The Berezka Ensemble – Russia’s Floating Dance Group

Trade secrets are common in many areas of life, but dancing? I wondered how it could be possible for a dancer to have a secret step, when their art is plain for all to see. Turns out there is a particular dancing group from Russia that has a secret technique – the floating step – that no one can really see.

The Berezka Ensemble was set up in 1948, by choreographer Nadezhda Nadezhdina. Since then, it has become a symbol of sorts, something that Russia has been identified with. Having traveled to over 80 countries for performances, the troupe has recently made the news for something other than their famous floating step. The dancers have covered over 47,000 dancing kilometers, through their signature step. That’s longer than the diameter of the Earth!

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Every concert put up by the Berezka starts with a circle dance, called the Khorovod, in which they perform the sliding step. What’s so special about this step is that they hardly appear to move at all, they in fact seem to be standing still while the stage beneath them seems to be moving. Even the skirts worn by the dancers doesn’t seem to ruffle. The step was created by Nadezhdina herself and while it’s nothing short of impressive, the exquisite beauty of the dancers helps keep audiences around the world mesmerized.


There are several rumors that the dancers who join the Berezka Ensemble are sworn to secrecy, and aren’t even permitted to reveal the step to family. Their incumbent leader, Mira Koltsova, states otherwise. “No one is required to pledge secrecy, of course, it’d be silly,” she says. “What makes people sit mesmerized is the expression of the soul. There is the material, and there is the spiritual. And if you put them on the scales, the spiritual outweighs the material.