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One of the lesser-known skills all KGB agents must master.

You know the one — the dancers squat down with arms folded and kick. If a Husky Russkie is celebrating a victory for Glorious Mother Russia, he is 90% likely to be doing this dance.

Actually, it's commonly known as the Cossack Dance, but this is one of those cases of mislabeling by foreigners that Did Not Do the Research. In Ukraine, "Cossack Dance" or Kazatsky, is another name for the Ukrainian Hopak stage dance. The squat-and-kick move is properly called Preesyadkee (knee-bending) and is just one part of the dance, but it's the only part known to most non-Russians. It's one of the more difficult parts of the dance, requiring good balance and leg muscle strength, but of course Mother Russia Makes You Strong.

Kazachok is a Ukrainian folk dance sometimes confused with it.

Fun fact: There is a martial art based on Hopak dancing. Because In Soviet Russia, dance battles YOU!

Examples of That Russian Squat Dance include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Russia/Ivan mentions this, as well as kicking bullies with it.
  • One episode of The Law of Ueki has this dance done. With cossack hats.
  • In Soul Eater Tsar Pushka's meister utilised it as a martial art - with some break dancing thrown into the mix.
  • In Pokemon Black and White Cilan and Pansage start doing this during the events of A Maractus Musical!.

Comic Books


  • Spoofed as part of the disco-dance flashback scene in Airplane!!, in which Ted Stryker defies the laws of physics.
  • A Shot In The Dark, one of the films in The Pink Panther series, Clouseau is coaxed into joining in a troupe of dancers - and promptly rips his trousers. In the same film, a dancer doing this move is killed after drinking poisoned vodka.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull features some soldiers dancing happily like this in front of a campfire.
    • One of the dancers who performed this sequence reportedly stole a laptop and leaked the plot of the film to the press.
  • The climax of The Man Who Knew Too Little has the titular character stand in for the lead dancer in one of these.
  • Simon is doing the Cossack Dance in the music video of "Christmas Don't be Late" in the film Alvin and The Chipmunks.
  • The Mask - Stanley easily dodges a hail of bullets, transforming into a matador, a Cossack, Vegas Elvis, and a movie cowboy.
  • The Mamushka in The Addams Family is one of these. The fact that Gordon is able to dance it is one of the tip-offs that he is really Fester Addams.
  • One of the many dances that shows up in Bedknobs and Broomsticks during the musical number "Portobello Road."
  • The Three Stooges had a famous running gag involving this, wherein somebody would hurt their foot or otherwise hop around in pain rhythmically. The Stooges would then begin clapping in rhythm and take up the dance with multiple variations and vaguely Russian chanting.


  • Scott Adams mentions "Russian squat-dancing" in one of his books.
  • A rare female example: Tib in Betsy Tacy is mentioned as being able to do this dance, using it as the grand finale of her show dance.

Live Action TV

  • At one point, Drew Carey appeared to be about to do some of this, then his back gave out.
  • Parodied on The Muppet Show: Pig Muppets in cossack costumes dance like this, one of them kicks with both legs at once and hovers in the air for a split second before falling to the floor.
  • Three Sheets included host Zane Lamprey asking a Russian about the dance in the Moscow episode. The Russian explained that they didn't dance like that...but that he knew how to, from watching American movies.
  • Battle Fever J, the third Super Sentai series, had each team member representing a different country and performing a national dance; no points for guessing what Battle Cossack's dance was.



  • Featured a lot in the Basement Jaxx's music video for "Take Me Back to Your House". Bears get to dance, too.

Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Footloose episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender had a similar dance.
  • The Futurama episode "A Taste of Freedom" opens with Fry walking in on everyone watching Zoidberg doing one of these in honour of the "Freedom Day" holiday. Fry decides to join in to avoid standing out.
    • Later, a bunch of Uncle Sams on stilts are seen doing the dance.
  • Anastasia during the "Rumor in St. Petersburg" number.
  • The Russian puppets in Pinocchio do this.
  • Performed by thistles in Fantasia.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Wizard of Odd", Doofenschmirtz's guards do this dance during their big number.
  • A Woody Woodpecker short where Woody disguises himself as a Russian visitor takes advantage of this dance to position himself to literally kick Wally Walrus in the butt but good.
  • A file photo of Homer Simpson doing this comes back to haunt him when he's accused of being a Communist after heading into Russian waters with a nuclear submarine.
  • In one Looney Tunes cartoon, Elmer Fudd is afraid he has Rabbititis, and rushes to see a doctor (who's Bugs Bunny in disguise). Bugs tests Elmer Fudd's reflexes by alternately hitting each knee with a rubber mallet, and alternates between each knee faster and faster until Elmer is doing this dance.
  • Done in The Critic by Franklin during a square dance with either Ross Perot or his running mate.
  • This one of the Goofalototots' main shticks, the one that is based off Wakko from Animaniacs, in an episode of The Mask.
  • In an episode of Pinky and The Brain, both mice are subjected to Pavlovian conditioning, and every time a bell rings, Pinky does That Russian Squat Dance while Brain sings "I'm A Little Teapot" complete with actions.
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