The history of dancing art of Azerbaijan traces its roots back to ancient times. The first dances were ceremonial and hunting ones. The dances "samani", "khydir ilyas", "kosa-kosa", "godu-godu" and others have been known from time immemorial.
"Samani" ritual is dedicated to arrival of spring and revival of nature. It was accompanied by canticles, games and dances.
"Khyndir Ilyas" was intended to summon rain. The word "Khydir" is an embodiment of water. This ritual was observed in early spring.
"Kosa - Kosa" is dedicated to coming of spring. The meaning of ritual game is the struggle of two forces - fierce winter and young spring.
Another ritual is called "Godu" - it was intended for good harvest. It is a cult ceremony of summoning the sun.
These ritual dances have laid the foundation for various national dances which are subdivided into labor ("shepherds"), ceremonial (ritual, wedding), common, military, sport, round, game and others.
Female and male dances greatly differ from each other. The development of female dance has been conditioned by a costume: a long skirt defined the smoothness of legs movement, the entire focus of the dancer is on elaborate movements of hands, arms, shoulders, head, facial expression etc. Male dance is determined by legs movement techniques. The dancer can easily stand on toes, promptly kneel etc.