Keywords: Dance structures
This paper considers the value of the methods of dance structural analysis as a methodology noting that an understanding of “dance” and “dancing” is dependent on the participant’s cultural background and knowledge. This gives rise to local scholarly research methods that have particular relevance to the local concepts of dance, such as the prior work of scholars of south eastern European traditional dance, but these may deviate from the “modern” climate of “humanising” paradigms of dance research. An analysis of the Romanian dance Brâul bătrân is presented as an example of dance knowledge analysed by structural methods. I examine this dance in terms of what to do when participating, and local dancer’s hidden (insider) knowledge used to define the dance. This leads to an understanding of the dance in terms of “rules” that define the construction, variation and the limits to the degree of variation, within the definition of the dance.