Comprising regions, or oblasts, such as Kyiv, Cherkasy, and Poltava, which surround the Dnipro River in central Ukraine, dances from this region are the ones most commonly associated with Ukrainian dance.
The culture of this region developed under many influences, perhaps the greatest being the semi-military society of the Cossacks. As a result the dances sometimes represent the culture and traditions of the Cossacks, for example their love of social dances spawned the Hopak and Kozachok. The physically demanding acrobatics for the men, combined with the women’s grace while spinning and dancing in technically demanding unison, makes these dances spectacular to behold.
The men’s costumes for these dances are styled after the Cossack dress and usually consist of a comfortable embroidered shirt, sash (poyas) tied around the waist, loose, billowy riding pants (sharovary) and boots. The women’s costume consists of a blouse with red and black embroidery, a full or straight skirt with many colors, the most common being a straight skirt or plakhta, made of colorful, geometric woven fabric, long vests with matching aprons, red boots or shoes, a red beaded necklace, and a headpiece of flowers and ribbons (vinok). The costume of this area has been deemed the national costume of Ukraine.