The Traditional Dances of Crete express the feelings of its people. Through the dancing steps and figures, women and men express excitement, frustration, pain, love and romance. The Traditional Dances were of particular importance in Crete since the Minoan era. They were mostly circular, either closed or opened, and constituted an essential element of religious rituals.
The rich dancing musical heritage of Crete was formed, survived and developed as a continuation of the oldest local tradition. This is shown by the fact that until the mid 20th century the musician was at the center of the dance circle. The archaeological findings show that this is a practice implemented by the ancient Cretans.
In the live dance heritage of the island, there are about 25 traditional dances.
Six is the most common Traditional Dances nowadays:
Of these, syrtos is considered the essential dance of Chania.