If you’ve ever square danced in the United States, then you already have a glimpse into the culture of Sicilian tarantella folk dance. This scene filmed in 2019 at a party I attended is of rehearsed choreography, but if done traditionally, Sicilian tarantella has specific steps that dancers know, and they follow a caller while the music plays.
Remember the caller telling you to do-si-do and swing your partner, and you did it? Like that! It’s all about mixing the crowd up and socializing because you are constantly changing partners and spinning through the circle of other dancers. By the end of an evening, you’ve danced with everyone… And you know who makes your heart beat faster.
There’s more to it, of course, but this explains its purpose in past centuries (and even today, in towns like Casteldaccia, where they maintain a folk dance tradition).