Discover fascinating facts about the Algarve’s traditional dance

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine August 2016



  • Portugal’s rich folklore includes many traditional dances; in fact, each region has its own. Vira is danced in the Minho region, fandango in the Ribatejo region and chamarita on the Azores. In the Algarve, it’s the corridinho.
  • Even though the corridinho isn’t as well-known a dance as Fado is a type of music, it is known internationally. Apart from the south of Portugal, it’s also danced in former Portuguese colonies such as Goa and Macau.


Accordion + polka

  • Story goes that the corridinho originated from Eastern Europe and was brought to the Algarve by a Spaniard, Lorenzo Alvarez Garcia. This Lorenzo wanted to impress a Portuguese girl, Maria da Conceição from Loulé, with his moves and introduced a type of polka.
  • Add to this fast dance an accordion, which was often played at folk dances at the time, being the instrument of choice in Portugal in the early twentieth century, and the corridinho was born.


7, 3, 3, turn

  • The corridinho is danced in a circle. Couples embrace with women forming the inside of the circle and men the outside.
  • The basic corridinho consists of seven steps forward, followed by three steps to the right and then three steps to the left. After that it’s time to turn so the woman is on the outside and the man on the inside. However, over time this simple sequence has evolved into a complicated choreography with extra twists and movements.


Dress code

  • Within the corridinho-circle, there are opportunities for each couple to show off special moves in a single performance.
  • Although there isn’t a specific corridinho dress code, women usually wear long skirts or dresses, whereas men are mostly in suit with a hat. When the corridinho is demonstrated in regional festivals, dancers normally wear traditional costumes.


See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine August 2016

Posted in Typical Portugal.