Andai Dance  

Chinese herdsmen live on the endless plains of northern China. They are the Mongolian ethnic minority. They love the grasslands, and love dancing and singing. The Mongolian people have created many kinds of dances and many kinds of music. One of the most famous dances is called the Andai.

The Andai is also called the "jumping white hawk". The Andai dance originated from the collective dance of the Kulun Qi in the south of the Horqin Grassland. At first, it was a religious dance used for praying to the gods and curing sicknesses. People would perform this dance to ask for blessings from the gods, to prevent disease, and to keep away bad luck. Over time, the dance gradually became a form of entertainment.

Traditionally, participants stand in a circle, singing and dancing with silk scarves in their hands. The lead dancer stamps on the ground or slowly moves sideways while swinging silk scarves. Although easy to perform, the Andai dance contains deep social significance.

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