre as a guest artist in “Commonplace” (2013). Jaclyn is thrilled to be joining the company for her sixth season and would like to thank her husband, family, and friends for their unwavering support.


RDT appreciates the generous funding provided by the Utah Legislature and the Utah Board of Education that help make our Arts-in-Education Programs possible in Utah’s Public Schools.